Wednesday, April 9, 2014

DOMS, MAP and Black Mountain: When Supplements Prove Their Worth

Master Amino Pattern: Six Month Supply
I began using Master Amino Pattern (MAP) in the fall of 2013. At first I incorporated it into long runs and hard workouts preparing for The North Face Endurance Challenge. It seemed to work; the essential amino acids provided the building blocks to repair muscle damage and reduce fatigue and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). My soreness was substantially diminished and recovery happened faster.

When I gained entrance to Western States, I bought a six month supply. It is not uncommon for a supplement company to recommend ridiculously large doses. It sells more product. For my diet and weight, it was recommended that I take 40-50 pills a day! Some who use MAP have reported good results with as little as 5 pills per day. I opted for a daily regimen of 15 grams: 10 pills prior to workout, 5 pills as recovery. On easy or rest days, I take 5.

MAP worked well to reduce DOMS all winter. I steadily ramped my weekly volume up to record levels by Spring. Daily doses became routine. I was running more than ever and suffered no muscle soreness at all, even with 40 mile weekends. I practically forgot what DOMS felt like.

Headed up Black Mountain with Twirly
Then my training had a hiccup. Tendonitis in my foot sidelined my 6 days a week training. As a result I took no MAP for 4 days. