I’ve written about the collagen creamer before. It’s an excellent creamer. It is free of added sugars, dairy, and gluten. It’s not as creamy as full-fat milk, and I like it in hot cocoa the best. Vital Protein Collagen Creamers contain MCT, a healthy fat, in coconut milk. Each coconut creamer also contains 10 grams of collagen and protein. Finally, one of my favorite parts of any Vital Proteins Collagen product is the ingredients list. Each Vital Protein product is made with real food. There are no artificial sweeteners or refined sugars. Plus, the Collagen Creamer is also Dairy and Gluten-Free (it’s not critical for me, but I do know it is for many).
The Collagen Lattes are all dairy-free and have 10g of bone broth collagen. Like the Collagen Creamers, the Collagen Lattes also contain MCTs and are dairy and gluten-free. There are no artificial flavors, sweeteners, or additives.
Two flavors Madagascar Vanilla and Golden Milk flavors contain no caffeine. The Cocoa Caramel and Hot Cocoa flavors each have 5 mg of caffeine.
So which is “better”?
The answer is neither!
Looking strictly at ingredients and nutrition facts both contain coconut milk powder, which means they are dairy-free. I’m not lactose intolerant, but my husband is, and they work well for him.
The creamer is best added to a drink like coffee or smoothie while the latte flavors can be drunk as a stand-alone drink.
The other main difference is the sourcing of the collagen. The creamer is sourced from collagen peptides. Also known as collagen peptides creamer. What are peptides? Collagen peptides act as building blocks for the body and help build stronger hair, nails, and joints.
The Collagen Lattes contains bone broth collagen. Bone broth is bones and cartilage and is better for bone health. As a runner, I like the added benefit of bone health.
You won’t go wrong for either, and it comes down to your preference. If you are looking for a healthier alternative for creamer, I would choose the creamer. If you want to substitute your coffee or morning drink altogether, the latte is a good place to start.
Right now I’m drinking Golden Milk which I like and highly recommend.
Thank you to Vital Proteins for sending the new Collagen Latte Golden Milk to try.
Questions for you:
Have you tried Collagen Lattes or Collagen Creamer?
Each month, Vital Proteins sends me products to try, and I share my favorites or answer questions people have.
I’ve already been using Vital Proteins for over a year, and I find I genuinely recover faster and feel better than if I don’t. Usually, I have one serving twice a day.
Since this is primarily, a “workout blog,” many people have asked how it helps with recovery. Keep in mind these statements are not evaluated by the food and drug administration and these products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.
What Makes Collagen Peptides Different?
Vital Protein Collagen Peptides have the added benefit of providing 18 g of collagen protein. I’ve personally found my body recovers much better when I have protein after a run or workout. Vital Proteins are also dairy free.
Why Take Collagen?
Until I learned more about collagen, I had no idea it was the second most abundant substance in the human body. (after water).
Collagen is found everywhere in the body. The purpose is to provide the body with strength, structure, and elasticity.
With the natural process of aging, our bodies become less efficient, producing collagen. This leads to slower workout recovery time. By adding collagen, you can help speed up the process.
One of the essential jobs of collagen is to keep our bones and connective tissue in optimal working conditions. For runners and people that work out, this is imperative. Like rest, you cannot train hard without recovering hard.
How Can Collagen Help Running Performance?
New research shows collagen can help decrease joint pain often associated with high impact exercise.
Long-term strenuous exercise, like running, leads to collagen degradation in the body. We naturally lose collagen as we age but running and other high impact sports can quicken this. It’s not an overnight occurrence, and the degradation of collagen is a slow process. It usually takes years. Like a stress fracture, it takes time and isn’t an issue that just ‘pops up”. That is why anyone running for years may have the same collagen issues.
Collagens Promotes a Healthy Response to Natural Inflammation:
Running stresses your body, which causes inflammation. Taking Collagen or any protein directly after a workout helps to promote inflammation and speed up the repair of connective tissues that are damaged. I feel and recover better on days I do have collagen within 30 minutes of working out.
