I just finished another great week of training (week 5 out of 14). I thought I would share some of the every-day products that keep me feeling safe, fresh and healthy as I embark on this 140.6 mile journey.
I never leave the house for outdoor training, without my
Road ID. If you don't believe me, my Road ID tan line is catching up to my watch tan line :)
Both Karel and myself have Road ID's (Karel has yellow, I have pink) and I find it a necessity when it comes to training gear. There are so many options as to what type of ID you can purchase and for the price, consider it the cheapest investment to your health while training. I compare the Road ID to a dog tag. The only time Campy gets to run off his leash is when he is at my parents house, in the backyard. But still, he is a sneaky little guy and enjoys finding holes in the ground/fence for a quick escape. I always make Campy wear his dog collar when he is outside for if anything were to happen to him, at least he could be identified. Although us humans can speak, an accident may leave you unconscious or out of it. I believe that we have a deep inner-power to recognize our name even if we aren't totally there. But above all, the Road ID allows a person to recognize any allergies and provides a contact in the case of an emergency. Plus, I feel cool when I wear it cause it is pink and matches my fuel belt, glasses and bike - which are all PINK!
As of this weekend, I have a new addition to my training nutrition.
Electrolyte Fizz. After my 2 hour run (which followed a 2 hour bike) on Sunday, I was ready to cool-off and let Campy take me on a walk to loosen my legs. I quickly filled a bottle with water and dropped an electrolyte fizz into the bottle. I gave it a shake and I was instantly refreshed when sipping on my drink. As you may or may not know, I do not suffer from cramps while training or racing. I also do not experience GI upset in racing. Perhaps I don't overexert myself, as cramping and GI upset are often at the result of pushing too hard and/or not adequately fueling (sadely, no amount of nutrition will allow you to push x-mph if you haven't trained the body to do so). However, I do get really hot when I train and I still require proper electrolytes during training. I do believe that diet has a major affect on how you perform during endurance training and what your body needs/requires to improve endurance and thresholds. As the most efficient athletes will be able to perform at optimal intensity, without a high amount of nutrition to maintain intensity/volume, thus minimizing the chance for GI distress or bonking. However, this efficiency training does not take and often a little help from a professional who understands both nutrition and the physiology of the body during exercise. With my scientific approach to training, I believe in efficiency training and really understanding my individual needs based on how I perform and feel during training.
As for others, I believe athletes consume far too much water when training, too much salt and too many sugary calories in the heat and I believe it is necessary to focus on a wide spectrum of electrolytes, 20-28 ounces of fluid per hour (give or take 10-15 min and 4 ounces) and a maltodextrin-based drink in order to cover your basic needs while sweating. I also believe in amino acids and protein during long distance training but that is another blog topic. Because every person is different as far as the quantity of electrolytes you lose through sweating, the electrolyte fizz is a great way to rehydrate prior to having your post-workout recovery drink as well as during training. There are a lot of electrolyte/salt pills on the market but competition leaves some products more excellent than others. I compare products all the time but sports nutrition needs to be very individualized. For one product may have an ideal spectrum of electrolytes but not adequate calories per serving, and may work for one person whereas another product may be low on electrolytes but adequate carbs and may work for another person. Then again, the same person may require different nutrition depending on the time of the year for peak training, the race environment and current diet and fitness. It seems a bit complicated but I suppose that is why I went to school...because I LOVE this stuff!
My number one recommendation is to not overhydrate on water and to be sure you consume a little of your sport drink every mile (when running) or every 15-20 min (when biking). Because we have weak hydration signals, it is important that you are staying well hydrated with water on a daily basis and to try to recognize the difference between dropping blood sugar and dehydration during training. To help with cooling, poor plain water on your body to help reduce core body temperature. Because we don't have the amazing support from aid stations until race day, my suggestion is to bring along Fizz or electrolyte tabs (which cover ALL electrolyte needs including calcium) with your sport drink, so that you can ensure proper electrolyte and glycogen status while training and not put yourself in a situation where performance and health may be compromised by consuming too much or not enough fluids, calories and electrolytes. Today I choose to use the Fizz post-workout because I did a great job fueling on my run and used pills to go along with my sport drinks in my fuel belt flasks. It was a hot day but I couldn't be more pleased with my consistency during my run. I think the electrolyte fizz have the perfect quantity of the necessary electrolytes and minerals that are needed in your active body, especially while training in the heat. If you would like to use other products such as sport drinks or pills, I would try to get as close as you can per hour to the Hammer Electrolyte Fizz product for chloride, sodium, magnesium, manganese, chloride, sodium and potassium.
I follow the 5 R's after my workouts. Rehydrate. Repair. Refuel. Relax. Reflect. So maybe compression tights might not be your first piece of clothing as you are relaxing after a hot and sweaty summer workout but I completely believe in compression for effective recovery. So, after you ice with your 110% Recovery Ice Shorts I believe the compression tights would fall into the category of Relaxing post-workout. Compression socks are also a great product but I find the tights to be just perfect to regulate blood flow and prevent post workout soreness (in addition to the first 3 R's). Zoot Compression Tights