December 7 2017
Our squad of testers put the latest running and fitness gear to the sweat test to determine the winners of our 2017 Tech Awards.
Running well tomorrow depends on how well you recovered today. These are our top picks for gear, apparel and nutrients to help you get back out there—at full speed.
Rolling can be a chore, so the more gadgets you have, the more entertaining it is to take care of sore muscles. The Rolflex may look unusual, but it is sturdy and highly adaptable for use on arms, legs, neck, basically anywhere that needs some good massaging and myofascial relief. Happy massaging!
Recovery smoothies are the jam for so many runners, and adding extra supplements to aid in the process is the name of the game. Coromega Max, Super High Omega-3 shots are just the right kick of those healthy fats to make any runner’s post-run beverage that much more effective. Drop them in the blender, or shoot them like your favorite real post-run drink!
The benefits of red-light therapy have been discussed for a while now, but you usually have to go to a spa or sports medicine clinic to utilize this technology, which is said to reduce joint inflammation, increase the speed of wound healing and improve skin issues. But with Joovv, an incredibly easy-to-use red-light-therapy device, you can bring all of the benefits of this treatment to your own home. With simple setup instructions and a compact design, you can use Joovv to help recover after long runs or intense cross-training activities.
The unique Grippz yoga mat provides great grip with an added benefit—acupressure! The antimicrobial mat is covered with knobs that activate pressure points along the hands and feet as you work on your poses. Made of silicone, the mats are great for sensitive skin and easy to clean.
Recovery sandals don’t have to be hideous. That’s why we love the Chacos Maya—they offer sturdy support for long walks and also work well with any type of outfit. Especially as summer winds down and everyone squeezes in their last outdoor festival weekends or getaways, it’s perfection to have a pair of open-toed shoes that won’t fall apart and that blend well with those flowy hot-weather bottoms.
You know protein is essential for repairing torn muscle tissue after tough workouts, but dense protein bars rarely sound appetizing post-run, and smoothies can be a bit of a hassle. Enter: Munk Pack Protein Cookies—yes, cookies! In each gluten-free, individually wrapped cookie are 18 grams of plant-based protein, 6 grams of fiber and a whole lot of yum. The coconut white chip macadamia came out on top in our taste tests, but the cookies are also available in oatmeal raisin spice, double dark chocolate and peanut butter chocolate chip.
No neon here: Keep your post-race recovery more subtle with these fun VIM & VIGR compression socks, available in an array of patterns, colors and materials—including cotton, nylon and merino wool. They’ll blend right in with your office attire on Monday morning (or peek out from boots in fall weather) without yelling “athlete!” And they offer moderate compression to aid muscle recovery, ease achiness and reduce swelling. Our other favorite uses: keeping our blood circulating on long flights and reducing cankles during that bloated third trimester.
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) include leucine, valine and isoleucine, the building blocks of protein. You can get them through your diet; however, it is challenging to get enough during hard training loads, which is why you can now purchase GU Energy BCAA (plus B vitamin) Capsules in a 4:1:1 ratio. Take the flavorless capsules before, during or after workouts to help prevent muscle damage and enhance muscle repair (they won’t interfere with any electrolytes).