I gotta keep this succinct because a.) I need to hit the road and ride home before dark (well, thanks to daylight savings time I have a bit more), and b.) I don't have much info for you.
But I have this: a new prototype version of First Endurance's Optygen HP.
There is a lot of study about Cordyceps Sinesis and Rhodiola Rosea, both adaptogens used first by Tibetan sherpas on Everest climbs. Those studies have shown the stuff helps drop lactic acid levels, raises oxygen utility and raises aerobic threshold.
I've used the Optygen HP since it came out, but was surprised when I received a package with bottles, for both myself to test, as well as my wife Donna, who's sponsored by First Endurance. To say I love the stuff is an understatement; I am full-on into training for a half, and Donna has just finished an Ironman a week and a half a go and is doing another in a month. I would say my energy levels, and effort levels are much higher, and Donna has said the same.
And the new prototype?
I don't know what they have done, but they have kicked it up a fair bit. There is some data on the label, which Mike Fogarty of First Endurance asked me to sit on—for the time being. He said that Astana was using this prototype in advance of and during the Tour of California, and the feedback from guys like Levi Leipheimer, they said, was nothing but super positive.
Of course, anything I could say would be anecdotal, but man, I did a hard ride last weekend to Dana Point, wanted a sustained race pace, with a little t-run afterward. No lactic acid, no drama at all...nothing but power. I am the king of sitting on wheels (well, only that of my wife), and I was getting uninvited limpets that day. Now I understand her plight of the wheelsuckers.
So yeah, First Endurance has something cooking. If you don't believe in performance supplements you should believe in this one... I wish I could be a bit less graphic, but... the shit works. It really does. When this new blend comes to market, it'll be worth a try. Heck, the existing Optygen HP is worth a look if you've not tried it.
Anyway, it's fun to be a writer who gets first looks at this, and gets to test it alongside the likes of Astana and the few sponsored pro triathletes that have their hands on it. I'm looking forward to seeing how it pans out for the next month; I have a race April 5 in New Orleans, and am glad I have this stuff in my arsenal. After all, I have a colleage to beat, and a case of beer to win.