PRODUCTS I USE
I have several go-to products that I use for racing and heavy training that I want to promote. They really helped me and I want you to know how, and what they can do for you. I haven't received anything in exchange for doing this. (though I would love to in the future). I will continue to use these products even if the company in question makes fun of me. (I am talking about you HOKA).
1. Hoka One One Shoes
I run almost exclusively in Hokas. I have been for a little over a year. The first time I saw them was at the North Country 50 last August. My niece pointed them out to me and said "you should have shoes like that!" I bought a pair of Stinson Tarmac's (shown above on the left) for the Chicago Lakefront 50/50 which I was going to run the 50 mile option, all on pavement. I was shocked at how soft they were. I should caution than for the first few weeks while I was breaking them in I was sore in the hips in a way that I had not been previously sore before. Nonetheless, my legs, knees and hips felt great. I ran a 8:22 at that race.
I had originally decided that I would keep a pair of Hokas "in my toolbox" for long races. That was a lie. Once I ran in Hokas I couldn't go back. With very rare exception I always run in Hokas.
I use the Stinson Tarmac for road running and very easy trails. They are my favorite shoe and I wear them whenever possible. I can get around 500 miles out of them, after which I still use them for short dog jogs until they scream out for retirement.
For medium trails, or for easy trails in snow or mud I wear the Stinson Trail (pictured above right). I wore these exclusively for the Superior Trail 100. I can get around 700 miles out of these shoes.
I also have a pair of Bondi B's which I wear for shorter road races and a pair of Mufate's which I wear on gnarly trails and in deeper snow. I enjoy both, but the two pictured above are the ones I must have.
I have not suffered a major injury since I started wearing Hokas. I have run about 3,000 miles in them and so far I can report that I have not noticed one bad thing about them. If you ever want to be my best friend for life buy me a pair of Hokas:)
I have ugly feet. (See previous blog entries). I am prone to black toenails, calluses and other conditions. It is a constant struggle to try to keep my feet in a good running condition. The best solution I have found to date is the use of Injinji toe socks. I know that they feel weird. They are hard to get used to. The are also hard to put on and take off....especially after running for several hours. Nonetheless, I swear by them and they are worth every penny.
I try to eat as low carb as possible. I also avoid refined sugar when I am following my eating plan. Nonetheless, when I run more than 50 miles I use Vitargo. When added to water it makes a very thick drink that is a little unpleasant to get down the first time. It is also a little tricky to mix. This video helps with that:
when I drink a Vitargo it feels like I have been awoken from a death march (which is usually the case). I have a sustained boost of energy, but most importantly, it feels like I have new legs...or at least revived muscles in my old ones. I drink a Vitargo shake every ten or so miles after 50 miles. I have never thrown it up and it has always helped.
I became very tired of Gells and Gu's while I was still running marathon distances. The sugar and the sweetness didn't really agree with me. To this day I avoid them unless I have no choice or I am in a strange circumstance. When I am following my standard eating plan I avoid refined carbohydrates and sugars. As such, I spent some time looking for a food that I could use like a Gell or Gu that was all natural and tasted good. When I discovered these 1.15 oz. packets of almond butter I was in heaven. They come in several flavors if you have a sweet tooth (chocolate, honey, maple and vanilla). They also make a peanut butter and hazelnut butter. This is good clean fuel that makes me run better and feel better than sticking sugar in my system. As an added bonus Dovi LOVES them too....so if we get lost I have nutrition for him as well. I highly recommend trying them, even if you are not on a carbohydrate restrictive eating plan.
I use Arc'Teryx base layers, jackets, gloves and hats. Their products are a little more expensive, but every single thing I have bought from them is awesome! I especially like their cold weather gear. My Arc'Teryx jackets have saved my life on the cold winter trails.