Thanks to my buddy Once & Future Runner I was FINALLY able to get my hands on a Road ID bracelet. For those of you who don’t know, Road ID is a company that specializes in various safety products/equipment for athletes. What they’re known for specifically is an ID bracelet that enables you to customize the kind of information you’d like to put on your bracelet. It’s really nifty because it sure as heck beats carrying your driver’s license on a run and you can put really helpful info like specific allergies, emergency contacts, and anything else someone might need to know if you find yourself injured and unable to communicate with those trying to assist you.
Once & Future Runner had an awesome giveaway contest for a Road ID, and lucky me – I WON! I’d been putting off getting one of these babies for too long, and now I had no excuse not to get one. After looking around at the options, I was torn between two different models.
On the right, you’ll see the Wrist ID Slim. The appeal for me with this one is quite simply, it’s size. Indeed you can see in comparison how slim it is and it feels no different than wearing any other silicone band bracelets (like the Lance Armstrong ones that became super popular years ago). Thus far I’ve only worn the Wrist ID Slim for indoor activities because I can be a little particular when it comes to feeling the presence of ‘extra’ things on my body when I run. The Slim is easy to put on and take off, small enough to wear without being bulky, and includes 5 lines of customizable text – which is definitely more than enough.
On the left you will see the Wrist ID Sport. Now, the sport is approximately twice as wide as the Slim, and includes 6 lines of text versus the Slim’s 5 lines. There is some reflective stitching on the Sport, which is nice for when you’re running in the dark and want a little more visibility (though to add, if you ARE running in the dark, you need in invest in proper equipment like knuckle lights or head lamps). I’ve been using the Sport exclusively for my outside runs, and I must say…I love it. I was a little skeptical about the fit and feel of it at first, but what I’ve found is that the Sport is light enough and soft enough that you do not feel nor notice it. Additionally, the velcro closing on the Sport allows for some more flexibility in fit than the Slim offers.
All in all, while I like them both, I think I may continue to use the Sport for outside runs and the Slim for indoor activities. I think what prevents me from taking the Slim outdoors is the fact that silicone tends to sometimes stick to the skin when you sweat. I know that’s not something that I want happening to me on a run…the last thing I need to be concerned about is a sticky ID bracelet. But, either way, both are awesome purchases, and I must say I’m glad I went for both. So for those of you out there that have yet to get a Wrist ID, I fully encourage you to get one!
Now on to Energy Supplements…I began my initial review in my last post, so here’s an excerpt from the products I reviewed thus far:
Taste & Texture – I tried the fruit punch kind, and they were pretty good. On first bite, you could tell you weren’t eating a regular jelly bean…I think I could taste the caffeine (?), but after awhile I got used to it.The texture was like that of a jelly bean, so I loved that.
Portability – They came in these little resealable bags,which was great for me as I didn’t eat them all at once. The bags were also pretty small so that I could fit them into the little pocket of my running pants. BIG plus.
Effectiveness – Due to the size of the beans, which are normal jelly bean size, I wan’t really sure how many I should have ingested at once. The recommended serving size was one packet for every hour of activity, but that didn’t really go over that well with me, since that would mean I’d need to carry two packages when I really just wanted to carry one. I ate about 3 beans at a time while on a 10k, and I feel like they definitely did help to keep me energized, though I wonder how I would have felt if I ate more beans at once versus rationing them out over the last 1.5 miles of the run.
Overall – I like them, and would use them on some of the shorter distance runs, though I need to experiment with them a bit more to figure out the proper bean to running ratio that will maximize my energy and performance.
Taste & Texture – Got them in tropical punch, and they were good! They didn’t have that same kinda aftertaste that the Jelly Belly Sports Beans had, which was a big plus. They were gooey and chewy – kinda like a gummy bear…a large gummy bear. The size of one Shot Blok is a little large, which made it a little awkward to chew at first, but I got used to it before long.
Portability – The Shot Bloks come in a wrapper kinda like a candy bar (6 bloks per package), so while there is no option to reseal the package once it’s been opened, you can twist the open part to close it. Also, you needn’t worry about the bloks falling out of the open package – they are kinda stuck together (again, just like gummy bears), so they aren’t really going anywhere.
Effectiveness – I tried these out on a 16 mile run (yea, I did 16 MILES!!! *woot*), and they definitelyhelped out. The size of the bloks wound up being a huge plus, since I didn’t have to count any beans or chews…I just bit one blok off and kept going until I needed/wanted another. The recommended serving was 3 bloks for every hour of activity, but I ended up eating 6 bloks for the 4 hours I was out there on my 16 mile run, which suited me just fine.
Overall – Definitely my front runner. I will be purchasing more bloks to try their different flavors, and I feel like these are probably going to be the supplement for me on my 13+ mile runs.
This past week I was able to try the Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews on a couple of runs, and this is what I’ve found…
Taste & Texture – I bought two packs in the Orange Blossom and Pomegranate Passion flavors. In terms of general taste, there was none of the aftertaste that I’ve mentioned in the other supplements. In terms of texture, they were very reminiscent of gummy bears, but not as chewy as the Shot Blocks. Of the two flavors, my favorite is the Orange Blossom, though the Pomegranate Passion is also tasty. The size of the Chews were about the size of a peanut M&M, which is a handy little size to pop in your mouth.
Portability – The Chews came in a packet of 10 Energy Chews per pack. It’s suggested to eat about 5-10 chews per every hour of activity, and I found that 5 chews per hour worked really well for me. While the Chews don’t come in a resealable package (bummer), the way the package itself rips open lends itself to making sure that none of the chews fall out AND you can easily push a chew up and out of the package opening and into your mouth (loved that).
Effectiveness – I tried these out on two separate 8 mile runs, and they did their job quite nicely. As mentioned earlier, 5 chews per hour worked really well and gave me the boost I needed.
Overall – My new fave! Great size, two servings per pack (for me), really great tasting and texture…I highly recommend folks give the Honey Stinger Chews a try. I’ll be headed to my local running store to purchase more today! 🙂