Strength & Speed


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S&S Articles

Run Long with Hammer Nutrition for Enduro World Championships

Posted by Strength & Speed on April 23, 2019 at 12:30 AM

If you are planning on racing the Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) Enduro World Championships, you are going to need to fuel consistently. Spending 24 hours on the course moving forward requires a constant stream of calories whether you are running the whole time going for the win or simply happy with crossing the finish line after a full day of racing. Luckily for you, Hammer Nutrition makes some of the best and most unique fueling products on the planet that is specifically designed for endurance racing. If you are headed to Enduro in Australia this June, here is what I recommend packing:


Pre-Race:

REM Caps: When racing for 24 hours, you want to show up well rested. REM Caps are a natural sleep aid that promote deep sleep. They are especially useful for rapidly adjusting to a new time zone and/or ensuring deep sleep despite pre-race nerves.

(They have several other great products you may want to consider if you are trying to hit a new personal best or stand on the podium such as their Race PR Kit or their Liquid Endurance.)


Intra-Race:

There are four products I rely on for all my endurance racing that are staples of Hammer Nutrition’s lineup. As a ~160 lbs. male athlete who has only finished outside the top 15 once out of 22 different Ultra-OCRs, here is what I use:

1. Gels: A go to fuel for endurance racing that you can easily carry on your kit. Each gel is about 90 calories of easily digestible fuel. They come in options for non-caffeinated (10 flavor options), caffeinated (Tropical only) or double caffeinated (Espresso only). With complex maltodextrin carbohydrates and amino acids, they are perfect fuel with a nice variety for your race.

Frequency: 2 gels mid-lap near an aid station with water to wash down the gels. (I personally like Vanilla and Nocciola (aka Nutella) flavor.)


2. Perpetuem: What I personally believe is the best endurance fuel available. The powder is a carbohydrate, fat and protein blend. Complex maltodextrin and fats provide a mix of fuels to ensure a slow steady burn of energy. The protein will help prevent your body from using muscle tissue for fuel. Perpetuem provides fuel for every available energy pathway to help you perform at your maximum ability. During endurance races I will often go 12-24 hours on nothing but gels and Perpetuem.

Frequency: One bottle with two scoops of Perpetuem drinking a good portion of the bottle at the conclusion of each lap starting after lap two.


3. Endurolytes Extreme: This is a safety net to ensure you aren’t getting into an electrolyte deficit sweating too much or washing out your electrolytes with over consuming water.

Frequency: One pill at the conclusion of each lap starting after lap two.


4. Anti-Fatigue Caps: These are pills taken mid-race to help counterattack the effects of ammonia build up in your muscles. The active ingredients are designed to boost endurance, increase nitric oxide production and reduce fatigue.

Frequency: Two pills at the conclusion of each lap starting at lap two.


Frequency and quantity may vary by bodyweight and pacing. In general though most people can’t absorb more than 200-300 calories an hour, which is much less than you are burning. Hammer Nutrition recommends going with the minimal amount of fueling at 120-180 calories an hour. I personally like to stay near the upper range (180-300 cal/hour) to avoid possibly crashing or in case I miss a fueling window.


Post-Race:

If you still have a full racing season ahead of your or just want to maximize the fitness gains you just made on the course, drinking their Recoverite or Vegan Recoverite (their post-race recovery blend loaded with the amino acid with known beneficial recovery properties L-Glutamine). You are also going to want some REM Caps post-race. Your sleep cycle will be thrown out of balance and your body will hurt sometimes making it harder to get the deep sleep you need.


If you can’t decide on flavors, Chocolate is usually a safe bet for any powder. However, you can go with a sampler pack to truly decide which product and flavor you enjoy the most. The ultra-running sampler pack and some REM Caps are a good place to start your order if you are still undecided.

With every athlete being different, be sure to test out any of these fueling plans prior to race day to ensure they work for your individualized needs.

With the race occurring in Australia there is usually some reservation about traveling with powders, gels and pills. As a general rule I put all of that in my checked baggage, although I have done carry on without issues. Airport security could make you throw out your gels, since they are close to a liquid if you are exceeding the 3-1-1 rule (3 oz. of liquid or less that fit in a single one quart bag). Despite some common misconceptions you don’t need to transport them in the original container nor does it have to be sealed, nor do you need to label them. However, when possible I do recommend labeling them for your own convenience.