Promoting Joint Health:
In the running world, it’s not uncommon to hear runners and athletes talk about “bone on bone.” This means they’ve lost the cartilage in their knees. Losing all of the cartilage in your knees is from years of wear and tear on your body and joints.
How does Collagen Help Joints?
Increases lubrication around joints to make more mobile
Helps to increase bone density (A BIG ONE FOR RUNNERS!)
Reduces inflammation around joints and improves healing of connective tissues
Which Collagen Products are Best for Recovery?
While products like “the beauty glow,” have collagen and protein, they aren’t the best if your goal is to recover faster.
A Few of my Favorite Vital Proteins Products for Recovery are:
The Orginal Collagen Peptides are unflavored and can be added to anything. The collagen peptides are digested and absorbed by the body quickly for maximum benefits. Besides helping recover, they also help improve joints and ligaments, and tendon health. Of any collagen product, they are the most versatile and can be added into almost anything with no extra flavor, including hot or cold liquids, coffee, smoothies, and baked goods.
Bone broth was one of the first products I started taking from Vital Proteins. Bone broth is filled with amino acids. These amino acids prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue, repair leaky gut, improve sleep quality, and help regenerate cartilage. Important for runners, bone broth also contains calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
The Collagen whey is my favorite product, and I try and have a serving most days. In addition to the collagen, the Vital Proteins Collagen whey contains 26g of grass fed whey protein concentrate and 5,105mg of BCAA. If you are looking for a protein powder, the Vital Proteins Collagen Whey supports recovery and mixes well into smoothies.
It’s one of the newer products, and I wrote about Vital Proteins Collagen Water last month. I like how many different flavors of collagen water there are, plus it’s portable. If I’m running from somewhere other than my house, it’s easy and packed. Of any of the products, the collagen water is the easiest to pack and bring with you.
In summary, I’ve found I’ve recovered faster and stronger after hard workouts by taking Collagen. Thank you Vital Proteins for allowing me to continue to be an ambassador.
If you have followed my blog since it’s birth in 2010, you may remember I was a swimmer. Not just a swimmer, but I swam competitively for college. After college, I was done. Swimming is a hard sport and to improve at the college level, and you are usually in the pool anywhere between 2-4 hours a day. After college, I had no interest in staring at a black line. I was burned out. Swimming workouts are tough but swimming is great because it’s nonimpact.
Truthfully, I didn’t think I would ever reach a point that I WANTED to swim again. I’ve swam on and off in the last decade, but nothing competitive and usually not unless I was an injured runner. This is the first time I’ve realized…hey, swimming isn’t “too bad.”
I’m always thankful that I learned to swim at a very early age because it’s not as easy as an adult. I’ve taught swim lessons before and learning when you are older is much more difficult, although not impossible. I’ve taught the mommy and me kids classes, coached swim team, and once showed an 80-year-old woman how to swim.
So if you are a runner, or someone wanting to benefit from swimming…what should you do?
First Get the Right Equipment:
If you want to start pool running or swimming laps you need the right equipment. Like running, swimming isn’t expensive (minus the pool).
You need a swimsuit (make sure it doesn’t move when you swim), swim cap, and goggles. There are a couple of pieces that are a bonus such as a kickboard or pull buoy.
The goggles I used almost exclusively through college are the Speedo Vanquisher. They aren’t designed for swimming in open water, but they are great the pool and minimally fog up. I used them for a decade and never had any issues.
Many people asked about swim caps. Why use a swim cap?
Swim cap allows you to stay more streamlined as well as protects your hair. It might seem silly to wear, but it’s the swimmers’ norm to make swimming laps or even pool running a lot easier and keep your hair in better condition.
There are all different kinds. Latex is the cheapest and stays put on your head. If you use gel or hair product, this is usually the cap I recommend. Silicone is a lot more gentle on the hair and doesn’t rip hair out, but it will slide off and won’t stay put if you use hair product.
