I figured this week while I’m tapering in my training in hopes of resting my legs (eye roll), I’d talk about a couple things I added into my distance running arsenal this training cycle.
Let me first mention that I am not an ambassador for any of these companies. The reality is when I find things I like, I want to share it with other people. Reading reviews from other athletes and bloggers is how I have found some of the products I love the most. I get comments and messages about what I use or must have during training and races; I started this blog to get better about having a place to share those things. Who knew these posts don’t write themselves though?! #worstbloggerever
Okay. Moving on!
First, let me acknowledge that I used TWO different types of electrolyte drink replenishment — (insert huge gasping noise here)! Nuun (which is not new to me) and Enduropacks, which is new to me this training cycle. I love both these products, and for different reasons, so why should I have to choose and only stick to one? Ahh see, that’s the beauty of being an adult — (for the most part) you get to do what you want.
EnduroPacks is an all natural, fast-acting liquid spray that you spray into your water (or flavored beverage, if you prefer). There is no flavor to this product, it has the slightest hint of a fresh lemon taste, although others may not notice it. With no fake added sugars or chemicals, the pure focus of this product is proper electrolyte balance. This helps with optimal muscle function and also reduces cramping, especially getting into those higher- mileage runs. There are 13 naturally-occurring ionic minerals also helping you replenish alkaline pH-levels. I used this during several of my training runs, including a couple 18+ milers. I felt strong throughout — I have yet to experience anything negative from this product.
Salt Stick Fast Chews I stumbled on these on Amazon of all places, where 90% of my life’s possessions also come from. My main reason for searching for this product is because in ALL 3 of my previous full marathons (even with electrolyte drinks & bananas), I experienced cramping in my calves after Mile 20. I had a guy hand me a salt packet (like something from a fast food restaurant) around mile 22 in my 2nd marathon and I poured it right into my mouth. Gross, but I believe it saved me!
These little tablets here are almost like chewing a mix between a tums and a Sweet Tart. I was expecting it to be like chewing a salt chunk but it wasn’t at all. They have an orange and a lime flavor (there may be others) and they are probably a little smaller than a breath mint, which makes them also easy to carry on the run. I did not experience any leg cramps during any of my training runs. While I know my hydration game is also much stronger than it was for previous marathons, I don’t doubt that these helped me. I won’t need them for half marathons, but for longer distances or hot summer running (read: year round in So Cal) — these will be a great thing to have for the distances or temperatures where you need an extra electrolyte push.
HiBall Energy I realize this doesn’t have to do specifically with my training, but it falls under hydration. I drink a ton of water with all the cardio and sweating, so sometimes I want something other than plain ole H2O. I have always been a fan of sparkling waters, so I was happy to try out 4 of the flavors of their Sparkling Energy Waters — they were awesome and refreshing! These got delivered to me the day before the stomach bug hit my house and I was so thankful to have them coming out of that. They have zero calories, sugar, carbs and are unsweetened, naturally flavored with no preservatives or artificial anything.
Four B-vitamins at 150% RDI: B3 / B5 / B6 / B12
Lastly, nothing new here to me, but I love and have used GU gels for years. These are portable packets of 100 calorie carbohydrates to help sustain energy during activity. Typically I use them for anything over 60+ minutes. They replenish sodium — the primary electrolyte lost in sweat, and aids in hydration by maintaining water balance. I pretty much just stick to one flavor. Two reasons I love the Vanilla Bean:
1. It’s one of the smoother flavors, goes down easier (if you have ever tried the chocolate you’ll notice those are thicker and can be a little harder to get down) — especially later on in a race when you’d rather die than eat a GU anyways.
2. Caffeine. No further comment.
Hoping my training along with these things will allow me to conquer 26.2 this Saturday! I’m excited to run this distance again and test my level of strength.
Anyone else running a Marathon this weekend? What are some must-have things you use on race days?