Tailwind help: I’m not someone with a... - Marathon Running ...

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Tailwind help

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon

I’m not someone with a sweet tooth and so don’t fancy the idea of gels. My friend recommends tailwind and the unflavoured one may be perfect for me. I’m about to order the trial pack which I assumed was going to be a simple case of order and get one of everything, but alas no!

So who better to ask the questions that I need to answer than you lovely people?

Do I go for caffeine or non caffeine? I used to be a bit of a caffeine junkie but nowadays it’s unusual for me to have more than 2 cups of tea a day, and the odd post run cappuccino. I’ve read about caffeine and running and that abstinence for a few days makes the effect of caffeine on race day bigger. Is there a real difference for someone who isn’t caffeine free the rest of the time? Will I need to do the abstinence thing in training too? Does the caffeine thing make much difference at all? My friend is a decaf guy so he doesn’t have any input here.

Also, has anyone tried the recovery ones? I have the option of either caffeine or decaf with or without these extras. Are they as good as other recovery drinks? Do they make a difference at all? Are they worth the £2+ a go that they work out at, or would I be better off just getting some chocolate milk?

Many thanks for any guidance, I’m excited to try tailwind, but I need to choose the right pack for me.

67 Replies
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linda9389
linda9389Moderator

I no longer take caffeine as I drink peppermint tea. But I do like my SIS espresso energy bars with caffeine before a run or ride. That burst of caffeine gives me a boost, with no stomach issues. I would imagine the same would be true of caffeinated tailwind (I have the green tea flavour which I don't think has caffeine, although I chose it for the taste rather than whether or not it had caffeine in!).

I have only tried a couple of recovery drinks and really don't like them (the aftertaste would stay with me even after prosecco and a roast dinner!). I now have chocolate milk with no artificial sweeteners after a long run - my favourite is the Cocio dark chocolate one, it's very dark and rich, alternatively for a milder creamier taste the shaken udder one is nice. I'm sure there are others, but those two have suited me well.

waitrose.com/ecom/products/...

tesco.com/groceries/en-GB/p...

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to linda9389

Super information, thanks... and as I’m in that rare set of people who doesn’t have a sweet tooth but loves chocolate, that dark one at Waitrose looks right up my street! I’m a Bournville lover.

Feeling the difference from the caffeine may mean abstaining in taper, but the fact that there is a noticeable difference is going to make that worthwhile.

linda9389
linda9389Moderator in reply to UnfitNoMore

Oops. I lied! Green tea tailwind is caffeinated. Just made some up for my bike ride 🤣🤣🤣

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to linda9389

That could well be a flavour I’d like then 👍

linda9389
linda9389Moderator in reply to UnfitNoMore

Just don't make it up to full strength - tastes more like parma violets then 🤢

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to linda9389

Oh.. now those I do like... I used to live in the next village to the factory and when I walked there to the shops on Parma violet day the smell in the valley was amazing!

linda9389
linda9389Moderator in reply to UnfitNoMore

🤢

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to linda9389

🤣

roseabi
roseabiAdministrator

I think that the caffeine reaction is individual, and something you'll need to experiment with. Personally I have found a shot of caffeine during a long run can be incredibly helpful.

Tailwind advice I will have to leave to the experts - lots of them on here though 😊

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to roseabi

Do you abstain from caffeine before long run day? Drugs tend to have a bigger effect on non users I think so you’re right, experimenting is going to be a good thing there. I’m pretty sure I’ll be going caffeinated though now. Many thanks.

roseabi
roseabiAdministrator in reply to UnfitNoMore

I don't - might give it a try sometime!

I have wondered whether it's a good idea, because some people get nasty withdrawal symptoms. But of course those people just wouldn't use the tactic.

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to roseabi

Good point... I may need to taper the caffeine down just before taper... double grumpy UNM wouldn’t be one the wife would like in the house 🤣🤣

Maddee_6333
Maddee_6333Half Marathon

My body can tell caf from decaf, but I’ve only ever risked drinking a coffee once before an After Dark event, as I was freezing, cold and tired before the off.

When I was training for my Half, a couple of years ago, I actually found that a combination of coconut water, pineapple juice, and a pinch of salt worked well for me.

I am a big fan of chocolate/hot chocolate as a recovery drink, especially if accompanied by an apple spread with nut butter.