Pool running is just how it sounds; you run but in the pool. There is more to it, though. Pool running has a number of names from aqua jogging to deep water running. A simple google search yields dozens of pool running workouts. Unlike running on land, you don’t necessarily need a training plan.
Since your feet don’t touch the bottom of the pool, there is no impact. This means it’s a good option if you are injured with a stress fracture of stress injury. It’s easier to pick up if you haven’t spent much time in the pool.
The funny thing about pool running is that it doesn’t resemble actual running. Your running form doesn’t matter as much as long as you are running. The point of it is to get your heart rate up. Just always keep moving!
Pool running (versus swimming laps) is what is going to be most beneficial to runners. We don’t horizontal run (LOL if you get it), so while swimming laps might be more enjoyable, pool running is what will help actual running and build fitness and maintain fitness for running.
Use a pool belt when pool running. It will help with proper form. Without a pool belt, your focus changes from running form and jogging to treading and staying above the surface.
I like this video with Jeff Galloway. He teaches exactly how to pool run. You want to get a bigger range of motion than you would in land running and just keep moving.
Here are a few workouts. Keep in mind, you will only benefit by putting the effort in, and no one can do that for you. You can half-ass pool running and float there, but you won’t get a workout in. You can text while on the elliptical, that is different than putting the effort in and getting your heart rate up.
30 Minute Workout:
5 minutes easy jog
10X 2 minutes alternating hard, easy. Focusing on getting your heart rate up.
5 minutes easy jog
Workout 2: 30ish minutes
5 minutes Easy
Cut the pool in half so you are jogging back and forth on the deep end side (or where you can’t touch the bottom)
10X one side. Sprint as hard as you can to one side, stop at the wall and jog back. Repeat 10X. I did this one time during college when I was injured (and slowly increased reps and it kept me in shape. Ultimately, I ran my fastest cross county time after being injured for 2 months).
As a “retired swimmer,” I am just more prone to want to swim laps. As I add swimming back into my routine, that’s all I’ve been doing right now.
When I swam competitively and ran competitively, I didn’t find (and still don’t) swimming shape to translate into running shape. You can swim as much as you want, but chances are it won’t translate into running your fastest times. Your overall fitness will be great, but the specific movements and cardio don’t translate. You can also run as much as you want, but might not find yourself a great swimmer. This article about, Olympian Micheal Phelps, shows that the specific fitness might not always translate.
How do you Start Swimming Laps?
My biggest advice to anyone just getting started is to start small. You don’t have to swim 1000 meters to get a good workout. Swimming laps is going to work different muscle groups as well as build lung capacity. You might find when you return to running, breathing is much easier.
Like running, make it a goal to swim X meters, stop, regroup, and keep going. Most pools are usually 25 meters or 25 yards. Make it your goal to swim to the end, take a break, swim back, and repeat. Once you are more confident, you can say: swim to the other side, rest 30 seconds, repeat, and keep going.
Any swimmer will tell you, elite-level swimmers don’t just get in the pool for 2 hours and get out. It’s not like a long run. They do dozens of drills, sets, and intervals. In fact, realistically that’s what swim practices are. It’s almost like doing speed work for the entire practice.
In the 15 years of swimming, I had one practice where our coach told us just to get in and swim. Honestly, it was awful!
Swimming for Runners: a few workouts you can do:
Need: Pull Buoy
Warmup: Swim 200 yards.
Set: 5X200 yard pulls with 2 minutes in between. Start off easy, and build to a faster pace.
Cooldown: 200 yards easy cooldown.
Total: 1400 yards
Warmup: 200 yards
Set: 4X25 yard kick. Using the kickboard, kick as hard as you can. Rest for 1 minute between.
50 Yards easy. Use this to flush out your legs, take your time.
4X25 yard kick: Kick as hard as you can. Rest for one minute in between.
