Maintaining proper nutrition while running can be the difference between a good and bad run or a fast and slow race. Everyone you talk to within the community has a different plan to remain bonk free. I have mentioned in passing within many of my race reports that I have been using a liquid nutrition product called Tailwind recently. I have been an enthusiastic user ever since I first tried it at the San Diego 100 and have been spreading the gospel to anyone who I can corner.
I’m happy to announce that this enthusiasm has led to me being selected to be a member of the Tailwind Trailblazers, Tailwind Nutrition‘s grassroots ambassador program. (I want to note that Tailwind isn’t forcing me to write this post to be part of this program, I am doing it because it’s a product I use and a company I respect. I just want you to have a great run.)
Tailwind’s selling point is:
It’s all you need, all day. Really.
I have always had a pretty strong stomach while running, but this was an exciting proposition to me, because of the simplicity of loading up my pack with everything I needed for the day and running until it ran out. No thinking about timing of taking gels, no gauging my energy levels, no gel wrappers to tuck away and worry about falling out of my pocket. Simple. Just run and drink (everyone on Instagram thinks that this is all I do anyway).
Tailwind is made up a combination of glucose, sucrose, and electrolytes (Tailwind’s electrolyte profile mimics what you’re sweating out) which require no digestion and can be directly absorbed by your small intestine. This means a faster response and no “gut bombs” due to your digestive system shutting down late in a race.
The other aspect of liquid nutrition that I was drawn to was avoiding the roller coaster of energy levels that I often ran through. Dying a little bit every mile only to be brought back to life with a well timed gel. Switching has caused a few issues with my routine though. Now that I no longer have to take gels, I have fewer excuses to stop on a climb.
I have to take a gel guys, I’ll be right there!
I guess this means I need to take more photos. 🙂
The other has been trying to figure out how many calories to put in my pack based on expected water consumption / hour. Tailwind recommends 200 calories an hour for longer efforts. My water use can be very variable based on temperature and diet, so I’m still trying to dial this in. This can end up being wasteful because if I over shoot it, I lose a scoop that I can never get back. UC Irvine just discovered how to unboil an egg, I wonder if they can discover how to undissolve Tailwind?
Lastly, it has forced me to improve my eating habits during races. I am usually a human vacuum cleaner at aid station. Want. Want. Want. Want.
I can has cheezburger? (that’s what the kids say, right?)
When using Tailwind, I don’t need to worry about anything but refilling my water, adding more Tailwind, and getting back on the trail. This is unfortunate, because I loved these extended breaks. And I love snacks; especially strawberries and nuts.
So with all that said I am excited to continue to share the adventures that Tailwind fuels me through. I’m happy to answer any questions people have and sing you the sweet Siren song of Tailwind. One thing to note, is that you may originally balk at paying $35 for a bag of fairy dust, but as it comes with 50 servings you are paying 70 cents per gel equivalent.