Let’s face it, OCR can be an addiction. And like any addiction, once we’re hooked, we always feel like we need more (and in this case – longer, harder, more extreme). The thing is, the longer the race, the more logistics there are. Multiple pairs of shoes, what the weather might be in the middle of the day versus in the middle of the night, headlamps, and the most important factor: nutrition.
If you’ve signed up for an endurance race (or really anything longer than a Beast – with the exception of Vermont), you’ve likely done some research on mid-race nutrition. Your options come in all shapes and sizes: gels, gummys, bars, and powders. All of them have different ingredients, different calorie content, different packaging, etc. The most important thing, is finding what works for you. Test out your supplements during longer training runs, BEFORE you head out for that long race. See what it’s like to deal with the packaging, if you’re able to actually chew and eat something while hiking or running, and how your body and stomach react.
One of these options, is Tailwind. The OCR Beast team was lucky to hook up with them and sample their products (although most of us had some past experience already). Our intention is not to persuade you that Tailwind is the best option for everyone, but hopefully cut down on your research to help you make a better decision for your next longer event!
What it is:
A powder supplement created for endurance athletes, that supplies you with calories, hydration, and electrolytes.
What they advertise as the advantages:
– “All you need, all day. Really.”
– No gut bombs
– Dissolves easily
– Light flavor
After doing some testing both in training and during races, we can back up the advantages advertised. Using only Tailwind, none of our athletes had any GI distress. The powder mixes very easily, and both the flavor and mixture are “light” – not overpowering the water.
Other advantages for OCR:
– Less packaging to deal with
– No chewing
– Stores easily in hydration belt or pack
– The need for 2 water bottles if you want to have normal water on hand as well.
Here’s what our athletes are saying:
“I have been using Tailwind during my last 4 long runs ranging in duration / distance from 2-4.5 hours and 16-26 miles all in the mountains. Some of these runs were powered strictly by Tailwind. The results of those runs were, no drop in performance or bonking. On the 4 + hour runs I used my normal nutrition in the form of bars and blocks along with Tailwind. Although I still like eating on my long runs, I like the fact that the tailwind prolongs the time between when I eat. I experienced no cramping or stomach issues when using just tailwind or using it with a combination of my normal nutrition. I could see the benefits of this for some of my really long races coming up like Georgia Death Race. Having the ability to carry less food between aid stations and throughout the race. Saving weight and time at bag drop aid stations.”
Luke Bosek – OCR Beast Coach (@luke.sky.runner)
“Salt Pills, GUUS, Mustard, Vials of Liquid, Beet Juice, Lactic Acid Blockers, Bars…you name it, I was carrying it. Two years into my OCR adventure I was continuing to struggle with cramping and on-course nutrition. Nothing consistently worked and I was constantly frustrated. That was until I discovered Tailwind – or better yet, Tailwind discovered me. I was 3 laps into my first multi-lap “Ultra” and I was struggling down a bar, trying to keep my pace and clumsily choking down nutrition. A fellow racer looked at the pain on my face and was like “dude, you gotta get some Tailwind!” “All the calories and anti-cramp stuff you possibly need.” I immediately checked-out the company as soon as I got home. Endless reviews read later I thought I had to try this miracle mix…this many people can’t be wrong, and boy they aren’t. Since my first order of Tailwind I’ve raced faster AND longer and have NEVER experienced those once-dreaded cramps. Even better I threw away all of the pills, gels and never need food or bars for a race under 15 miles. Since finding Tailwind in March 2016, I’ve crushed a 30-mile multi-lap race almost exclusively with Tailwind alone, I PR’d my Spartan Race Beast time by an hour and a half and I’m confidently preparing for a year full of Obstacle Course Ultra Racing with the OCRBeast.co team. Tailwind and OCRBeast.co is a killer combo that I know will lead me to success in 2017. Thanks Tailwind, I’m never looking back or for another Endurance Fuel ever again.”
Michael Robinson – Team OCR Beast Athlete (@michael_robinson)
“I first used Tailwind during my first ever Spartan Beast in NJ back in April 2016. I didn’t bother carrying gels, or any of that stuff, and my decision totally paid big dividends. I didn’t lose time fumbling with packaging and my energy stayed consistent throughout the entire race- that’s 3:38 minutes total on the mountain. I couldn’t have been more pleased. This fall when I started to run longer again I had one product on my mind: Tailwind. I have been using it for my hilly long runs. It never fails to deliver. I don’t go hungry, I don’t have to take off my gloves, and again- fumble with packaging, and most of all I finish my run feeling refreshed and ready for more. I have been using the orange flavor, although I have to say my favorite is tri-berry. (I am always partial to berry flavors). I could easily drink this stuff on it’s own as it’s that refreshing.”
Shane Leighton – OCR Beast Coach (@shaneleighton_)
“I have only discovered Tailwind within the past year, originally hearing about it on a podcast by OCR racers participating in OCRs over 10+ miles. Originally tried the sample pack, was nice that there were a mix of caffeinated and non-caffeinated flavors. There are times I like to train with, and without it (caffeine). Out of all the flavors, none were overbearing, which makes them pretty interchangeable which I liked, but I’d have to say the Green Tea flavor will be my next purchase. Their flavors are clean enough that I haven’t found myself struggling to get it down while running. I also find Tailwind pretty reassuring because it covers all my needs (calories/electrolytes/caffeine) while racing. I’ve struggled in the past taking in nutrition while racing, so I’m finding a water-mixed solution to be no brainer. It has worked great on my 1-1.5 hr training runs and the few races I’ve used it for later last season, it really help me stay ahead of my nutrition needs, so it’ll definitely stay in my racing arsenal.”
Nick Vitale – Team OCR Beast Athlete (@sharpenthesword)
“Tailwind has become a great addition to my training program. I typically use it on all runs over 8 miles. It easily mixes with water and I use two scoops per 16 ounces of which I sip on every 30min in conjunction with water. I would highly recommend this product!”
Chris Herber – Team OCR Beast Athlete (@socal_spartan)
FOR A BONUS ENTRY – Answer this question in your comment on our Instagram post:
What is the longest race you have planned on your schedule this year?
*This post was made in partnership with Tailwind Nutrition, though all the opinions expressed are our own.