Monday, November 10, 2008

Roctane is Cheating!

Hey - any of you guys try that new GU called Roctane?  It's supposed to be much much better than the standard GU.  It's got 2x the sodium and potassium of the standard and 35 mg of caffeine.  It's still 100 calories but according to the info it's this amino acid "cocktail" they've got in there now that's supposed to take it to a whole new level.

I picked up a couple of samples at a store a few weeks back and tried one out on a long run.  I clearly felt a boost and better still, any minor stiffness/soreness I had seemed to vanish.  I chalked it up as coincidence.  The next week I did the same thing w/ my last sample and got the same effect.  So last week I picked up several of them to give it a more thorough test.

Fast forward to this week.  Because the quad forced me to push out the T-work to Thursday which subsequently pushed out the Hill work to Saturday, the scheduled "Sunday long run" was probably shot.  Typically when I have to push the quality days out, the Sunday run gets cut down to about 8-miles as I don't feel comfortable going long the day after an excruciating hill workout.

Well - yesterday, to my surprise, the quad didn't feel bad at all after the hills.  So I grabbed a couple of GU packs (only one Roctane) and told my wife I was headed out for the Sunday run.  She asked, "how long you gonna be?" and my response was, "if the quad stiffens up I'll be back soon - and if not, I might be gone a LONG time".  

At about the 5 mile mark of the run the quad was fine, maybe a little tightness in one small area.  The outside of my left calf was bugging me a little, but this has been an ongoing issue for about a month.  Nothing out of the ordinary, and nothing that would force me to cut the run short.  OK, time for the Roctane.  I sucked it down right as I hit 6-miles.  Five to seven minutes later, all of the minor aches, soreness and stiffness were gone.  Amazing.  Sort of like hitting the RESET button.  I kept going at the same 7:28 pace I was running.  When I hit 8-miles I had a choice of running the last mile home or looping back to run some more.  I looped back.  I remember saying to myself, "24-hours ago I thought I was going to die as I finished that 10th hill.  My legs were on fire and I could barely breathe.  I still had some residual soreness from that workout, and yet here I felt I could bang out 7:28 miles until the sun came up."

By the time I hit 10-miles it was getting dark.  At 11-miles I looped back again, but I knew I had to cut it short for two reasons.  One, in about 30-minutes I was going to be in total darkness, and #2 no matter how good I felt, banging out 16-17 miles the day after I almost died on the hill would not be smart especially considering I had never gone more than 14 before.  Staying healthy is priority #1.  I took the standard GU at 10.5-miles, but it didn't have the same effect - not even close.  

I wound up finishing up at 14-miles exactly - 7:28 average pace.  When I stopped I maybe took two deep breaths and that was that - like I had barely gotten off the couch.  I could have done another 6-8 miles standing on my head.  Hell, with 3-4 Roctane packs I think I could run 30-miles tomorrow.  This is like cheating!!  They let you use this shit in races?  Really?  I think my grandmother could run a half marathon using these things!  

I took my recovery drink (Endurox-R4) when I finished and today (Monday) I can't even tell that I ran yesterday - I feel great.  Oh and BTW - did I mention I was at the gym for 1 1/2 hours BEFORE the Sunday run?  I'm telling you, this Roctane stuff is ridiculous.  I'm not a GU person, I've never used any of that stuff, but I will never go out on a run over 11-miles w/o a pack of Roctane again.  Honestly, if I wasn't concerned about getting injured I'd grab a handful of those things, head out the door in the morning and see how many hours (or days) I could stay out there.  And as anyone who's ever read this blog knows - I am NOT a long distance runner.  I just don't have what it takes to run tons and tons of mileage.  But w/ this stuff, I'm very confident I could do a 20+ mile run at 7:2x pace w/ absolutely no problem, especially if I don't run a hill repeat workout the day before!

What's next, magic beanstalk beans!??


Sun, 11/9:    Lifting (Upper-A, abs) stretching, rolling
                    14-miles in 1:44 (7:28 pace)  HR-148

Mon, 11/10  No running.  Lifting on legs, appointment w/ CMT.


Ewen said...

Sounds amazing. Maybe it's full of "the clear Mk11" or "CERA Mk111"?

We're going to have to discount your 8 and 15 times by 10% ;)

Mike said...

That's funny. Yeah maybe there's, ahem, flaxseed oil in there! I don't think it will help in short distances : )

. . . . . but it may help me get my mileage up.

Ewen said...

Or hornet juice. I had a look on the Roctane website - it's supposed to buffer lactic acid, so maybe it will help in the 8 and 15.

If it comes down here I might give it a try in the January 10,000.

Mike said...

Yeah, I saw that too - but I have to believe that the effects of that would be so minor as to only help if the pace is slow enough where the lactic acid isn't accumulating at a fast rate. What do you think?

Is it possible that it can hold back the onslaught of lactic acid that comes from a short fast race like 800m?

And if it DOES buffer the lactic acid . . . . then isn't that cheating!?

Ewen said...

Thinking about it a bit more, the whole lactic acid buffer thing is probably a beat-up (the measurements are probably minimal).

If it worked for 8/15s, the elites would be taking it and improving their PRs by seconds. In longer races, lactic acid is not the main limiting factor to performance.

If you were racing 2:10-12 all through the season, took it and ran 2:07, then maybe you'd think Roctane was doing something. If the performance is chemically aided, than I'd say it's cheating.

Anonymous said...

I've felt exactly the same thing, both on rides and runs. I even sort of reserve Roctane for longer runs and don't take it too regularly, to hold back for when I really need it.

My friends and I laugh about Roctan'es effects. It's just like snorting coke, but legal (right?)...even get that same urge to chatter.