I used to always doubt products that claimed they rejuvenated or added something to your body during workouts. I always thought they were claims (and yes being in advertising I know there's always certain hype behind products). Two products that I've found to be of great help during my first half marathon this weekend were the following 1) Gatorade and 2) Under Armor.
I'll start with Gatorade. Along the way of running any race from 4-5 miles up to a full marathon there are water stations along the way. There are also Gatorade (at least during my event) as well. When I got to the first water station I grabbed two cups of water (new runners practice grabbing two cups between your index and middle finger and your pinky and ring finger, then take one cup and squeeze the top so it makes a funnel and then you can control your water intake). Anyway I grabbed the water and only water and downed it and kept running. Early in the race you should have enough energy where it won't matter as much what you drink, just as long as you keep yourself hydrated. By the second water station I saw the Gatorade and grabbed one Gatorade cup and one water. Drank them both pretty quickly. Third water station I grabbed only Gatorade drank both of them. I did start to feel energy returning. Gatorade returns electrolytes and carbohydrates. See what happens during a longer run is towards the back half of your run, your body runs out of carbs and electrolytes to burn. So what does it burn? Muscle. That's not good. So it's why they created those gels and blocks (as I mentioned in my last post) definitely have at least one if not two of those ready for your half. You'll need it. Another thing about Gatorade or sports drinks in general is a study that was released from Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise that concluded, "athletes can stave off fatigue 37% longer if they drink sports drinks -- the kind with electrolytes and carbohydrates in them. They also run faster, have better motor skills, and are mentally sharper"
What you will want to avoid, on the flip side, are caffeine drinks. Soft drinks don't really replenished anything the body needs so if it's not going to help, why add it? it won't help and during a race/half marathon/full marathon it's all about efficiency in your body SO add things that will add that and not take away or have no effects.
Under Armor. Ok we've all seen the ads, buff athletes yelling and screaming wearing what appears to be spandexish clothes. Now I bought two under armor shirts for $40 each. Yeah they are expensive but I have not even once regretted buying them. One thing it does is keep your body heat in. This is key as a runner. A runner will heat up about 10 degrees during a run, and if you start training in the winter it's important to keep that heat in, in addition it does a good job of keeping the sweat in as well. I sweat a lot when I run but under armor does a superior job of keeping me drier and my body heat in. Even during hotter runs you want to pay attention to your body, the beauty of Under Armor is that in heat it keeps you regulated better than a T-shirt or a sweatshirt. It's definitely worth the investment in a pair or two. I'll break down Under Armor for you as they have different types of things for different types of weather:
ColdGear is Under Armour's most technical line featuring a double sided fabric that wicks moisture from the skin and circulates body heat. ColdGear provides warmth without weight for long days in the field.
HeatGear is engineered with a microfiber blend fabric featuring the signature Moisture Transport System and reliable compression. It's designed to fit tight to your skin, under your outerwear.
LooseGear gives moisture management and core temperature regulation in a generous cut for comfort. The ultimate solution: LooseGear, features the signature Moisture Transport System in lightweight microfiber blend.
If you are going to train in the winter do so the right way. It's all about efficiency so invest in the things that will make you more efficient.
Catch you next week!