Fueling for Optimal Performance

I’m excited to announce that I am a now an Ignite Naturals Ambassador and Athlete.  Why Team Ignite?  It comes down to my desire to fuel for optimal performance, and to do it with healthy, natural ingredients!

One principal that I have adopted in my training philosophy is that to achieve premium performance the body requires premium fuel!  Now, there has been a lot of studies done about fueling and nutrition for marathon training, and while I am not a scientist, nutritionist, or dietitian, I think most will agree that what a person / athlete puts in their body has an affect on their training, performance, etc.  My personal experience using the Nutribullet showed me what I was capable of when properly fueled.  More quality training miles led to fitness gains, those fitness gains led to better performance.  My experience training with Team Nutribullet helped me to achieve one of my major goals as a runner, one that was always elusive and seemingly unattainable for me, qualifying for The Boston Marathon!

There is something about reaching a difficult goal that helps to build confidence.  After the LA Marathon I decided to try for a new 5k PR, and in the process try for another goal that has been elusive to me, running a sub 18.  Though I finished shy of my ‘A’ Goal (18:07), I came close enough that I shattered any notion that I cannot achieve a goal that I have in my mind.  I believe I can, and will go further!  While I have come closer than ever to performing to my full potential, I don’t think I’m anywhere close to hitting my limits.  In fact, one saying that I share with others, and truly believe is that the only limits we have, are the ones we put upon ourselves!

As a member of Team Ignite Naturals, I’m joining a group of founding endurance athletes, nutrition specialists and doctors who are obsessed with revolutionizing sports nutrition using real food ingredients.  Ignite Naturals products include everything from hydration products, pre-workout nutrition, energy gels, recovery products and so much more.  I can chalk up my recent successes to my training and key workouts.  In a given training week I run hills, track repeats and speed work, tempo runs, progressive paced and long slow distance runs.  Quality workouts takes energy, it also takes its toll on the body and this is where nutrition, hydration, fueling and recovery products come in.

For sure my daily Nutribullet blasts have played a huge part, but experiencing the benefits of proper nutrition has led me to make other changes in my diet as well, being more conscious about the things I put into my body and strategic about fueling.  I don’t want to neglect anything that will allow me to train my hardest, perform my best, and be ready to do it again the next day.  I also don’t want to put just anything in my body.  Honestly, I have been reluctant in the past to use supplements.  It seems that just as often as there’s a new magic supplement, there is a new harmful ingredient discovered.  I much rather use a product with Natural Ingredients!

From here on out, I will continue to push my limits, strive to set new PR’s and break down more barriers to redefine what’s possible for me!

 

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CamelBack Arc Quick Grip Review

CamelBack Arc Quick Grip

Its no secret that runners need to hydrate.  Sometimes drinking enough water before a run is sufficient, but for long runs, or runs in the heat, carrying water can become a necessity!  In my years of running I’ve had a love/hate relationship with different types of water bottles and hydration packs designed for runners.  While I was in the Marine Corps, I often used a Camelback Hydration Pack similar to this to stay hydrated on hikes and long runs.  I’ve also used a camel back hydration belt with a single bottle.  The Hydration Pack worked pretty well, though it added a lot of extra weight to my back, it was pretty evenly distributed.  The belt with the single bottle, not so much.  I liked that I didn’t have to carry a bottle in my hand, but the belt moved around much too much (causing chafing) and the bottle would move around and dig into my back (not pleasant).

Carrying a bottle in hand has always been a “last resort” option.  First, I don’t like having extra weight in one hand.  Second, I don’t like having to grip something while running, this often times causes some cramping or discomfort in my hand.

This brings me to the Camelback Arc Quick Grip.  I won this bottle in a twitter contest from @runchat.  You can read all about it in my #RunChatHunt Blog Post.  I was excited about winning this prize because, aside from my previous reservations about carrying a water bottle, this one in particular looked like it would change my mind and make for a great running experience.  Did it?  Read on to find out!

Impressions:

The Camelback Arc Quick Grip is a lightweight bottle made to fit snug on the hand during running.  It’s essentially a Camelback Arc water bottle with a “Quick Grip” accessory attached.  So, the bottle can be easily attached to a Camelback belt if that is your preference.  For me the “Quick Grip” attachment is the best feature.  The reason I feel this way is because I can slip it on my hand, let my hand relax and it will still be secure.

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The fabric on the bottle attachment that “grips” your hand is actually breathable and moisture wicking, so no need to worry if your hand sweats during the run.  There is also a strip of fabric which can be pulled to tighten the grip, as well as a quick release hidden under the pouch to loosen it up again.  Finally, there is a pouch on the outside of the grip which can be used to store keys, id cards/credit cards, gels/gu, shot blocks/gu chomps, and other small items of your choice.  There are 2 pockets on the pouch, 1 which can be velcroed closed, and one that can’t.  There is also a little tab on the pocket with a small reflective strip.

As for the bottle itself, it is a 10 oz bottle which is a standard Camelback Arc form factor.  As I mentioned, this can fit in other Camelback accessories including various belts.  The top of the bottle has a locking mechanism which keeps the water in, though even if the lock is open, the “spout” of the bottle will only release water if it is bit.  Think of the spouts on the end of the tubes on Camelback Packs, but on a bottle.  It is quite simple and not messy at all to get water during a run, though it does get a bit tricky when the bottle is very low.

Likes: There is a lot to like about this bottle, so much so that I have actually considered carrying this in my hand during a Marathon.

  1. Lightweight – The light weight means no arm fatigue during running.  This also allows for natural arm and hand motion, keeping running form in tact.
  2. Comfortable – The grip is extremely comfortable on the hand and can be adjusted as well.
  3. Built in storage – This makes it easy to bring some essentials along during a run.
  4. Secure – The locking mechanism on the lock keeps the water in, the secure spout allows you to drink without making a mess!
  5. Compatible – Can be used with different Camelback accessories.
  6. Quality materials – The quality of the bottle and pouch doesn’t feel cheap at all.

Dislikes: My dislikes are mostly areas where I feel the Camelback Arc Quick Grip can be improved, but doesn’t outweigh my positive impressions.

  1. Small bottle – The bottle being small contributes to its light weight, but it also limits how much water you can carry to 10 oz.  This is not much during long runs, unless you are able to re-fill along the way.
  2. Small pouch – While the pouch is big enough to carry many essentials, it is much too small to carry a modern day mobile phone, iPhone or Android.
  3. Reflective? – The pouch only had a tiny strip of reflective material; could use more.

Final Thoughts:

The Camelback Arc Quick Grip is a great bottle for runners who don’t mind holding something in their hand.  While some runners may prefer to wear belts or hydration packs, they are not for everyone.  I love that this bottle doesn’t restrict my range of motion in anyway and doesn’t weigh me down.  The pouch is an added bonus but the real selling point is how comfortable it is.  I can run miles with this bottle and completely forget its on my hand.  While 10 oz of water isn’t much on, lets say a 16 miler, its perfect for shorter and middle distance runs and on long run routes where there is ample opportunity for a refill.  If you’re going for a longer run on trails especially in hotter weather, you may want something more substantial though.

Happy Running! 🙂