Of all of the sports and training that I have participated in over the years, I believe that running is personally the most difficult and challenging for me. I’m a bit above average in the “athleticism” department, but every once in a while a struggle in a few sports. Running being one of them.
I love running, but when I start to lose my focus, it seems like my endurance and energy fade with it. I do best at running mainly 5k’s, because anything more than that I usually hit that wall. This being said, I am definitely in that category of people that could really benefit from a pre workout supplement when running.
Because of this, I decided to write this post for a chance to research the topic. I’ll see how and why a pre workout helps my run by breaking down this product.
Have you ever wondered if you should be using some form of outside energy to power your running? You’ve probably heard of athletes that concentrate on weight lifting and high intensity training that take a pre workout supplement. I can see that pre workouts are marketed more for this sport, because pre workouts are also great for building muscle. But what about pre workout for running?
I’m going to explain some great benefits of pre workout for running that you probably had not thought of yet. We are going to review a couple of the key ingredients that give the energy and motivation to go that extra mile.
By the end of this post I hope that I will have given all of the necessary information to decide if a pre workout supplement is meant for you. So if you are a runner, stick around.
Benefits of Pre Workout for Running
The main ingredient for energy in a pre workout is Caffeine. Caffeine has been proven to increase speed and endurance.
It also brings a level of focus to get you “in the zone”, that you wouldn’t have gotten without it. This energy creates motivation to propel you to go harder and longer.
The Amino Acids in the pre workout improve vacularisation your veins and arteries. This opening up of your cardiovascular system brings more oxygen, vitamins and mineral into your muscle at a faster rate.
This enables the muscles to go longer and not fatigue as quickly. Amino’s also improves respiratory fitness, since the veins and arteries in the lungs are able to take in more oxygen.
Pre workouts will also help runners burn more calories, which can result in fat loss. A pre workout is not a fat loss supplement. However, between it raising the metabolism and the extra energy pushing you harder, this is just an extra bonus.
The ingredients in the pre workout also encourage the body to burn fatty acids first. This conserves the valuable carbs that you using for energy later, therefore delaying fatigue.
The Beta Alanine (another Amino Acid) in pre workouts help to reduce the amount of Lactic Acid that builds up as a result of heaving activity in your muscles. This is very important in preventing fatigue and helping with muscle recovery.
The final benefit is a Biggie for Runners, and I think it is key. Because of the extra energy, focus, and muscle performance, this feeling gives one a huge mental boost. This will not only help keep up that runners high, but also reduce the amount of perceived effort that comes with running.
Some Options for a Running Pre Workout
If you are a runner, it is most likely that you also maintain a healthy life style. This is where All Natural and Organic Pre Workout Supplements come in. The ingredients come from more naturally forms, such as the ones that are already found in the human body. On of the biggest differences is that they do not contain any artificial flavors, colors or sugars.
Many in this category have natural Caffeine alternatives such as Green Tea Leaf, Coffee Bean Extract, TeaCrine, and several others.
If you are interested in these healthier alternatives, I’ve done some great research about the differences between the two, in these posts on “All Natural Pre Workout Supplements” or “Organic Pre Workout Supplements”.
If you are looking for a stronger pre workout option with all the bells and whistles, I’ve done a C4 review and tasting. I recommend it and was very happy with it’s full on, energetic results.
It wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a good amount of Caffeine in your pre workout selection if your body chemistry can handle it. However, some are Caffeine Intolerant. This ingredient really does a lot for the energy, endurance and focus that we talked about.
If you happen to be Caffeine intolerant (many of us are), there are many Caffeine Free brands available now. There are some great stimulant free pre workouts in my review, Caffeine Free Pre Workouts. These pre workouts are usually packed with extra B Vitamins and minerals, and Amino Acids such as Creatine, Beta Alanine and Nitric Oxide. These ingredients are increased to make up for the Caffeine.
There are also some of us that are Creatine intolerant. This is not a big deal since there are some great Creatine Free Pre Workout Supplements out there. Just as Caffeine Free pre workouts, other ingredients are introduced in larger quantities to make up for the Creatine.
Important Pre Workout Factors that Runners Should Know
I should mention that pre workout supplements are not recommended for extreme endurance completions like marathons. A run that lasts that long should not be depending on short term stimulants and nutrients.
The differences come in to play whether you do more “aerobic” exercise (longer endurance) or “anaerobic” exercise (high intensity and shorter endurance). There is more information on these differences in my post on Pre Workout and Cardio.
It can cause anxiety, headaches, high blood pressure, nausea and sleep problems. From my experience, it is best to start out with a little less that one serving, and then work your way up over time.
There is also something called “Tolerance”. lf you take your pre workout on a very regular basis like I do, there is a very good chance that your body will develop a tolerance to it, meaning that it will get used to the effects of the pre workout and it won’t work as well anymore.
You see this sometimes in coffee drinkers when they need several cups to get enough Caffeine to function. If this happens to you, the best thing to do is either take a break from it for awhile, or switch brands.
This leads me to the fact that some runners will use Coffee to power their running. Health wise, there is nothing wrong with this since coffee does have health benefits. However, it does come with some inconveniences.
These include: Indigestion and heartburn, and the amount of cups needed to get the same effect as a pre workout. This amount of coffee also comes with a lot of bathroom breaks with this quantity of liquid. It is far from convenient on a run..
If you know of any other factors in your training that impact your performance, please let me know in the comment box at the bottom of the post.
The Intra Workout Solution
There is an excellent way to recharge your body as you are running. It is called an Intra Workout also referred to as BCAA’s
These Branch Chain Amino Acids along with other vitamins and minerals can start where your pre workout effects begin to wear off. Water alone cannot feed your body these much needed nutrients.
While running or most other other forms of exercise, your body’s needs for these Amino Acids, vitamins and minerals increases substantially.
This is the bests time for absorption of these ingredients to re-nourish your system. This is your body’s “sweet spot” when it will be the most advantageous to receive these nutrients, and it is important to regain your endurance.
The Intra workout is especially beneficial when it comes to longer distance runs, where your body is depleting itself of these essential nutrients. Pre workouts and Intra workouts can successfully be used together (one after the other) for maximum benefit to reach your goals.
You man also want to consider a Post Workout or Protein Supplement for after your run to promote muscle recovery.
A Running Conclusion
Pre workout and running are a great combination. It gives you the focus, increases muscular endurance to push your run to another level. This would be a great advantages over another competitor, as well as pushing yourself harder to meet your goals.
Pre workout can be excellent for Cardio. However, it is not always ideal for marathon use, since the stimulants will wear off and the nutrients with run out before the finish line. The Intra Workout that we discussed would be much more suitable for these kind of runs.
I always want to make sure that everybody remembers that it can’t hurt to give it a try, since most supplements come with a 30 day satisfaction guarantee.
The benefits of a pre workout supplement while running include not only energy and increased metabolism, but a higher endurance and intensity level. It also removes the toxins from your muscles to avoid discomfort and fatigue. Don’t forget the very important mental boost that comes with this improved ability to perform.
Hopefully a pre workout with help your run farther and harder. The ultimate goal is to enjoy your run more and be happier with your results.
If you are a runner and would like to add any of your tips or ideas on using pre workout for your training, please leave a comment in the box below.