Thursday, August 22, 2013

Which GU Is For You?

Fall training season is among us, and whether it’s a 5k, 10k, 14k, half, or full marathon, having the right nutrition is extremely important. Most runners have heard of the GU products. It used to be easy, when only the gel was available, but now you walk into a running specialty store and see up to 7 different GU products to choose from. So the question is, which GU is for you? What's the difference among all of them? Benefits?

Here is where you’ll find out the differences of each a so you can figure out which one, or ones, you should be using!

GU created the world’s first energy gel. It’s fast and simple, providing athletes fuel with none of the other extras that slow them down.  It is 80% complex and 20% simple carbs. It contains vital electrolytes to ensure the right amount of sodium and potassium to keep athletes hydrated. GU Energy Gels contain Histidine which is a Branch Chain Amino Acid (BCAA) that neutralizes lactic acid build up in muscles. They contain 10x more of BCAA than any of its competitors. When training, it is recommended that athletes eat one packet before activity. While racing, it is recommended to eat one packet 45 minutes before the race, and again 15 minutes before the race, then one every 45-60 minutes during the race.


Roctane is GU to a higher power. It has 3x more amino acids, more caffeine, more sodium, and more potassium. It also includes a new amino acid complex that reduces muscle damage, lessens fatigue, speeds recovery, and helps maintain concentration. Roctane speeds conversion of carbs into energy and it is used for intense multi-hour adventures and races. Use Roctane the same as Energy Gels.


GU Chomps are the chewable version of GU Energy Gels. They have 55mg of sodium and 40 mg of potassium per serving. They are the only energy chew on the market with Branched Chain Amino Acids. Chomps contain 100% of your daily value of Vitamins C & E. To use: eat 1 serving (4 pieces) for every 45-60 minutes of activity. One packet contains 2 servings.


Roctane Endurance Energy Drink is carbohydrate intensive and is mainly for ultra-distances and intense efforts. It contains electrolytes, caffeine, Taurine, Beta Alanine, and Histidine amino acids which help buffer capacity of muscles and maintain heart performance.


GU Electrolyte Brew has been formulated with key electrolytes and carbohydrate calories to hydrate and fuel athletes at the same time. It is made with simple ingredients so it’s easy on the stomach and it has the lowest sugar content among leading competitors. For best results, start drinking Electrolyte Brew before starting a workout and continue drinking 20-30 oz for every hour of activity. One packet makes 21 oz.


GU Recovery Brew is specifically designed to be used in that magic “glycogen window”, the period immediately after a workout or race where the body is primed to quickly replenish glycogen stores, allowing athletes to train or race hard the next day. It is made up of 80% complex/20% simple carbohydrates, amino acids, and a bit of high quality whey protein to aid in quick absorption and better muscle recovery.

Electrolyte Tablets have only 10 calories per serving, so they are a great way to replenish electrolytes and hydrate effectively without all of the calories. They’re simple, lightweight, delicious, and lightly sweetened with Stevia extract.


·         Gels- carbs, calories, electrolytes
·         Chomps- carbs, calories, electrolytes
·         Electrolyte Brew- liquid, calories, electrolytes
·         Brew Tablets- liquid, electrolytes

Happy Running!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Running Relief - Accessories That Can Help!

When it comes to running and the stuff we need to succeed, shoes, clothes, and watches come to mind. All of those things are must-haves, but there are other products out there that can help and even make running more comfortable/enjoyable (yes, it’s possible). These items include: Body Glide, Sport-Wash, Dr. Hoy’s Pain Relief Gel, Sweaty Bands, Running Hats, and Technical Socks.

Body Glide:
Body Glide is an anti-chafe and blister balm that can be used anywhere on the body. It’s ideal for feet, thighs, and arms. It’s smooth, natural, oil-less, and fortified with Vitamin F, Vitamin E, and Aloe to keep the skin hydrated.

Sport-Wash is a detergent that is made specifically for running clothes and will not irritate the skin. Its ingredients keep technical fabrics looking and working like new, while restoring factory-applied waterproofing (DWR). Sport-Wash also restores wicking and maintains breathability; it prevents damage done by residual chlorine, prevents color fading, completely removes odors, blood, and grass stains. Not only does it do all of these great things for your expensive running clothes, it is also biodegradable.
Dr. Hoy’s Pain Relief Gel:                                                                                                                                      

Dr. Hoy’s pain relief gel temporarily relieves minor aches and pains of muscles and joints due to backache, arthritis, sprains, strains, and bruises. It’s a water-based gel which means there won’t be an oil residue after application and it has a vanishing scent.

Sweaty Bands:
Sweaty Bands are one of the only type of head bands that completely stay in place on your head throughout your entire run. They have velvet on the back that keeps them from sliding off your head. They come in all different colors, designs, and sayings. They’re both extremely fashionable and functional.

Running Hats:
Running hats are important to runners for many reasons. They keep the sun, rain, snow, sleet, and hail out of your eyes. They keep your head cool with their COOLMAX Comfort System by creating maximum air flow and moisture transfer. They also have a terry cloth headband that keeps sweat out of your eyes and dry 3 to 4 times faster than cotton.  

Technical Socks:
Technical socks are good for running because they work with the shoe to wick moisture away from the foot. This keeps the foot cool and dry which also prevents blisters and keeps the foot odor free.


Happy Running!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Muscles & Miles- The Benefits of Lifting for Runners

As runners, we tend to forget about every other type of exercise. We think that running is the only way to get better and faster, but miles aren’t always the answer. Weight training is just as important as running, especially if you want to improve and stay injury free.
Now that you’re either interested or doubtful, it’s important to know that the standard strength training routine (bicep curls, bench press, and leg extensions) are essentially useless for making you a better runner.  The only benefit these exercises give you is making you look good (which I'm not saying is a bad thing), however, it could increase your risk of injury because these workouts often lead to strength imbalances between muscle groups and around joints.
As runners, we need a special strength-training workout that targets key muscle groups. People in general tend to focus more on the muscles they can see and end up neglecting the ones that they can’t. Back muscles are extremely important for runners because upper back muscles help with proper running form and lower back muscles help propel you forward.  Hamstrings are also important to strengthen because runners work their quads more often and it creates an imbalance among the two muscles, leading to injury.
Another very important part of your body to strengthen is your core. Your core is where all other body movements stem from and if it’s strong, then all other parts of your body perform better. A strengthened core prevents injuries. It also helps with breathing because your lungs don’t have to work as hard, lessening your chances of getting cramps.
Full body lifting also increases bone density which decreases your chances of getting a stress fracture. The best type of lifting for runners is circuit training. Circuit training is a combination of high-intensity aerobics and resistance training. It targets strength building, muscular endurance, and fat loss. Fat loss is important because the leaner and lighter you are, the faster you’ll run.
There are many benefits to lifting, you'll look better, run faster, and stay injury free! So remember, muscles & miles are key!

Happy Running!