We should all watch the Panorama special on sports science that was on last week. It was an eye opener. I shall definitely be narrowing my eyes at someone offering me Lucozade at a sponsored water stop next time. Albeit before accepting it.
I watched it and although I enjoyed it I found the programme a bit sound bitey and lacking in much scientific meat- the very issue that they were complaining about with the manufacturers! The difference here is that they said they'd produced a full report so that might be worth a read. The take-home message I took from the programme was to have a healthy balanced lifestyle and to listen to your body....all a bit common sense really! Personally for me that does mean using sports drinks etc. on long runs as I can't eat breakfast beforehand as it makes me feel very sick but I have always wanted to take the jam sandwich/porridge route. However, given the high calorie burn of my long runs I'm not hugely concerned by the 150 calories per bottle in my lucozade sport!
I am in the same boat re breakfast. Porridge with honey and jam on toast for breakfast would be ideal but I just can't do it. Breakfast makes me gag (unless on holiday and enjoying huevos rancheros on a sunny balcony). And it just comes down to a healthy diet, plenty of exercise, listening to your body, and plenty of water. Simples.
I used to be the same with breakfast. It used to be that I couldn't eat anything solid within 90 mins of waking up or I would feel very sick but now I am the complete opposite. I feel sick WITHOUT my porridge with honey and banana first thing in the morning! Strange.
Finally a program that advocates what I have been telling my fellow runners for years, sports drinks are a complete waste of money and far too sugar rich.
For me I run in the mornings before breakfast, I ensure I have supper which includes slow release carbs. I can run on this for hours on just water and jam sandwhiches... The thing with this method is all about training your body to accept it. Yes you will go through rough times as your body adapts but stick with it the benifits are huge.
If you simply cant run with solids then dont revert to expensive sports drinks make your own up. You only need some orange squash and some salt to make a perfectly adequate electroylyte replacement drink. You can find recipes to get the right mix if you google it...
Another matter on the programme was footwear, saying that just make sure you have a trainer thats comfortable, and not to be taken in by needing support etc. This i found was hardest to digest as i've had problems with poor quality trainers so do believe in investing in a good pair.
A good pair doesn't necessarily mean the pair the scheisters at Runners Need sell you, or the pair advocated by some sports star though. Sometimes it is just the pair that is the most comfortable to run in. I went through several pairs and now just run in Nike Lunarglides, not for any other reason, than they don't make my feet hurt.
I think calling Runners Need "scheisters' is going a bit far. They have always provided me with excellent, attentive service that goes beyond anything I've ever experienced in any other shop - including insisting that I try out possible new trainers by running up and own outside the shop. It's only in recent years that the value of cushioned running shoes has been brought into question and most of us are still wearing them. I'm pretty sure that Runners Need is a business that was built on a passion for running and the desire to provide the best products to customers - recent advances in sports science couldn't really have been anticipated 20 years ago, when the advice of virtually any running book you could name was to visit your local specialist running shop.
Ha. You are right. I guess my experience was that of... I need a water bottle... Why certainly sir, we have this really expensive Nike one. Hmm. Ok. I need sweat bands. We do not carry sweat bands, sir. I need a simple pedometer. We only have these crazy expensive Nike ones, and Garmin ones. Hmm.
Then comes the clothing and shoes. All top of ranges, and prices. And the shoes, there was no way I was going to come out of there without buying a top whack pair. It does seem like you are going around the houses right up to the point they say... here they are, the crazy expensive Nikes.
I know what you're saying Darren - for such a simple sport, running does seem to 'require' an awful lot of expensive gear! But I think part of the issue is a psychological one - like all people with a serious hobby, runners seem drawn to spending their money on gear. It almost seems part of a process of affirming commitment and looking the part and obviously that gets exploited by the sports gear companies. If you think running's expensive, you wanna try cycling, where you can easily spend £3000 or more on a bike just because it' has a nice Italian name and weighs a few pounds less than one that costs £750. Obviously most of these bikes are ridden by far from lightweight riders, for whom a couple of pounds in weight is neither here nor there.
I like to think of myself as a fairly unmaterialistic, spiritual sort of person - but must admit that even I have sometimes been drawn into spending my money on unnecessarily Garmin watches and other such nonsense. At the end of the day we are all brainwashed by the media and advertisers into equating the acquisition of stuff with the lifestyles we aspire to lead. Runners Need are a small part of that process, but so is Runners World and the London Marathon. Even MacDonalds were proud sponsors of the European Cup!!! That's the nature of sport in a capitalist society!
GorillaMan you hit the nail on the head, we all some times forget what drew us to running in the first place. I guess for most of us running gives us the freedom to exercise in a way that is cheap, versatile (ie can be individual or group orientated) and above really enjoyable.
A lot of people will read this and say it aint cheap, but I beg to differ most of the items that are mentioned above are not a required in order for you to run. They dont make you run faster, they dont make you run furthur, only you can do this.
Shoes can be an expensive issue, but the marketing surrounding them state you must change them every 200-350miles. Most of my shoes last at least 750miles, one pair have done over 1000miles and are just showing signs of wear they cost £50 so good value I reckon....
Upsetting the ph balance of your body and therefore the natural balance of bacteria in you stomach is what this comes down to. Iv been reading up on this for ages and us homosapians just make our lives too complicated in whatever we do. A slightly more alkaline system is healthier and for example stops the spread of h pylori to dangerous levels.
Lucozade and these other drinks are targeted at people who dont have the time or mindfullness to read up on what your body needs and then do it. In emergencies, yes, if your marathon running , ultra competing there is a place for them possibly.
The amount of sugars, vinegars and acid or yeast forming substances we ingest in the richer countries is leading to the high levels of cancers, diabetes, ulcers.
Try keeping a notebook of what you eat in a week, then sit down and read up on all the hidden sugars in factory produced bread, healthy flapjacks and so on. Its amazing.
I agree with Bret, running is as simple as you make it. I never spend more than£45 on shoes and of course being a woman other essentials. But really its all about being free for some of us. Not, look at all the extra pills, potions, sugar, whey powders, steroids, I have to take. Again some people are compelled to over complicate things due to their emotional needs rather than what their biological body actually needs.
When I was out in the winter running in -2 it was amazing. Freedom from miserable unfriendly people running in their expensive silly clothes I call fare weather runners. Just my breath, the small of my lambswool s rollneck pulled up over my mouth and my cheap trail trainers.
On a lighter note my answer is spinach. Its amazing and those bad bacteria hate the stuff:) although mind the crunchy bits..that normally beetles..their not so good for you
I can't stand this whole '400-500 mile' shelf life they give to shoes just so that you feel the need to run out and buy some more. At the moment im running about 30 miles a week in my trusty pair of £50 Asics shoes that have clocked up well over 1000 miles. Never had even a hint of an injury. I could see me comfortably getting another 500 or so miles out of them. Maybe a bit of spring has gone out of them but I cant see it costing me more than a few seconds per mile.
In Born To Run, Christopher McDougall actually makes the argument that worn out trainers are less bad for you than new ones with all the cushioning in tact. This is based on the idea that highly cushioned, built up running shoes actually cause more injuries than they prevent!
If we ask ourselves who are the best long distance runners in the world, and then ask ourselves whether most of these people would have been able to afford expensive trainers, other 'essential' running gear and recovery drinks in the years before they became elite athletes, I think we have our answer to the value of all this gear. Most Kenyans and Ethiopians probably started running barefoot and it shows. Not only are they the best runners, their running style is also natural and beautiful. It's a shame that once they become elite athletes they get drawn into promoting gear - but who can blame them for that.
In truth, running can be a very cheap sport.
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