Train hard, train consistently and be sure to practice your fueling prior to race day. You don’t want to show up with a new fueling strategy that causes stomach problems. Using Hammer Nutrition also ensures success here. Rather than trying to shop for local food which, you may have never trained with, using Hammer Nutrition fuel provides a predictable outcome for your stomach on race day.

Use ref # 240887 for 15% off your first order from Hammer Nutrition (www.HammerNutrition.com)


Looking for more fueling, nutrition on training tips? Pick up Mud Run Guide’s Ultra-OCR Bible. The only book focused on endurance OCR.  Now available both digitrally from Kindle and in hard copy.

Did you lose? Blame it on the booze. Race loss? Blame in on the sauce. Patron won't put you in the zone

Posted by Strength & Speed on January 7, 2019 at 6:05 AM

OCR has maintained the reputation of the party boy/girl lifestyle since the inception of the sport. And let’s face it, after a hard fought race who doesn’t want to celebrate with a few brews and good company in the festival area? Although the occasional post-race splurge is unlikely to dramatically affect performance, drinking in the days leading up to the race may be a concern. Research provided by the US Olympic Committee (USOC) indicates that binge drinking can decrease athletic performance by up to approximately 11.4% for up to 72 hours. This is particularly important for championship race series (example: OCR World Championships) that have three days of events or the ultra-endurance races (WTM, Toughest Mudder, Bonefrog Endurance, etc.) that last several hours. Alcohol consumption can affect performance through many mechanisms which include:


● Diminished motor skills, balance, coordination, and reaction time

● Poor circulation to muscle tissue and significant reduced strength/power output

● Increased risk of injury in athletes who drink vs those who do not

● Impaired use of carbohydrate and fat for exercise

● Increased rate of perceived exertion during exercise

● Imbalances of testosterone and estrogen which may contribute to a less than ideal body composition

● Disruption in sleep cycles which can inhibit physical and cognitive recovery from exercise

● Fluid losses and imbalanced electrolytes through diuretic effects

● Increased energy intake from nutritionally sparse sources that include the alcoholic beverages themselves and associated poor dietary choices while inebriated


How much is too much? Binge drinking is categorized as more than two alcoholic beverages per two hours. But how much is considered “one” drink? Generally, one drink is 12 ounces of a beer/cider/cooler with 5% alcohol content, 5 ounces of wine with 12% alcohol content, or 1.5 ounces of liquor with 40% alcohol content. Regardless athletes are encouraged to restrict their daily alcohol consumption to <2 drinks per day and it would be optimal to omit regular alcohol use.


Diagram and content courtesy of the USOC Sport Nutrition Team


With all of this being said, if you are an individual who races in open heats or non-competitively with no goals other than to finish a race -- a couple of drinks with your buddies the night before isn’t going to make a large impact….. BUT if you are A.) An athlete who takes performance seriously or B.) Racing a more demanding event (multiple day series or ultra-endurance race) it is highly advisable to avoid alcohol consumption at least 48 hours prior to competition.


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Luc is a registered dietitian with his M.S. in Nutrition and certifications in personal training and wellness coaching. Luc hones his professional skills through counseling athletes/fitness enthusiasts and through his career as a clinical dietitian at East Carolina University. As a member of the Strength & Speed Development Team, his main hobby is competitive obstacle course racing with notable appearances at Obstacle Racing World Championships (2014-16) and a 50 mile completion at Worlds Toughest Mudder 2013. Luc can be followed through his facebook (www.facebook.com/lrlabonte) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/lrlabonte_ms_rd_ld/) accounts.

 

High Volume Training for Short Success

Posted by Strength & Speed on February 17, 2018 at 9:35 AM

When my friends, peers and acquaintances see that I am sponsored by Hammer Nutrition I frequently get a flood of questions. Occasionally, they see my water bottle, shirt or sticker that lists Hammer as “Endurance Fuels” and they say something like “I only run 5ks though, these products cannot possibly help me.”

