By: Andrew Rindler
I’ve been competing in obstacle course racing for the past five years and am constantly driven to improve my performance. My peak achievement was when I placed in the top 10 of my age group in the elite division at the Spartan World Championship 2016. What often stood in the way and plagued my career over the years has been a severe struggle with muscle cramping in the hamstrings and legs. Unsuccessful attempts at mitigating them with mustard packets left me with nothing but a bad taste in my mouth.
I ran into HOTSHOT at the NBC Breckenridge Beast last year and gave it a try. After that first race, I knew I would never train or race without it again. I was in the festival area warming up when I came across the HOTSHOT booth. I got to talking with the members of the team and decided to try it for myself. I took one bottle before the race and I took one on the course with me. On the second ascent up the mountain, about 10 miles into the course, was a huge sandbag carry. For elites this was a 500-foot vertical and about a half-mile loop with the sand bag. I felt my legs getting tight. I decided to take the second bottle right before I took on this monster of a carry. I did not cramp the entire time! Even with mustard packets, I would have one or two cramps during a race. This was the first time in years that I had no issue. I ended up flying down the mountain to have a solid finish time, shaving off more than a half hour from the year before. I can honestly say that cramping truly became a thing of the past. I now drink a bottle before every race and keep a couple extra on hand for backup.
In May 2017, I had the opportunity to travel to London to compete in the West England Super Spartan. The constant change of hills and elevation was not easy. If it weren’t for HOTSHOT, I wouldn’t have been able to run the entire course and take 5th in my age division for elites. Prior to the Super Spartan, I raced at Fort Carson Military base. Despite an extremely brutal terrain, my team and I took first place overall for the elite division. We even beat the second-place elite team by 10 minutes in the next days’ race. This was the first time in my racing career that I did not cramp upon the heavy carries throughout this course. This has been my home race for the past six years. To take first and win the elite division with my team was huge.
Training for obstacle course racing is training for the unexpected. During a race, the terrain and obstacles change from location to location. Because of this, the kind of training I do is all over the place. I run around 125+ miles a month. This is the base for all obstacle course distance events. Trail running is paramount and sharp ascents and descents are extremely helpful when training for any race. Using HOTSHOT to prevent cramping on these runs is key. The less cramping the more training I can get in. Other methods I use for training include yoga, rock climbing, Crossfit and my newest venture is gymnastics-inspired fitness.
In obstacle racing, you have to be ready for anything. HOTSHOT is perfect for that. I am always ready for extreme terrain. Now, I can prevent the cramping that usually goes with it. In addition to training and racing, I also drink HOTSHOT to prevent cramping prior to intense mountain training sessions on the Manitou Springs Incline — that’s 2,000 vertical feet of stairs in less than a mile!
Muscle cramps are a thing of the past, and I credit HOTSHOT for making it possible.
MORE ON THE HOTSHOT BLOG
HOTSHOT vs The Breckenridge Beast: "HOTSHOT is changing how we all race- because we are able to use it to eliminate cramps and to push ourselves harder, longer, and farther."
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The Nerve is the Boss of the Muscle: Take control with HOTSHOT. Here’s how.