August 10, 2011

Playing with Monkey Boy - Day 3

I am really enjoying working out with Monkey Boy, though I may regret the intensity of this week's workouts come race day.

Today I tested out Monkey Boy's pre-workout supplement, which is supposed to help with energy levels and muscle building. He normally uses 1MR, but while home purchased ACG3. I've never used anything like this, and was curious what is was supposed to do.

These supplements contain a lot of caffeine, to which I am no stranger. They also contain Creatine, which I had to look up. Apparently, Creatine increases the supply of Creatine Phosphate in your muscles. Creatine Phosphate recharges the muscles with something called ATP, which the muscles use as a quick burst energy source. ATP is good for things like lifting and sprinting. The idea is that you can push longer and harder, because you have more available energy in your muscle cells.

The supplements also contain amino acids, which the liver converts to Creatine, which then gets converted to Creatine Phosphate. This allows the effect of the supplement to last over an hour, where just the Creatine would be used up in less time.

While I am known to be a supplement addict, I also tend to be skeptical of many supplement claims. That's why I was happy to find this research article, which suggests using Creatine benefits runners.

So I was curious, and Monkey Boy mixed me up the lowest recommended serving. Monkey Boy said my face and arms would tingle. I thought maybe I felt the tingling in the back of my thighs, which are always tight. He, My BFF (yes, that is his blog name. "My BFF") and I walked over to the Y, and I hopped on the treadmill. Monkey Boy and My BFF went down to free weight room to "get their swole on."
My BFF

Monkey Boy finished his day with a mile, bumping each 10th up until he was running 11mph.

I didn't feel jacked up or over caffeinated. I felt strong and ready to run. And run I did. I set the treadmill to 5mph, and settled down into my goal pace. Several times I've run this pace for half an hour, ending with 2.5 miles total. Once I ran it for 3 miles. I always say I'm going to run it for the full hour, but never have. 

Until today. Today I ran it for the full hour. My headphones lost battery after 20 minutes, and I kept running. Yes I got tired. Yes, I had to motivate myself for the last 20 minutes to keep running. I didn't feel like death when I got off the treadmill. Afterward, I was able to stretch and move about comfortably while I waited for Monkey Boy and My BFF to finish.

I don't know if the pre-workout supplement gave me the energy to finish, or if I just thought it did. I wonder if I could have run that on any other day. I wonder if I've been holding myself back.

I'm thinking about using the supplement on race day, and am curious if anyone out there has experience with these supplements. I know the container has a warning that some sports ban their use. What do you think? Are they helpful? Harmful?

1 comment:

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

I talked to a very experienced runner this past weekend while boating. He was telling me about the trend of runners taking that 5 hour energy drink towards the time they usually bonk. That stuff scares me but I've heard good stuff about the other stuff. Now if they can only produce something that will make our foot pain go away!