This line of thinking is both faulty and inaccurate. As I trained for my first attempt at qualifying for the Boston Marathon, I noticed something strange happening. Despite almost no speed training, I was getting faster by the week. In addition to getting a personal record (PR) my marathon by around 15 minutes, I also got a PR in my 5k and 10k within a month of my Boston Qualifying Race. This high volume approach to short distance success is nothing new, but runners who are trying to improve often miss this concept.




When explaining this to the average runner, I ask them “How far do you think a professional 5k or 10k runner runs in a week? Do you think it is 20 miles like most recreational 5k runners?” Looking at an elite 5k or 10k runner, their training plans will have volume a lot closer to an advanced marathon training plans available in running magazines or books. The reason is because high volume works at building aerobic strength and running economy. Both of these enable for short fast races. Adding in high volumes with some VO2max and lactate threshold work, has allowed me to PR for 5k almost every year.

Although I usually prepare for marathons in this way, I rarely use this approach for shorter races. This year, I decided to focus on Obstacle Course Racing (OCR). Most of the OCR races are short, around 5 miles, minus a couple of really long ones that occur later in the year that are ultra-distance in length.




After four months of high volume training that was fueled by supplements from Hammer Nutrition, I have started getting great results in OCR. Over the course of 2015I walked away with 10 podium finishes. My best results came in late July when I had four podium finishes in three weeks including a 2nd place overall at 24 hours of Shale Hell, an ultra-distance OCR in Vermont. This resulted in me being on the top 20 leaderboard in the world for OCR, reaching as high as the 9th spot. I show these results to athletes that race short distances to convey the message that just because you do not do long races, does not mean you should not do some long distance training to build your aerobic base. With high volume training, nutrition becomes very important and that is where Hammer comes into the equation.

Using Hammer Nutrition products I have found that they are the perfect counterpart to this type of training. Morning runs are fueled by a bottle of Heed to ensure I have energy throughout the entire workout and to prevent a loss of electrolytes. Post-run I refuel with Recoverite to ensure my muscles are full of glycogen for my evening training session run and protein to help rebuild. In the afternoon, I typically conduct strength training and follow that session up with some more Recoverite mixed with a scoop of Whey. Prior to bed, I take REM Caps and a scoop of Whey to maximize my deep sleep and boost growth hormone. The following day the cycle repeats itself, but I allow for 1-2 rest days per week.

For those that are reading this and think endurance supplements are not valuable to the short course racer, you are wrong. The products created by Hammer Nutrition are useful for any athlete that is serious in achieving results. Whether you run 5ks, lift weights, run ultras or are an OCR athlete, Hammer provides one of the key variables in the equation for success.  

For 15% off your first order from Hammer Nutrition use this link and enter Ref #240887 at checkout.

 

Are cramps seizing your performance?

Posted by Strength & Speed on December 16, 2017 at 5:05 PM

Exercise induced muscle cramps are often multifactorial and one intervention may not always immediately solve the problem. Unfortunately, there is no strong research behind the definitive cause and most of the recommendations come from expert opinion and/or athlete anecdotes. The theories regarding cramping are related to poor hydration/electrolyte imbalances and nervous impulse “misfire” that prevents a muscle from relaxing. In the past athletes would use pickle juice or mustard to alleviate cramps and noticed improvements almost immediately. This was credited to the sodium content but newer research indicates that this would not be an adequate amount of time for sodium absorption. Exogenous electrolyte consumption can take upwards of one hour for absorption if provided under optimal conditions. New discoveries suggest that certain flavors (like those present in pickles and mustard) trigger a neurological impulse that negates the misfire which allows for the muscle to relax. When it comes to preventing and treating cramps, the best approach is to incorporate all interventions.


