I believe certain events happen in life for a reason, and the timing of which can dictate how you move forward. As I was starting to look at my 2016 running goals, I realized that I wanted to take my performance to the next level. And to do that, I need to focus on diet and get my weight down a bit. I have about 10 to 15 pounds I want to shed, in a healthy manner. Right on cue, I received an email from Aaron Summers of 1st Phorm, a diet and supplement company. He had seen some reviews I had written on my blog and wanted to see if we could work together to promote 1st Phorm, while at the same time help me reach my goals. Aaron is a Certified Personal Trainer and a Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist. Right away, I knew he was someone I could ask questions and not just get a sales pitch as a response. I wanted to find products that work for me and my lifestyle. And he wanted to help me succeed and share my story. The 1st Phorm philosophy really struck a chord with me as well.

“Never Settle!”

I am going to follow that mantra in 2016 and take my running to the next level.

I had looked into different protein shakes and dietary supplements for athletes in the past, but I could never find any that were geared toward runners. My research almost always lead back to body building websites and forums where the goal is muscle bulk. I don’t want that. I want lean and fast. I don’t want that instant rush, or pump, that weight lifters want in order to achieve huge gains in the weight room. That kind of rush makes me feel out of sorts when running; like my heart will burst out of my chest. I want something that fuels my muscles for the long haul, whether it is a long run, tempo run, or a race. Recovery is a key, too. I want something that helps the muscles that I stress while running to recover in time for my next key workout.

I sent a list of personal goals to Aaron and a breakdown of my eating habits and meal timing. I shared my problem with sweets. I also have a habit of “grazing” when I come home for lunch. I’ll start with a normal lunch, and then I keep going back to the kitchen for more food. He took a look at that and made some recommendations. He also sent a list of 1st Phorm products to use in conjunction with the recommended diet and my normal running routine. I followed his outline and ordered the products he had recommended.

My order was on my doorstep within a few days, which was impressive since I ordered the week of Christmas. I checked out all of the products and let my wife, the pharmacist, look them over in case any ingredients threw up red flags. She gave the green light and I called Aaron to let him know I had received my order and would start following his plan the day after Christmas.

Since then, I have been using the Level-1 protein shake as a mid-afternoon snack or as a quick snack between work and the boys’ sports practices if we don’t have time for dinner. The flavor I ordered is Icecream Sandwich and it is very tasty. I usually drink it with almond milk blended with ice. Sometimes I add frozen berries instead of ice. The protein powder and almond milk together are under 200 calories and have very little sugar. Much better than grabbing chips and candy. After my runs, I use the Phormula-1 protein powder mixed with Ignition. These two products aid in recovery. There are great explanations of how and why the products work on the 1st Phorm site. Any questions that I had about how and when to take the supplements, or why they work, I simply called Aaron and we talked about my questions and concerns.

I have lost a few pounds in the weeks following the holidays, and I don’t feel like I have changed my eating habits too outrageously; outside of cutting out the snacks and junk food. Having Aaron keep in touch and monitor my progress has added the element of accountability, which I think is a key in sticking with any kind of plan. The Level-1 protein shake has taken care of my cravings for sweets and keeps me full enough that I don’t need to raid the cupboard when I get home from work. The Phormula-1 and Ignition have helped me recover from my tough runs. My legs have felt great, so that tells me I am recovering adequately between runs.

I have a few other products that Aaron recommended that I will add to my diet and supplement routine. I am adding them in slowly so I could make sure everything agrees with my stomach and works with my daily activities. If I were to try them all at once, it would be hard to tell what is working or what is not working for me.

I will continue to write reviews about the individual products I try as time goes on. I want to provide a resource for runners to find information about products that work for them and their specific goals. I recommend 1st Phorm, and Aaron Summers is a great guy and very knowledgeable to talk with and discuss your individual goals. Give them a try.

Never Settle!