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to Maddee_6333

Oh... and then there’s the homemade approach! This appeals to me in that I like to know what I’m taking in, just not sure how long it would take me to find my perfect mix. I do add salt to my in run water already though. Food for thought... many thanks.

Maddee_6333
Maddee_6333Half Marathon in reply to UnfitNoMore

Like you, I don’t really have much of a sweet tooth, and I was surprised that the pineapple didn’t make my teeth ache.

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to Maddee_6333

On my day I could eat any bakery out of cakes, fortunately I only get one of those days every few months... on all other days the only sugar I add to anything is a little in my chai, and I don’t fancy anything sweet... if I could sort that occasional day out I’d be just fine!

CandyCool
CandyCoolHalf Marathon

Hi Unfitnomore , I’ve started using Arbonne Phytosport. It natural caffeine and seems to work for me. They do a pre/during, post and hydrate. Their vegetarian protein bars are great as well...especially the lemon and dark chocolate bars.

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to CandyCool

Thanks for this... is that in a set flavour? While I’m looking at trying a few different flavours, I have a feeling I’m going to tend towards the unflavoured version unless it needs an aftertaste masking.

CandyCool
CandyCoolHalf Marathon in reply to UnfitNoMore

I don’t think it has much taste at all really. It’s certainly not sweet! But I’ve been keen on finding something for a quick sugar rush during running. Not found anything chemical free yet! 🤪

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to CandyCool

Depends how one defines chemical I think... water is in itself a chemical. I’m definitely gonna take a look at this as well as tailwind, and the homemade idea in an earlier reply too.

Tasha99
Tasha99Marathon

Go for caffeine! I’ve just ordered my second bag of raspberry buzz 🤣 I like it - managed a half on just tailwind but for my full I’m going to have sweets too. As for the recovery drinks, my friend said they’re gross. I definitely don’t stop drinking coffee on days before long runs! I didn’t trust that this transparent liquid would fuel me properly on my first try of it so I also took the odd caffeine gel. I felt sick after. Caffeine overload. That’s why I’m just having sweets or Kendal mint cake with it now.

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to Tasha99

Thanks... I think on the abstinence theory I was reading pre run coffee was part of the boosting, more to do with the days before the run... not sure I want to lose my morning tea and after lunch chai though, and decaf is terrible!

backintime
backintime10 Miles

I remember reading on here that someone mixes up the flavours...raspberry and lemon maybe...maybe gogo jojo...there was a tailwind discussion a while ago and I'm fairly sure it was on here...if only the search engine worked better here lol

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to backintime

Now there’s an idea... if I got on with all of the trial pack, then ordering all the bulk bags for some pick n mix makes a lot of sense, my favourite flavour could be a hybrid. Thanks for this.

SaskAlliecat
SaskAlliecatHalf Marathon in reply to backintime

I mix the berry and lemon. A wonderful flavour combo but no caffeine. I haven't tried the caffeinated versions yet.

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to SaskAlliecat

Having just been thinking of this it occurs to me that mixing is very “tailwind” as the product itself was born of two runners tinkering to get their perfect mix.

Dexy5
Dexy510 Miles in reply to backintime

I think it is SaskAlliecat that mixes 2 flavours.

Dexy5
Dexy510 Miles

I bought the smallest bag of ( non caffeine) berry flavoured tailwind for UpTheStanley as I was concerned after he hit the wall one day. He’s used it on recent 10 mile and HM runs and says he doesn’t need the energy bar to keep him running now. That’s good - more for me 😂😂

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to Dexy5

Now there’s a win-win! While I’ve read their “all you need all day” spiel, and the user comments on their site, I’m always dubious of these things as I’ve yet to see “this product sucks” on any product’s site 🤣. Thanks

mrrun
mrrunUltramarathon

I tried every Tailwind and decided to go with non-flavour one, although they all had the same effect on me - they help me run long. I drink coffee and tea (ex-smoker, of course) but I wouldn't touch either before long runs as I don't want any toilet breaks.

Recovery drinks? After each HM and marathon l had a regular meal with a few pints or wine. Worked fine.