General recommendations:

1.) Warm up effectively

2.) Pace yourself and do not push beyond thresholds experimented with during training for too long

3.) Stretch thoroughly and remain limber days prior to a race

4.) If you do cramp, stretch immediately and pursue myofascial release techniques


Nutritional recommendations:

1.) Maintain hydration for days leading up to the event

a. Do not wait until the night before the race to achieve optimal hydration

b. If dehydrated 2-3 days prior to an event, do not chug down water in high volumes. Increase water consumption by 8-16 ounces three times per day (with or without meals). Tapering will also serve to prevent normal fluid losses from reduced volume of training.

c. Urine should be relatively clear with a very slight yellow coloration. Once this has been achieved prior to the race, hydrate to match losses and maintain hydration status.


2.) Hydrate before, during, and after racing

a. Before: 16 ounces 2 hours before and then 8 ounces <30 minutes before

b. During: Enough fluid to prevent >2% weight loss during exercise

c. After: 16-24 ounces for every pound lost during exercise

d. Volumes may be subject to change depending on race length, temperature/humidity, and altitude


3.) Marginally increase electrolyte consumption days leading into the race and have an electrolyte rich meal the morning before a race

a. Example: oatmeal with peanut butter, banana, and a pinch of salt

b. If this is not possible, consume a sports beverage one hour prior to start of competition

i. Gatorade (or other equivalent product), Hammer Endurolytes, or Nuun electrolyte tablet


4.) Consider carrying a single serve packet of mustard or dill relish on the course for emergency cramping. These condiment packs can be found at most restaurants and grocery stores.


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Luc is a registered dietitian with his M.S. in Nutrition and certifications in personal training and wellness coaching. Luc hones his professional skills through counseling athletes/fitness enthusiasts and through his career as a clinical dietitian at East Carolina University. As a member of the Strength & Speed Development Team, his main hobby is competitive obstacle course racing with notable appearances at Obstacle Racing World Championships (2014-16) and a 50 mile completion at World’s Toughest Mudder 2013. Luc can be followed through his Facebook (www.facebook.com/lrlabonte) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/lrlabonte_ms_rd_ld/) accounts.

Top Comic Book Stars that are PED users

Posted by Strength & Speed on November 24, 2017 at 9:45 AM

1. Captain America

      As if there was ever a doubt…Captain America, the superhero created using drugs. Captain America’s “super serum” is real, but modern day people call it steroids and human growth hormone. They literally inject him with this stuff and he goes from skinny to jacked. While actual performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) require more work, the concept is still the same. Even my favorite group of nerds over at Dorkly agree with me. Check out this video:

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9VylAHKVkg

2. Bane

     Batman’s juiced up, back breaking enemy is definitely on drugs. Instead of “super serum” he calls it “Venom”. I’m assuming that it is a mix of steroids, HGH plus probably a couple of other things. Maybe that singlet is hiding the gynocomastia around his nipples. I would say Bane is a pretty open and shut case too.


 

 

3. The Incredible Hulk

     While not quite as bad as the top two injecting themselves to achieve their massive physiques, I am pretty sure gamma radiation would fall be banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) if it gave you super strength instead of just making you sick and giving you cancer. At 7 ft. tall and 1040 lbs. I do not think there is much grey area there (unless you are Grey Hulk….nerd pun!)

1000+ pounds with chest striations and veins?


 

4. Batman

     Alright Bruce Wayne is not on the definite list, but I’m throwing him up there as very suspect. I mean the guy runs a billion dollar company, fights crime almost every night and still has time to train to be in top shape? Something has to give. He probably says they are “for recovery” like some of the baseball players were citing. Definitely suspect….luckily there are not drug tests to enter the Justice League.


 

      Do I really care my super heroes are doped up? No not really, but I think it is good to look at things from more than one angle instead of just accepting things at face value. What do you think? Did I miss any known super hero or super villain egregious PED users? Comment below or on the Facebook post that led you here.

 

The Overlooked Nutrient at the End of the Alphabet

Posted by Strength & Speed on July 31, 2017 at 3:05 PM

Between running mileage, skill work, and dedicated strength training, diehard obstacle course racing (OCR) athletes have a lot on their plate (both training and dietary wise) for peak performance. Along with this, the sport is characterized by obtaining ideal body composition to improve strength-to-weight ratio. Inadequate intake of certain micronutrients secondary to caloric restriction for weight loss in combination with fluid/micronutrient losses (I’m talking about sweat… and a WHOLE lot it!) can become disastrous. I can already tell what you are thinking… “Oh, not another article on iron, sodium, potassium, B-vitamins, blah-blah-blah.” Although all of these nutrients are important, today the focus is on an often overlooked nutrient that can largely impact your health and exercise performance. Cue zinc.


