Sunday, March 04, 2007

Kennesaw Mountain Hike

Yesterday was the LLS All Sport training session and pig-out fest at Piedmont Park. I didn't get in a good workout, nor did I work out as much as I should have this week, so I went to Kennesaw this morning for the hike to Burnt Hickory (in-and-out, just over 5 miles). Mike, a HFD mentor, and Traci came along for the hike. Although cold this morning, it was a nice hike under clear blue skies with a good view of Atlanta as the day progressed.

Last year I used Gatorade, Clif Bars & shots and Lara Bars when I was training for energy and electrolytes, but I was aware that I was consuming a lot of refined sugar which was giving me a sugar high followed by a distinct low. Coming back up Little Kennesaw from Burnt Hickory is where I noticed this most, I was usually dragging ass half-way up the hill. On a friend's recommendation, I bought some products from Hammer Nutrition for training since they don't contain refined sugars that will give me a sugar high. I ordered some HEED (energy/electrolyte drink) along with a mix-pack of their energy gels to try and find a flavor I like.

Customer service at Hammer Nutrition was amazing, they called me the day following my order to see if I had any questions on their products, how to use them and other products they offer. My shipment had just been packed and they added in some extra samples for me to try, including the Hammer Bar. I received everything on Saturday and read all of the literature that was sent along with my order.

Today I tried the products out on the hike. I used the HEED in a Nalgene bottle to supplement my hydration bladder filled with water and ate the Hammer Bar and a Espresso flavored Hammer Gel. I have to make sure that I can stomach them — some of these things taste like ass! — and that they don't give me any trouble with digestion. So far, so good!

No energy spikes or lows, everything tasted OK and I felt like I had more consistent energy through the entire hike. [Edit: I had not done this hike this season, I may just be in better shape...] I'll definitely have to use their products more over the next few weeks to see how they fare, but the Gatorade is definitely off my training schedule and I'll probably stop bringing Clif Bars or Lara Bars on hikes in the future.

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