In the aim of continuing some positivity, I’ve got another rantless post
Running: Ahh running, you little sneaky demon, you. My relationship with running is always up and down. I train well, I run as much as I like, maybe I PB (not all the time – in fact, quite rarely!), I get injured, I’m forced to stop running… But I’m currently at a peak. Running (*touch wood*) is going well. Though I’m not running particularly fast (I’d need to do actual training rather than my “whatever pace” miles…), I’m loving it.
It’s amazing how much I’ve changed over the years. When I first started running it was purely to keep fit and healthy, then I joined a running club and wanted to RACE ALL THE RACES. This quickly caused me to get injured and get frustrated with myself and my abilities. After many, many injury cycles (mostly of my own idiocy and training bloopers) I’m now at a place where I rarely RACE a race. Or indeed, do many races. I fell in love with the marathon. Just completing a marathon for me is the dream. PBs are superficial bonuses. I have vague lofty marathon time goals to achieve at some point (realistic to my ability and my willingness to really put some hard graft into training) but really just to tick off different marathons is the goal. And ultimately do all the Marathon Majors (
Berlin, Boston, London, Tokyo, Chicago and New York).
And this is very similar to parkrun. I can’t see me ever trying to go sub-20 minutes any time soon. Again this requires some hard training and I’m not ready or inclined to put that effort in for a goal that I frankly don’t care too much about. But 20+ different parkruns? Now that’s a cool goal I can get on board with. My friend Adi also mentioned the ABC of parkruns (running a parkrun for every letter in the alphabet). That sounds like fun too… though I have a way to go (I haven’t even done ‘A’!).
So that turned into a bit of a free-wheeling reflection!
My dad: I’ve often mentioned that my dad’s been trying to lose weight. He’s been occasionally going to parkrun but finds it very tough as he’s quite overweight. 5km is a long way to walk when you haven’t been doing much in the way of exercise and you have a lot of weight to carry around with you, especially the impact on your joints. Though I’m so proud of him for doing it, it’s not the best way for him to lose weight (at the moment).
And in an effort to do more exercise in a way that is less impacting on his joints for the moment (he’ll be going back to parkrun when he’s lost half a stone), he cycled alongside me on my 3.5 mile run on Sunday.
It was fairly windy but he survived. Three and a half miles might sound like absolute peanuts to any regular cyclist, but this was perfect for my dad. He found it tough and it worked him hard, but didn’t ruin him or his joints for the day. I’m so proud of him.
Awesome Supplements: Talking about reviews, I’ve recently been trying out some Awesome Supplements. I bought them myself and wasn’t compensated in any way for this review. I just thought I’d share my experiences.
They’re made by Ben Coomber, who I really respect. The ethos behind the supplements is something I can really get on board with. They argue that supplements will only really make 5-10% difference to your health and training. Really you have to get the foundations nailed down first (nutrition, sleep, training, etc.). All the products are backed by scientific research and the doses within the products are clinically significant doses comparable to those studies.
So what did I get and how did I find them?
It’s essentially a high strength fish oil and a multivitamin. The reason why this appealed to much to me was because I always take a fish oil supplement anyway and I’ve previously been considering a zinc and magnesium product to help with recovery. But most of the Zinc and Magnesium products out there aren’t the best quality. For example, Zinc Citrate is far better than Zinc Sulphate or Zinc Gluconate, which are cheaper but have less actual zinc in them. The rationale behind each vitamin included and the percentage of it is well thought out and rationalised (Coomber links to Examiner.com).
The downside is that it is expensive (£35 for 360 capsules). For the quantity and quality it has to be. And not only this but you have to take 12 capsules a day. That’s a lot of tablets obviously (though they are small and easy to take). It’s advised to take six in the morning and six in the evening to break it up. But I don’t feel like I’m being duped or taken for a ride. I feel like the product justifies the price. I do eat healthily but I’m a stickler for keeping with the same foods and I feel like this just tops me up with some things I might be missing.
I’m a big fan of electrolytes in general. I love nuun and High5. I’m not a fan of carb-based drinks that contain electrolytes as they’re often sickly sweet and not refreshing at all. When I was at the Body Type Nutrition Retreat, Ben Coomber (who organised it) brought along a load of his products for us to try out while we were there. I tried out the electrolytes and fell in love. The taste is really good. Like really good.
The ingredients: Electrolyte blend (Potassium sulphate, calcium citrate, di-potassium phosphate, magnesium oxide, sodium chloride), dextrose monohydrate, flavouring, malic acid, citric acid, colouring (turmeric), sucralose.
And it’s 20 calories per serving. And a tub is only £8 for 250g.
Why are electrolytes important? Well, they basically keep you hydrated above and beyond what plain water would do. It allows your muscles to absorb liquid and reduce cramp and hyponatremia (where you lose far too much salt through sweating and your body can’t regular it’s level properly).
During this hot weather I always drink electrolytes before and after running. I sometimes fill my water bottles as well and take them with me. The flavour reminds me of sherbet lemons. It’s very orangey and tangy. It’s about the strength of squash, rather than the very weak flavours of High5 and nuun, which always annoyed me a bit. This is a game changer for me. I love it. I also like that you can dictate the serving size. Have a huge water bottle? Put a bigger scoop of it in. Just fancy a very small drink? Do half a serving. Though obviously it’s not as easy to transport as the electrolyte tabs (in their handy Durex wrappers ). But you could always put it in a container to take with you.
I’ve been wanting this for a while. Basically each ml provides 300mg of magnesium and 10mg zinc. Doing intensive exercise depletes our magnesium and zinc levels which are essential for good performance and energy levels. This spray is applied directly to the muscles and reduces the feelings of DOMs (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).
I get really bad DOMs after squats and hip thrusters after the gym. And this is annoying because I’ll want to run the day after and I feel like I’m hobbling along. I need to go to the gym to keep myself strong for running but it feels horrific…catch 22. I tested this out by spraying one leg and, er, cheek and not the other.
Honestly, the difference was incredible. (Incredibly annoying incidentally because it meant I was a bit unbalanced but it showed how much of a difference it can make). While one leg and bum cheek was still feeling the effects of the day before, the other leg and cheek were far fresher! Not 100% amazing of course, but markedly better than the other. It’s so simple as well. You spray it onto the skin, rub it in a bit, wait three minutes, shower it off. Boom.
Really chuffed with these three products and fully recommend!
What products have you been loving lately?
Do you take any supplements or use electrolytes?
Are you a smoothie fan? What’s your favourite flavour?