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to mrrun

Thanks... pints or wine post run appeals more than anything else for sure... I’ll have earned them! Does the non-flavoured one have any aftertaste at all? I’m used to a little salt, so I don’t think it would be a deal breaker, and going from just water it would probably feel right not going to a flavour, no difference in performance but also no psychological difference.

mrrun
mrrunUltramarathon in reply to UnfitNoMore

I can't feel/detect any aftertaste for a regular dosage, tbh. Only a slightly bit if l increase it. Nothing unpleasant though. All sachets were good but l wanted something basic, water-like. Try them all, by all means, get a packet with all varieties and the effects will be the same (you'll stay hydrated and won't be hungry). It' also important to read faq on their website re dosing. For example, I tend to put more than a scoop in a bottle for a long run but only a regular dosage when doing cross training in between the runs. And my cross training is non running 2-3 hour block exercising (don't ask).

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to mrrun

Yeah, I saw the dosing bit right up to 4x in one bottle for a marathon and take a swig before the water stations. Thanks for your help on this... I think the trial pack is the way to go for sure, and from what most people are saying without the recovery ones.

mrrun
mrrunUltramarathon in reply to UnfitNoMore

It's important to time it right. No need for it during short runs. Your energy levels are fine up to a certain level and what level that may be it's your call. I realised that my first hour or so is comfortable, didn't need it but you need to start sipping it before the fatigue kicks in, because then it may be a bit late. Experiment, is all l can say but, in essence, it's a drink for long distance running only.

SlowLoris
SlowLorisHalf Marathon

I'm still just on water. What distance are you looking at?

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to SlowLoris

I’m just getting to the 10 mile mark and on the way to HM, so in that 90+ minute window where the fat burning needs to be up or it gets a little tougher. Also looking to book another couple HM for March and May, so expect to go pretty much straight back into HM plan after my first (after a week of slow short recovery runs) and that would mean maxing my long runs out around the 16 mile mark, if I can stay injury free. March HM would be a training run for the May one which would be my focus.

SlowLoris
SlowLorisHalf Marathon in reply to UnfitNoMore

On the premise that I’m not an athlete looking for a sub 3 marathon I shall see how I go.

If I ingest more sugar than I’m using it will just lead to an increase in insulin. That means more sugar needed then more insulin and so on.

At my speed I should be fine for 2 or 3 hours. I was fine for the HM. I had a couple of sips of water but only because my mouth was dry.

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to SlowLoris

That’s one of my other reasons for tailwind over gels... I believe that drank at the rate prescribed it’s only about 200 calories per hour in sips, so slower than the calorie burn, and they don’t recommend drinking it too early in the run.

SlowLoris
SlowLorisHalf Marathon in reply to UnfitNoMore

I’ve been working on improving my fat burning. Not intentionally at first. I just got into the habit of only having a coffee before the morning club runs. As the runs got longer I just carried on. At some point I will have to take on carbs. Just not sure when.

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to SlowLoris

I have been trying to run in HR zone 3, but I get bored after a while and speed up... still, some of my run is helping the fat burning. In article I read said if you get the fat burning right, even an ultra runner can go without specific fuelling. I imagine electrolyte loss can be an issue there though.

I think we are probably all different in terms of when we start to need fuelling and how much... definitely a case of avoiding the carb vs insulin spike battle then too.

SlowLoris
SlowLorisHalf Marathon in reply to UnfitNoMore

I just looked back at my HM. (Not too busy here on the beach!) I was running borderline zones 3/4 throughout. I think the zones are useful but there is no way that respiration and biochemistry works in 10% increments.

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to SlowLoris

Absolutely... there may not even be a scientist who could tell each of us what HR to aim for for best aerobic improvement or fat burning at the level we start at. If running could be dissected into exact science then Kipchoge would have smashed 2 hours by now. I look at how much a change of coach can affect athletes in all sports, and it kinda proves that they don’t know so much about bodies in general as they do to fine tuning the training of a particular athlete.

SlowLoris
SlowLorisHalf Marathon in reply to UnfitNoMore

I’ve invested in the Garmin chest strap to get the extra running dynamics. If it gives me an idea of lactate threshold I’ll adjust the zones to suit.

