In addition to the basics, there are five training products that I never like to go without. All with their own unique purpose, they have become part of my training and racing routine and are tools for better preparation and easier recovery.
Take a look at my top 5:
1. SOS Rehyrdate
SOS Rehydrate is a doctor formulated hydration drink mix. It was founded by former international mid distance athlete brothers James and Tom Mayo, and James’ wife Blanca who is a medical doctor. The SOS hydration ‘sticks’ are individualized to preserve freshness and come in 10 per pack.
SOS comes in four flavours:
Berry (my fav)
There are endless options of electrolyte sports drinks out on the market, but none quite compare to SOS. What separates SOS from other products, is that it offers an ideal balance between glucose and electrolytes. This means you don’t have to consume unnecessary amounts of sugar to receive optimal hydration.
Made for both pro athletes and people with active lifestyles, SOS is described as being as effective as an IV drip. It helps to treat mild to moderate dehydration, and can be used before, during and after exercise. Away from the track, SOS has been particularly valuable to me when traveling long distances or when recovering after a big night out.
Don’t just take my word for it, get online and send for SOS.
2. Run Gum
Co-founded by two-time Olympian Nick Symmmonds and his former coach Sam Lapray, Run Gum is a an energy gum packed with caffeine, taurine, and b-vitamins. It comes with two pieces per pack, 12 packs per box.
Run Gum has three flavors:
Cinnamon (my fav)
It’s no secret that most runners are also coffee fans, and I am no exception. In addition to keeping them going on a daily basis, runners (and athletes in general) often use coffee strategically to optimize performance in training and competition. This is when coffee becomes a problem for me, because drinking it before a session or race will often result in burning in my chest and stomach pains.
What first attracted me to RunGum was the hope that it might help me solve this problem, and it was such a relief when I found that it did. My favourite thing about the product is that I don’t have to consume a lot of liquid to get the results and I also feel the energy boost come on a lot faster. It is also easy to carry around to training, races, and when traveling.
RunGum is now available to purchase in over 160 countries outside of the US. Visit Vitacost.com and order some now.
3. L’Occitane Immortelle BB Cream
Immortelle is known as the everlasting flower; its organic essentials oils are rich in active molecules, which helps to protect and preserve the skin. BB stands for “beauty balm” or other variations similar to this. Combine these to concepts in a cream and you have an amazing skin care product perfect for anyone who spends a lot of time outside.
Whether it is cold and windy conditions or blazing heat, my skin is always under stress. When training in winter or up at altitude, my face will become very dry and itchy. When training in the dead of summer, my skin is always exposed to getting burnt.
L’Occitane BB cream is my favourite beauty product when training/racing because it combines the needs of a moisturizer and sunscreen while also providing you with an overall glow. It offers many detoxifying properties, deep hydration, and SPF 30. The added bonus is that it smooths the skin and evens skin tone, so you look ‘fit glam‘ ready on race day without having to use a heavy foundation.
4. Sanitarium Up & Go
This one is for my aussie followers. Marketed primarily as a sustained energy breakfast shake, Up & Go is my go to post session. The 250ml “Energize” choc flavour is my favourite because it has a low GI, and is high in protein, calcium and fibre.
After completing a hard workout I will look to consume at least 15g of protein within 30min. Finding a recovery drink that satisfies this is actually not that easy, as the protein marketed drinks are usually too high in protein and hard to drink, and the tastier options often require you to consume at least 500ml. During the first 30mins post session, stomaching food, a lot of liquid, or something unappetizing is very difficult.
The great thing about Up & Go Energize is that the 250ml option provides you with 16.8g of protein per serving, which is pretty close to ideal for most distance runners. It also comes in a 500mL size, which I will split for the day when I have two sessions. Another plus is that it is very affordable. Most protein drinks cannot be bought in bulk, and can be up to $5.00 per serving. You can buy a 12-pack of Up & Go Energize for roughly $12 at Woolworths.
Photo: Brad Kaminski
5. ROLL Recovery R8
Founded by runner and cyclist Jeremy Nelson, The ROLL Recovery R8 is the easiest way to self massage after a hard sesssion. This recovery product is great to break up adhesions and reduce inflammation, and doesn’t require much effort at all.
I will often use my R8 when I get home from a hard session while Im watching TV. I love that I am able to sit comfortably on the couch and not have to put in much work to get a solid massage. With that said, I also like to take my R8 with me to training and use it prior to warm up, particularly if Ive been in the car for a while beforehand. I find it helps wake my muscles up before starting to run and gets the blood flowing.
The areas of my body that I feel get the most benefit from this tool are my IT bands and soleus. Its strong springs provide an adequate amount of force, while also being able to adjust to any body type.