 


Zinc deficiency, a condition that is not well known or addressed by the OCR community, is quite common in endurance athletes. Dietary practices adopted by endurance athletes may lead to suboptimal zinc intake in up to 90% of athletes. Although zinc deficiency is associated with poor immune function, metabolic function, macronutrient metabolism, and wound healing, there are several other sports specific implications. These include decreased peak work capacity, decreased oxygen uptake and carbon dioxide output, and decreased muscular strength and endurance. In fact, there is research that has indicated that suboptimal zinc status is associated with decreased training mileage for distance runners. In some circumstances a suboptimal zinc intake will be mistaken for an iron deficiency due to the temporary mild symptoms similar to zinc deficiency. After all, inadequacy of both minerals will result in decreased endurance performance for runners. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it may not hurt to visit your physician to conduct lab work and then fortify your diet with this mighty mineral. 


The recommended intake for most athletes lies between 11-15mg/day (dependent on sport, weight, gender). Optimal absorption can be obtained through avoiding coffee with zinc-rich meals. Zinc absorption may be increased when paired with green tea. Foods rich in zinc include but are not limited to: various beans, peas, eggs, legumes, meats, fish, poultry, nuts, shellfish, wheat germ, and whole grains. Zinc found in animal-based foods are generally more bioavailable and easier to absorb. It is not uncommon for vegetarians, females, or athletes undergoing caloric restriction to require a dietary supplement to meet their needs. If relying on a supplement, avoid consuming multiple mineral supplements in one meal (especially iron); these minerals will compete for absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. Often times a well-rounded diet and generic multivitamin supplement (when taken with a meal) will meet the needs of even the most competitive athletes. Standalone zinc supplements are generally not required and may result in toxicity (>40mg/day). Always make sure to check with your physician before starting any new supplement practices.


-Luc LaBonte, MS, RD, LD


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Luc is a registered dietitian with his M.S. in Nutrition and certifications in personal training and wellness coaching. Luc hones his professional skills through counseling athletes/fitness enthusiasts and through his career as a clinical dietitian at East Carolina University. As a member of the Strength & Speed Development Team, his main hobby is competitive obstacle course racing with notable appearances at Obstacle Racing World Championships (2014-16) and a 50 mile completion at Worlds Toughest Mudder 2013. Luc can be followed through his facebook (www.facebook.com/lrlabonte) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/lrlabonte_ms_rd_ld/) accounts.

Why Are There So Many PED Posts?

Posted by Strength & Speed on June 5, 2017 at 10:15 PM



As a lifetime drug free athlete I post about Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) a lot, probably more than I should. However, I try to provide Strength & Speed with new, interesting and fresh content. Many of my friends no longer subscribe to magazines like FLEX, Muscle & Fitness or do not pick up new ones like Bodybuilding.com’s Train because the content is just rehashed year after year. How long can you tell people to lift weights, follow rep schemes and eat high protein healthy food. There is only so much you can write about the topic without just reusing information.

None of the above magazines ever talk about PEDs. The only fitness magazine I have found that takes about PEDs is Muscular Development (MD). MD is generally “pro-steroid” but still gives out advice like consider risks and understand side effects prior to use. While steroid use seems very obvious to me when I look at bodybuilders or fitness models due to years of reading magazines, reading books and watching documentaries, it is not obvious to the average consumer. When I first started reading these magazines, I thought no one used steroids because drugs are illegal and bad, so why would anyone use them? However, after spending some time in the fitness industry you realize that major stars like Stallone, Schwarzenegger, The Rock, Mark Wahlberg and Van Dam have all used them at one point (they all admitted it or their usage signs were very obvious).

As a drug free bodybuilder (although I do not plan on competing for another couple of years), I struggle to find information that has not already been beaten to death. The social taboo of PED use leaves that topic relatively unexplored in many fitness magazines. While not an advocate of PEDs, I do think that not talking about them at all is worse for sports. To me, not discussing PEDs, is just ignoring the elephant in the room and sets false expectations for people.