50 Yards easy
4X25 yard kick. Alternate hard, easy, hard, easy. Take a minimal break as necessary, ideally working towards no break.
50 yards easy
50-yard kick as hard as you can. Take minimal breaks as needed, ideally working towards no break.
50 yards easy
2X25 yard kick. As hard as you have left. Take 1-minute break between but this should be all out, and your legs should burn.
Cooldown: 200 yards
Warmup: 200 yards
4×50 Freestyle. Your 5k effort. It should feel hard, but not like you are gassed out. Rest 2 minutes between each.
1X100 easy, “recovery.”
2×100 Freestyle. Moderate effort. This should feel like a half marathon, tough but controlled. Rest for 2 minutes between.
1×100 Easy, “recovery.”
4×25 Fast. Your hardest effort. This should feel like a mile sprint. Rest 1 minute between
1×100 Easy, recovery.
4×25 Fast. Your hardest effort. Rest 1 minute between.
Cooldown: 200 yards
Just keep in mind, you have to do workouts that you enjoy. If swimming doesn’t click for you, that’s okay. I appreciate how enjoyable it’s been for me and a nice break from the outside world. You get lost in your own thoughts when you are submerged in the water for an hour.
Hopefully, you aren’t pool running because you are injured, but if you are, you can keep fitness up and build lung compacity by swimming and pool running.
Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. This week I talked about rest days and cross-training. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.
Questions for you:
Have a question about swimming or pool running, ask!
Last weeks training was good. I got what I wanted for the week. Over the summer, I plan to race as much as possible to get back into shape. That’s what I did when I set my 5k PR several years ago. I want to keep racing until I’m back in shape. I personally find I’m able to push myself harder in races versus workouts.
Easy 60 minutes
Swim 3000 meters
Easy 60 minutes
Swim 3000 meters
3X1 mile averaging 6:30 pace
Easy 60 minutes
Cape May 10k (42:35) Total miles with warmup/cooldown 10
Long Run 12 miles averaging 7:58 pace (last 3 miles 7:08, 7:01, 6:56)
After a rough Spring and putting the effort in, and not getting anywhere I’ve finally committed mentally to building back fitness. When I start trying to build back speed, I’m usually faster, so this feels as though I have a long way to go, especially considering Spring didn’t go my way.
My easy runs were just that, easy. There is never much more to say about them.
Workout Wednesday: 3X 1 mile (averaging 6:30 pace) with 2 minutes rest in between:
This was my first-speed workout in about a month. I intentionally took time off to allow my body some rest from hard workouts. It felt challenging, but I’m happy with my effort and getting back out there.
As most people know by now, I’ve been getting back into the pool more. I still plan to swim throughout the summer. I was a competitive swimmer through college, and it seems like a different lifetime ago. I’m having fun in the pool right now because I can mindlessly stare at the black line for about an hour. I can’t compare myself to previous fitness levels because there is no way I’ll get back in the pool for 10,000-14,000 meters 5X a week as we did in college (yes that’s 2-4 hours most days).
This pace was slower than my 10-mile pace at Broad Street. I have struggled to get the turnover in my legs faster recently. It feels as though my body as one pace for hard efforts and that is between 6:45-6:55.
This is another personal worst in recent years, but as I said on Instagram, my goal is to show up at races. The good, bad, ugly, I’ll be there. I still had a great time with friends, and I’m happy to have done it.
My long run on Sunday felt better than my race on Saturday. My last 3 miles of my long run were 7:08, 7:01, 6:56. My last 3 miles of my 10k the day before were 6:58, 7:01, 7:01). Somewhat comical but that’s how the legs felt. I would have loved to run better at the race, but it wasn’t in the cards. I didn’t set out to run that fast, but it was motivational that I felt better for my long run.
Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. This week I talked about the differences between social media runners and running specialty. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.
Questions for you:
How do you get your turnover faster?
What is something you struggle with in running? Long runs? Easy runs? Workouts?