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to SlowLoris

I may have to purchase one of those... but top of my shopping list is a footpod as the watch accuracy is pretty bad, and consistently so. Also, I noticed something strange today... my heart rate was reading lower than usual, with the same effort level from me. What I was doing was running with Nike Run Club, so had the Garmin in cardio instead of run mode. A little investigating into my history shows that it’s consistently 10-15 BPM lower when I use it this way. I’m wondering if the common problem where a watch picks up on cadence isn’t an issue when it isn’t measuring cadence! Of course there’s only one way to find out... 2 identical watches one on each wrist... 2 runs so I can swap them over... glad I don’t own a Fenix or this would get pretty expensive 🤣

SlowLoris
SlowLorisHalf Marathon in reply to UnfitNoMore

That’s an odd one. Mine always measures everything. I can change what data screen I’m looking at. I’m not convinced by the cadence lock thing. It would show up clearly on the graphs on Garmin Connect.

Could it be that non Garmin apps like NRC are using the phone’s accelerometer and not the one in the watch? I suppose it does in cardio mode.

The problem with a footpod is it assumes an accurate and consistent stride length. I would expect a treadmill to be better calibrated to tell you distance run.

Sqkr
SqkrAdministrator

I used to use Tailwind and liked it well enough, and they are lovely people, though I only really the green tea flavour as the others were too sweet and cloying for me. They asked for suggestions for new flavours at one stage and I went with lots of nice herbal ones but they inexplicably chose Coca Cola (vom) so I felt a bit sad about that. Some people have a sensitivity to caffeine I believe, so they have variations to allow you to mix and match your preference. I imagine you don't have a sensitivity if you already get stuck into the cappuccinos so minimal risk there. With regards to effect...I'm not really sure, I personally think a lot of it is psychological. I like a coffee before a race and have some Revvies sometimes en route, and a gel, but to break up the run more than to give me superpowers. I've not noticed an actual difference in terms of caffeine response.

I like the Tailwind recovery drink compared to other recovery drinks I've tried, though by itself it is still chalky and a bit odd like most shakes. I have tried both flavours but prefer the vanilla, and like to mix two scoops into a foamy oat milk coffee, sometimes with Baileys, and then it is delicious. However if I finish an event a long way from home I drink it with water, just because sometimes I find I crash a little on a long bus trip home and it's the easiest way of getting something relatively substantial into my body. Whether it is necessary for muscle recovery or not, who knows... But I don't really ache or feel funny after running, so I'll keep using it in case it's the drink and then see how I feel when I've run out.

These days I use Active Root in my bottle for fuel and hydration, which is ginger flavoured (also comes in ginger green tea and ginger mint) and is flipping lovely. Also, it was created by people from Edinburgh so I am a little biased. They have it at a lot of the Scottish events (I first tried it at Run Mhor and haven't bothered with anything else since), and it seems to be growing in popularity.

Edit: Also great for hangovers, and delicious made hot. I am going to experiment with running with a flask of hot Active Root in the winter when I go on frosty adventures.

Edit 2: I feel I should point out I am not an Active Root ambassador despite that glowy report, but I just went onto their site because I thought I'd find out a bit more about them and it turns out they are so local to me it's ridiculous. They even took their mascot from my regular training patch. So frankly I ought to be an ambassador, if you're reading this, Active Root, and am happy to road-test your future flavours 🤣👍

"The Active Root mascot is Ginger the fox. We chose Ginger after an encounter with a fox on the Edinburgh Meadows during a market research tasting session. He shot across the grass at a rate of knots, avoiding dogs and pedestrians then sprang over a wall. We were impressed. Now he is our good luck charm at all events we do!"

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to Sqkr

Active Root made me giggle... a friend from Australia uses “root” for a completely unrelated activity, they may need to rebrand it there... then again it could sell very well!!

Thanks for all that, I think I’m going to be leaning towards the herbal, with caffeine and may as well try the recovery mix. Some of this is with a view to doing marathon du Medoc and I’ll need to recover to drive through France a couple of days later... I foresee a few stops for leg recovery there.

I know what you mean about brand ambassador, I talk about Nike Run Club a lot, and happen to use their road shoes too... I don’t work for them, but maybe they could see their way to giving me a couple of shares 🤣

Oldfloss
OldflossAdministrator

Do you need anything?? I think I am just odd... ( well I know I am, but...) I asked a question re fuel before my first HM and got a lot of support and useful info from misswobble .

