This month'sd guest blogger is US elite mountain and endurance athlete Laurel Walker (left), who has been running ultramarathons since she was 15. With several FKTs and many notable top-ten race finishes to her name, Laurel is familiar with the physical realities of training for 'going long'.
Here, she discusses the place of CurraNZ and its recovery attributes for endurance runners.
“Time on feet,” or TOF is a commonly accepted practice utilized in training for ultras. This phrase refers to runs where the pace or mileage isn't the focus, rather just racking up a large chunk of forward locomotion at whatever pace feels sustainable. While long periods of time being on our feet is an important part of training, what if TOF referred to "time off feet” as a way to remind ourselves of the importance of recovery?
As ultrarunners, we regularly put ourselves through grueling physical and mental battles, making recovery of paramount importance. While there are many factors that go into a good recovery routine, including sleep, nutrition and body work, certain supplements can also play an important role for athletes.
CurraNZ, a supplement made from New Zealand blackcurrants, is known for its high levels of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are natural antioxidants that give blackcurrants their deep purple color and have been associated with a variety of health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health and enhanced exercise recovery.
One of the most significant challenges we face as ultrarunners is muscle soreness. This can range from sore calves after a tough uphill workout, to deep, long-lasting DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). A recent study showed that athletes who consumed CurraNZ experienced a notable reduction in muscle soreness compared to the control group (Hunt et al., 2021). This means that runners supplementing with CurraNZ could potentially get back to training sooner with less soreness.
As ultrarunners we often need to take days, weeks, even months off between long and/or demanding efforts. CurraNZ was also shown to accelerate the recovery process, allowing athletes to bounce back more quickly. This is especially important for those who participate in multiple races per year, or balancing rigorous training schedules.
In another study, CurraNZ was shown to reduce muscle damage during long runs and fight inflammation (Hurst, 2020). When speaking of recovery, inflammation is a key factor. While it is a natural response to the physical stress of running long distances, excessive inflammation can hinder recovery. The anthocyanins in CurraNZ demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties, helping to mitigate the inflammation associated with ultrarunning.
Often those who are drawn to endurance sports have a hard time sitting still. I certainly fall into this category. What's important to remember though is that gains are actually made during recovery, after a big effort, not during it. Recovery really is one of the most important, but often overlooked aspects of training (Parnell, 2020). If you are always stressing the body and not giving it time to absorb the stress, it won't have a chance to improve.
In summary, if you’re looking to improve your recovery, CurraNZ is a great, natural addition to your daily routine to help speed up recovery and reduce inflammation and soreness. In addition, CurraNZ has been shown to work to bring all these benefits to your body long-term so I encourage you to give it a try and see where it takes you!
*CurraNZ is guaranteed to improve muscle recovery. If you don't feel its effects within a month, we'll refund your purchase.
Hunt, J. E. A., Coelho, M. O. C., Buxton, S., Butcher, R., Foran, D., Rowland, D., Gurton, W., Macrae, H., Jones, L., Gapper, K. S., Manders, R. J. F., & King, D. G. (2021). Consumption of New Zealand Blackcurrant Extract Improves Recovery from Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage in Non-Resistance Trained Men and Women: A Double-Blind Randomised Trial. Nutrients, 13(8), 2875. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082875
Hurst, R. D., Lyall, K. A., Wells, R. W., Sawyer, G. M., Lomiwes, D., Ngametua, N., & Hurst, S. M. (2020). Daily Consumption of an Anthocyanin-Rich Extract Made From New Zealand Blackcurrants for 5 Weeks Supports Exercise Recovery Through the Management of Oxidative Stress and Inflammation: A Randomized Placebo Controlled Pilot Study. Frontiers in Nutrition, 7, Online Issue: https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2020.00016
Parnell, C. (2020) Recovery Strategies for peak performance in ultrarunning.