Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thursday Test Drive

First... welcome new readers!  I am so very excited to have you all (and have already started following you all too - you're interesting people) and to be teetering on the edge of 50 readers.  Whoo hoo!

As promised, today is (finally) the return of the Thursday Test Drive.  The first Test Drive is of the book Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald.  This Book is starting to popup everywhere. It's mentioned in this month's Triathlete (mine arrived Monday and I've already read it cover to cover) and it was mentioned in another Triathlon related email... so it's a good thing I found the time to finish it.  The 2nd Test Drive is of Gu Chomps and Gu's Recovery Bru.

Test Drive #1: Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald

What they Say...
If you're like most endurance athlets, you're concerned about your weight.  You know that every extra pound you carry costs time, wastes energy, stresses your joints and affects your performance.

Racing Weight is the first book to explain how enurance athletes - runners, cyclists, triathletes, cross-country skiers, rowers, swimmers - should lose weight.  Using sound scientific principles gleaned from the latest sports research, Matt Fitzgerald lays out five easy steps to get lean for races and events.  His guidelines will help you hit your target numbers for weight, body composition and performance while maintaining your strength and conditioning.

Fitzgerald makes good nutrition simple with great recipes from pro triathlete and dietician Pip Taylor and a look atht eh diets of 14 elite professional athletes.  He explains how to avoid the most common mistakes in training and how to emabrk on a strength training program that works.

The Racing Weight plan will help you close in on your performace goals while feeling - and looking - great.

The Good:
This book is clear and through.  It gives you the "you should do this" and the scientific why as well as dispelling some of the things we've heard that don't really work.  It covers everything from how to figure out what weight is best for you (which is based on performance, and if you have a decent amount of weight to lose, may take awhile to finally get there), suggestions on how to examine the quality of the foods you eat and how to improve that quality (the key is go for more wholistic food), nutrient timing, and even good training suggestions for how to get to race weight.

The Bad:
While I am a woman who loves to have the science explained to me, I also like things to be succinct.  Perhaps the science explanations in some cases could have been shortened a bit to the science involved and not necessarily so many details about how the study was performed.  Or at least for some of them so it wasn't as long toothed every time.  Also, there were some good recipes in the book from Pip Taylor but it would have been nice to give a suggested plan for a couple of weeks for a variety of different scenarios for weight loss.

The Tri Mommy Truth:
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in getting leaner for triathlon (or any other endurance sport).  It is the first book that I have seen talk about weight loss for endurance athletes that takes our hard training into consideration, as well as the temptations of the off season and the fact that BMI isn't the ruler when you're an athlete but percent body fat may be.  The book is organized in an easy, understandable way.  It will let you put together your own plan once you sit down and read it ... although you may need to re-reference some of the material because there is a good bit there.

Test Drive #2: Gu Chomps and Gu Recovery Brew

What they say...
Gu Chomps:
GU Chomps offer a change of pace from gels and an answer to that moment in your run, ride, ski, swim, hike…. when you just gotta have something to chomp on.

GU Chomps deliver the premium ingredients and performance benefits you've come to expect from GU Energy products:

• Amino acids for added focus, rippin' energy and speedy recovery.
• Vitamin C + E, those mighty antioxidants that combat tissue breakdown.
• Sodium and potassium to restore electrolyte balance.
• Exclusive blend of complex and simple carbohydrates.

All in all, a superior choice to propel you in your athletic pursuits.

Gu Recovery Brew:
The premium quality ingredients in GU Recovery Brew help you quickly replenish energy stores and rebuild mucles after an intense workout.  This packet contains the best protein, most amino acides, optimal car blend, essential viatmins, and GU's great, mellow Taste.

The Good:
Gu Chomps:  They definitely worked.  I started to feel muscle fatigue while on my 1 1/2 hour bike ride and I ate some and within a short period of time, I was back to feeling like I had fuel.  They came out of the package easily and weren't overly sticky.

Gu Recovery Brew: I felt pretty decent afterwards.  No aches or pains, but then none were really expected either.

The Bad
Gu Chomps: They were sweet.  Too sweet.  It was almost like eating 3 pieces of candy.  The strawberry flavor was nice, but again too sweet.  I also had some gastric issues a bit later.  I never seem to have it right away, which is good.  But later isn't good either.  But then, I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome so life can be interesting.

Gu Recovery Brew:  I tried the Strawberry Watermelon.  Typically I like this flavor combination.  But I did not like Recovery Brew.  I did not like it one bit.  It was a mixture of sweet and something just not quite right.

The TriMommy Truth:
For me, I'm going to stick to my Shot Blocs and Hammer Gels and Hammer Recoverite.  It works for me.  I like the flavors and they aren't overly sweet.  Plus, I don't get gastric issues from them.  But that's just what works for me.  And it was worth a try.


  1. Thanks for the reviews! I agree with you about the shot bloks - they give me energy, and don't upset my stomach on the longer runs.

  2. Thanks for the review, I been eyeing the recovery brew for awhile, because I like that flavor combo as well, but sounds like i just need toi try a single packet first.

  3. I am a Hammer nutrition product fan. Love Strawberry Recoverite.