Just as I have seen many people complain about the beauty magazines photo shopping their models and how people should be aware of this, I think the same should be true about bodybuilding magazines. Readers should know that being 240 lbs. at 5% is possible but only through the use of anabolic substances or even being a lighter weight than that and staying shredded all year. Anyway, I hope you enjoy some of these posts and learn something in the process and I try to space out the PED articles with some other relevant strength content that is not just rehashed Muscle & Fitness articles.


Arnold photo found via a Google Search

Big Ramy photo from FlexOnline

 

Why Do New Year???s Resolutions Fail?

Posted by Strength & Speed on January 3, 2017 at 9:55 AM

     While everyone talks about New Year’s resolutions in January, it is rare to meet someone still referencing them in June. I also do not recall ever meeting someone in December who is like “I did it, I accomplished my New Year’s Resolution.” Although I have not done any deep analysis, based off empirical data, I think most New Year’s resolutions fail (and so do most media websites who cite questionable data), and here is why I think that is….



     I think the main problem with New Year’s resolutions is people try to make a change based off a calendar day. Why make the resolution on 1 January. Why not make it tomorrow or on 7 April? 1 January is really just an arbitrary date that is no different from any other day of the year. If something is important enough for you to make a change, then change. Waiting for a specific date will not suddenly magically give you more discipline or more will power.

     Furthermore, most New Year’s resolutions involve drastic changes, which are often difficult to maintain and are usually unrealistic. So instead of saying “I am only going to drink alcohol once every two weeks” people say “I am done drinking alcohol period.” Try instead making a small change and also be sure it is specific. Instead of just saying I am going to eat healthy use a specific mark so you can tell if you achieved your goal or failed. For example, I am only going to order French fries with my meal once per week. This is specific and can be tracked. This is realistic if you are eating fries two or three times a week. If you are currently eating them seven times a week, you may want to set a smaller goal or one that gets more difficult with time. For example, January only eat fries six times a week, February & March five times a week and progressively lower.



     This is easier said than done and it takes some discipline. How do people have the discipline to change, it is a simple matter of priorities. Discipline is just choosing between what you want now and what you want most. So if losing that weight by the end of the month is more important than eating that extra piece of cake, then you should be able to rationally weigh your options to make a decision.

     One of my friends quit smoking a couple of years ago not by making a New Years resolution but because he got up one day and said “That’s it I’m done.” He threw away his cigarettes and changed immediately. If you are waiting for a day on the calendar to make a change, then you probably do not want it bad enough to actually change. So, instead of making a New Year’s resolution make a lifestyle change and start now, not tomorrow.

 

OCRWC Nutrition

Posted by Strength & Speed on October 22, 2016 at 5:30 PM



Just “Spartan the F**k Up, you don’t need water or fuel.” In the weeks leading up to Obstacle Course Racing World Championship (OCRWC), this is one of the many responses I saw on threads when people asked about fuel for the 15k championship event. I’m not sure how many people followed this advice, but I know there was at least a couple. I also saw some athletes cramp up within sight of the finish and other reported a dramatic loss in energy halfway through the race.

Since OCRWC is fresh in everyone’s mind, let’s talk about OCRWC Nutrition, specifically for their 15k course. The winner, Jonathan Albon, finished in around 1.5 hrs…but he’s operating on a different level. The cutoff time was 5 hrs from your start time. Let’s assume the average time was close to halfway between those two extremes, around 3 hours 15 min. Which closely aligns to the median Age Group finishing time (around 3 hr 52 min). So should you go with no fuel for the 15km OCRWC?

Hell no! That is a long time without fuel. Unlike a regular running race, not only are you running but you are also climbing mountains, running at full speed and using your arms to traverse obstacles. Your energy expenditure for OCR is definitely going to be high, so what is a good fueling strategy?

