Friday, 2 April 2021

Cherry Active back on the menu

My efforts in training have ramped up recently in preparation to run 50 miles per day during Stage X of the run around the world this summer. As a result of that, my muscles have been "in bits" this week. It's beyond funny! 

I was in agony on Sunday the day after Dave Fairlamb's "Zoom" session. Monday was just as bad. I went into Tuesday's 20 mile run in the nice sunshine feeling not much better. I battled through the aches and pains in my legs and probably couldn't give much more for 12 miles. The remaining 8 miles were just about survival with no quality at all. 

The fall out from Tuesday's 20 miles felt very familiar in terms of feeling tired and sun beaten. What I'm simply not used to is the muscle soreness. My efforts in training over the next 100 or so days will increase to such a level that by the time I start Stage X on July 12th, I will have already gone through a lot of miles and suffering. With only 50 miles to run this week and a few sessions in the gym, this is a "quiet week". I simply won't be able to get through the required workload without the help of an old friend. 

Regular readers will know that I'm referring, of course, to Cherry Active that magical product made by my pals at Active Edge

In these days of various "influencers" flashing products and staking all kinds of claims, let me lay down some background. For that, I need to rewind just over 10 years when I was training for the run across the USA in the University of Northumbria's environmental chamber. Assisting with that were PhD students Jamie Tallent and Chris Toms (pictured below) after I'd ran for 40 minutes on the treadmill at 37 Celsius and 70% humidity. During my time at the Uni, Dr Glyn Howatson (Laboratory Director and Associate Director for Research in the Centre of Sport Exercise and Wellbeing) told me about a product they were studying. This product was an antioxident in the form of concentrated Montmorency Cherry juice. Its name was Cherry Active

The following week, I contacted the company and they sent me some Cherry Active to try.  I distinctly remember the first time I drank it. It was March 2011 and I'd just finished a 31.8 mile run from Alston to Shotley Bridge in the North Pennines. There were some tremendous climbs over that course totalling 3288 ft. Based on the rest of my USA preparation, it was one of those runs that would take a few days to recover from fully. By that, I mean both general fatigue and the dreaded muscle soreness. 

Within minutes of finishing the epic run I had 60ml of Cherry Active diluted (I later discovered that 30ml was the optimum amount for recovery) and thought nothing more of it. That is, until the following morning. I remember getting out of bed and within minutes had a lightbulb moment "Hang on! Why am I not riddled with pain?" is what I thought. I continued my day fully expecting the muscle soreness to appear at some point. It's like that with some people and some sessions. There were no aches the following day either or the one after. 

The following weekend involved running from Edinburgh to Newcastle over 3 days. I consumed 30ml of Cherry Active diluted in water at the end of day 1 (35.5 miles), day 2 (38.6 miles) but not day 3 (31.7 miles). Hey presto, I was able to run with virtually no aches on day 2 and 3 and the day after the event the old familiar pains were back. 

I continued to use Cherry Active during the remaining weeks before the run across the USA started on May 1st 2011. While hardly a scientific study, I had seen tangible and quite unbelievable benefits to recovery in terms of muscle soreness. 

The rest as they say is history and I managed to run across the USA in 2011, Australia in 2013, Western Europe in 2016 and Eastern Europe in 2018 while using Cherry Active to recover. 

As an aside, in 2016, I also used Active Edge’s BeetActive which works a different way to delay the onset of fatigue. By day 52, I was 39 miles ahead of schedule after running 1765 miles. This beat my previous best over the final 52 days of the run across the USA by 7 miles. 

Back to the present day and I’m pleased to say that Active Edge are once again stepping up as a sponsor of Run Geordie Run for Stage X of the run around the world with the supply of Cherry Active. Given what you've just read, I'm sure that you can appreciate just how relieved I am about this. I simply can't continue to go through the pains that I've experienced this week. 

I've got to say a huge thank you to Active Edge for 10 years of continued and unwavering support. Getting commercial backing is appreciated at any time but now even more so given the current state of the world in which we trade and conduct our business.

This is just the start of the good news with just over 100 days until the start of Stage X of the run around the world. Watch out next week for news of further commercial backing and how the Stage X Support Team is starting to come together.