When I officially began marathon training in July I wasn’t really sure what to expect. The only thing I knew is that I had a comfortable long run base of 10 miles and would need to increase my distance from there.
Since the start of marathon training I’ve had my share of bumps and bruises:
– I had metatarsal pain that took me out of training for a couple days
– For a few weeks my achilles would flare up really bad at the start of every run
– My right quad flared up and that took me out of training for a couple days
– Just last week I had a bad cold that took me out of training for six days
I suppose little aches here and there are just part of marathon training for most people. I feel lucky that so far I haven’t had any serious injuries.
Along with the bumps and bruises I’ve had some really great moments so far:
– Reaching new distance milestones (everything from 14 miles up)
– Running the half marathon distance almost a minute per mile faster than ever before (!!)
– Learning more about my body and how it reacts to endurance training (specifically 3+ hour runs)
I’m extremely interested in the way my body handles running for many hours and what it needs to keep going since I want to run ultras someday.
In the past I’ve tried gels and really disliked them.
I’ve pretty much stuck with HoneyStinger chomps (in Orange Blossom and Cherry Blossom).
A couple weeks ago Cardiostrong reached out to me about trying their Vanquish energy gels. The main reason I don’t like Gu is because they are soooooo sweet. Vanquish gels have less sugar than Gu so I thought I’d give it a try since they offered to send me samples for free. The gels come in Raspberry and Caramel Apple.
I took a tiny “sip” of the raspberry and decided it wasn’t for me since it’s really sweet even though it only has 5 grams of sugar. If you like raspberry jelly, I think you’ll love it!
I tried the Caramel Apple during my long run on Saturday and liked it a lot more than the raspberry. The caramel flavor was a bit stronger than the apple flavor but they blended well. My first reaction was that it tasted a bit like apple pie!
There’s no caffeine in the raspberry flavor and 50mg in the caramel apple flavor.
One of the main benefits of Vanquish gels is that they have Ursolic Acid in them. Research from the University of Iowa has shown that ursolic acid helps burn fat and build muscle. I think it’s important to keep in mind that this study was conducted on mice and that researchers “don’t know if ursolic acid will benefit people.” With that being said, it sounds promising!
The gels are just $1.99 ea. so definitely worth a try if you’re looking to try some new running fuel! I’m so serious, if you like apple-based desserts you’ll really like Caramel Apple!
First time marathoners, what has surprised you most about training for your first marathon? Any bumps and bruises on your end?
What is the FIRST thing you do after getting home from a long run?
(PS: GO DOLPHINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)