Nutrition pre, during and post-race or event is one of the hardest things to get right. There are so many variables involved that all your hard training and mileage could go down the drain if you don’t get the nutrition and refuelling part right. What should you take; when should you take it; how much should you eat or drink? How much is enough? Gel or solids? Water, isotonic or electrolytes?
Just thinking about it gives you more headache than going out and hitting the road in your running shoes.
Team 2ndskin and Hammer Nutrition
Some of the Hammer Nutrition product line-upTeam 2ndskin is extremely lucky to be supported nutrition and fuelling-wise by Hammer Malaysia for 2013. Not only does Hammer Malaysia provide products for use, Liz and Scott are also very eager to dispense advice and recommendation with regards to fuelling needs and race nutrition. They are very passionate about what they do and Hammer worldwide is well renowned for their research and development of nutritional based fuel and recovery food.
To be honest, before the start of this year, the only Hammer product I have tried was the Perpetuem Solids during Powerman’s cycling leg. I picked Perpetuem as they were easier to manage than gels on a bike and I must say they fuelled me well throughout the cycling leg of the race. I dropped half a tube as I was putting it back into my jersey rear pocket, but that’s another story altogether. :p
I have always associated Hammer with the cycling community as I always see Hammer Nutrition advertisements in foreign cycling mags but rarely in running magazines. Generally, I still think that holds true even in Malaysia as Hammer products are mostly found in cycle bike shops, save for one or two boutique running shops like Running Lab and Marathon Shop. Hammer is not a common name in local running events (most common name is Nestle Powerbar) but they are gradually putting their foot into the running community circle.
A very good step is their association with The Most Beautiful Thing (TMBT) trail run that takes place in Sept 2013 in the mountain ranges of the Kinabalu in Sabah. A highly anticipated ultra trail running event organized by the boys from Sabah Adventure Challenge, it is the perfect platform as nutrition, fuel and recovery becomes of utmost importance especially in a gruelling race such as the TMBT.
Hammer and TMBT, match made in trail heaven
Product Usage Experience
I will go on record here to say that Hammer has been one of my most valuable finds of this year. Why? In every single marathon and long distance run beyond the marathon prior, I have always been beset by cramps. I became resigned to the thought that I cramp easily, and let me tell you this; I have experienced cramps in my calves, quads, butt, chest and even my upper arms during races. Cramps were like a certainty for long runs, and it was a matter of when they would strike. The solution came in the form of little white capsules called Endurolytes. I would go as far to call them the 8th wonder of the world!
My first encounter with Endurolytes came at the Gunung Nuang Endurance Run in March this year. Going up and down the climbs were taxing and I was prepared with Endurolyte capsules in a tube but the cramps hit both my quads early, before I even expected it. As expected with cramps, both quads seized up just above the knee. I stopped to a standstill, barely able to move. I immediately popped 2 capsules of Endurolytes and started massaging and stretching my quads. The first thought that came to mind was “Damn, so early and I still have a long way to go. This is gonna be a bad day”
Within a space of no more than 5 mins, the cramps disappeared. They like, totally went off. I mean, I read about Endurolytes in the training guide book provided by Hammer, but this was beyond what I expected. The cramps happened at the 2nd loop, and by maintaining 2 Endurolyte capsules every hour, I kept the cramps at bay and they never struck again.
There are many factors that contribute to cramps. Two of the main ones are unconditioned muscles and improper electrolyte replenishment. I believe I fall under the latter category. During a long run/race, it is imperative to maintain proper electrolyte balance in your body for optimum performance. I put the theory to the test again during the 16 Hour Twilight Challenge organized by Running Guild Singapore down south across the causeway.
I started the usage of Endurolytes earlier in the race and maintained my dosage throughout the entire run and I managed to cover 60km without any trace of cramps threatening to hit. I was sold. One of the problems I used to face whilst running marathons, solved by little white capsules from the people at Hammer.
A must have for all serious athletes
It is obvious that Hammer Nutrition is serious about what they do and what they produce. Their first guide to fuel and nutrition was published in 2001 and they have not stopped supplying valuable information on pre-race, during and post-race nutrition and fuelling strategies and advice to athletes and professionals all over the world. I have to admit that I am more informed of what I need to do and how to refuel correctly and what are the factors I have to consider in a race to keep me going on.
All said and done, nothing beats trying and experiencing it out yourself. Every person is different and will not function the same or face the same issues. Tried and tested methodologies work best, and one needs to find the most optimum type of fuel and supplements to suit oneself. I for one know that I have found my solution to my cramping problems. :)