By Jeremy Berger
on 5.15.14

In sports and fitness, training plans and pounding the pavement can take you a long way. But sometimes it takes more than a blue collar work ethic: it helps to have bits of wisdom from seasoned vets, deep scientific insight and cleverly designed products. Since kicking off Limits, we’ve scraped together knowledge about everything from the effect of caffeine on endurance to the importance of VO2 max testing. We still fall down at stoplights occasionally, but no amount of wisdom can prevent that. Here’s what we’ve learned.

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riding-high-coffee-and-endurance-sports-gear-patrol Coffee and Endurance Sports
Coffee and cycling go together like beer and brats. It may be because the local coffee shop is the ideal spot to hook up with your buddies for a ride, or because you want to get a quick jolt so you can drop them at the county line sprint. But the simplest explanation lies in the data, which strongly suggest that caffeine improves performance for endurance athletes — cyclists, triathletes, runners, you name it.
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road-to-la-ruta-part-2-gear-patrol-lead-ipad VO2 Max Training
In the second part of an eight-part original GP series, The Road to La Ruta, Dirk Shaw looks to science for answers on how his body burns its fuel.
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opinion-the-wall-gear-patrol-lead Bonking Versus Dehydration
There’s a lot happening in the body that’s implied by the catch-all word “bonk” (a.k.a. “hitting the wall”). While the resulting symptoms can occur at once as a symphony of pain and delirium, it’d be a mistake to think they all have the same cause and the same treatment. In Jeremy Berger’s opinion, the most valuable distinction for beginner long-distance runners is between dehydration and a glycogen bonk, or, generally speaking, running out of stored carbs to burn.
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total-immersion-swimming-gear-patrol-lead Total Immersion Swimming
It made me angry that the obese woman could swim faster than me. I raked and windmilled my arms through the water in the windowless, basement-level pool at the local YMCA. 5:30 a.m. to avoid the crowds. By 5:45 a.m. I’d be winded, exhausted. Have a Gu. Adjust my goggles. Stretch the lats out. Out at 6:00 a.m., even more angry. There had to be a better way to learn how to swim.
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Get-Well-Gear-Patrol-Lead Best Recovery Products
If you think that your performance on race day is only tied to your best efforts on the track or your bike during training, you’re overlooking the most important part of your training cycle: recovery. By spending all day focusing on how you’re going to break your body down during your next CrossFit binge and not on how you’re going to rebuild and progress, you’re already two steps behind your competitors. Read on for the best recovery products to step up your game.
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