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to Oldfloss

I’m starting to feel the need... don’t truly know wether it’s psychological or physical, my mind wanders to nutrition and that leads to thinking of pizza and the likes, and then my legs start to feel tired 🤣

Phone for a pizza delivery mid run?

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to Couchpotato2

Timed right I’d be up for that! Maybe a slice with 5k to go 🤣🤣🤣

I think it wld be popular with others too!!

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to Couchpotato2

Marathon du Medoc have steak, oyster and cheese stations towards the end of the run... I’ll have to resist all temptation to just stop at the cheese one and eat it all 🤣

Maybe let’s start food stations on a 10km run. Wine and chesse is good in my books

misswobble
misswobbleMarathon

I only use tailwind for very long runs. On marathon day the caffeine Tailwind bottle will be saved til last I don’t like sweet cloying drinks either and I think Tailwind tastes suitably bland

I buy the mixed box I make it up using the amount of water specified

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to misswobble

Thanks... maybe I don’t “need” them for the half, but I’m looking at upping the mileage for the full marathon and want to make sure I have everything well tested by that race day... and there’s something in my head about going over 15 miles solo... dunno why, 15 doesn’t bother me 16 does 🤣

Teresa1632
Teresa1632Half Marathon

I've not tried Tailwind, as I'm diabetic and the sugar/carb in the first hour would finish me off 😬

As for caffeine, my husband takes two of these caffeine boost capsules with him on a long distance cycle ride. (The effect takes 20 mins to kick in) Easy to carry with you & it's a measured dose wiggle.co.uk/bio-synergy-pe...

I tried one around mile 9 of my HM last week, and it turbo charged me! Easy on the stomach too. So, I'll be using them again on a long run.

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to Teresa1632

Thanks... They sound good and will be great if I benefit from caffeine in the run... do you both take caffeine normally? Any abstinence period before?

Teresa1632
Teresa1632Half Marathon in reply to UnfitNoMore

Both take 1 mug of coffee in the morning. Never thought of an abstinence period!

misswobble
misswobbleMarathon in reply to UnfitNoMore

I am an espresso nut 😃. Mo Farrah has an espresso before a race followed immediately by a second ☕️☕️🙂

Espresso can have an effect on your bowels so take care

It can make your heart race as well so don’t overdo it

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to misswobble

Yeah... I used to fill a mug with shots of espresso at work... didn’t do wonders for my health 🤣. Nowadays I do love a shot still from time to time.

misswobble
misswobbleMarathon in reply to UnfitNoMore

I made raw espresso bars once. I ate the wonky ones and the leftover mixture. I was wired 😳😳😳😳😳😁 even my temples pulsated

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to misswobble

I have to try this!

Sandie1961
Sandie1961Half Marathon

I haven’t used anything to date during a run (not even water) but with GSR coming up and some longer runs done, I find I start to seriously flag at 12k, so, having read lots of positives about Tailwind and the fact that it appears to be more palatable and digestible than gels etc, I have bought a mixed batch off Amazon. I haven’t actually tried it yet though, so we will have to see. I can’t drink much before a long run, as I’d need to stop half way! In terms of post run recovery, I am currently half way through a 28 day Body Transformation Challenge, which involves som high intensity weights circuits and we have been told to drink a protein shake afterwards. Again, the normal ones are far too sweet for me (why can’t they make vintage cheddar flavour or Stilton?!) but I have found Nutristrength, which is a veggie one (pea protein) rather than whey based, which comes in roasted cocoa and smooth coffee flavours.

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to Sandie1961

Interesting stuff, thank you. With tailwind I think the idea is to get into deficit first, so no drinking it early and then time it to be kicking in as you hit the point where you start to feel fatigued, so maybe 20 minutes before 12k for you... we will both have to experiment there a little.

Stilton would be great... now I’m looking at the kitchen and thinking it’s time to get the blender out! If it’s drinkable then it’d be perfect as I waited for pizza 🤣. I’m thinking it would be along the lines of bacon and egg ice cream, infuse the Stilton into milk to get the flavour and then remove it... and probably eat it on crackers 🤣

misswobble
misswobbleMarathon

They advise you to sip it throughout. You probably won’t need the loo during a half Marathon

UnfitNoMore
UnfitNoMoreHalf Marathon in reply to misswobble

I’m usually good with the loo, tmi possibly, but I tend to go first thing and then not until at least midday.

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