 

Breakfast: First off, be sure you eat something the morning of the race. This is especially important if you are racing in one of the later waves, something that many of the OCRWC athletes are not used to. You do not want to start the race without eating something in the last 8+ hours (time between dinner through sleep and the start time). I eat normal or maybe a slightly lighter version of your breakfast is a good idea. For me, I personally go with something I can travel with like oatmeal or Greek Yogurt. Basically a mix of protein and carbs.

Pre-race: Just to make sure I have topped off my fuel tank (depending on when I woke up and when my start time is) I might have something light while I wait like a banana. Finally, with 15 minutes to go before start time I have Hammer Nutrition’s Endurolyte pills, Anti-Fatigue Caps and a Gel. This ensures my electrolytes and fuel are topped off. Sometimes instead I will sip on Heed (an electrolyte/carb drink) instead. Both of these techniques ensure I don’t start the race hungry or thirsty.

During Race: Now that the race has started, I will start consuming fuel around 40 minutes into the event. From that point forward I will keep eating fuel about every 20-30 min or at every water station. For OCR, I personally like to use the water stations for fuel points. It is a visual reminder to eat and ensures you have something to wash down the gel. Often when you start getting into a race, you will neglect nutrition. Before you realize it you have been racing for almost 2 hours with no fuel. This is a recipe for disaster. While you will still be able to finish the race without eating anything, if you are looking to maximize performance, you want to keep pouring fuel onto the fire. When your body realizes or thinks it is continuing to get fuel, it will keep that energy output high.



Post-Race: For many OCRWC is a multi-day event that involves near max efforts for multiple days in a row. This is not the ideal way to race, but is worth it to complete on OCRs best stage. If you are interested in my multi-day preparation and racing strategies, check out the article I wrote for Mud Run Guide last year:

 

http://www.mudrunguide.com/2015/08/doubling-down-preparing-performing-races/

 

If you are looking to pick up some of the fuel I talk about in this article, use ref # 240887 at HammerNutrition.com or use this link for 15% off your first order from Hammer Nutrition: http://www.hammernutrition.com/affiliates/?customerid=240887 ;



 

 

Live A Little

Posted by Strength & Speed on August 1, 2016 at 8:45 AM

     “Live a little”, I despise the phrase. It is uttered by people with no ability to plan to put in hard work for a long term goal. It is thrown at me on a monthly basis, sometimes even more. “Here have some .” It varies each time I am offered an unhealthy drink/food, sometimes being as simple as a slice of pizza, other times some dessert, all the way to alcohol or cigars. Sometimes it is an invitation to stay out an extra couple of hours at a social event. After a polite decline to their offer, their inevitable response is “Come on live a little.”

     But my response is the same, “I agree…you live a little.” Instead of wasting your time getting drunk every night and slamming down XL pies from Dominos, you live a little. Set a goal that takes more than 10 minutes to achieve and cannot just be purchased. Work hard for something that requires months or years of successive effort. After a half decade of drinking, partying and eating crappy foods what will they have to show for all their living? An extra 10 lbs? Health problems? A bunch of memories that are blurred by the haze of alcohol? Store purchased items that hold little or no intrinsic value?

     What they fail to understand is that I am living a little, actually that is not right, I am living a lot. The only difference is the ability to delay gratification. By suffering during training I get my prize when I cross that finish line on race day. Sometimes the finish line comes in the form of a high placing but other times it is just performing at a level above what I thought was physically capable. Pleasurable experiences that require no work and can be repeated easily, will quickly lose their level of excitement. Compare that to something that you work hard for that takes months and is very difficult. The contrast and level of enjoyment with the end results can be extreme.

    My living also comes in the form of my projects including Strength & Speed, my articles for Mud Run Guide and my book (soon to be books) on OCR. My living comes in the form of spending time with my family and going on family trips. My living comes in the form of being successful at my job. My living comes in the form of being able to balance all of those things and still be an athlete. So I say again, “You live a little.”

    I understand why people do all those things (drink, smoke, party, eat unhealthy), they are just not for me at this point in my life. Just as I understand why they may not want to train for four months to set a new marathon PR or finish an ultra-Obstacle Course Race. However, every time I see them drinking I do not tell them to live a little and give them a speech on how they are wasting their life not enjoying things. Let’s try to show some respect in the other direction.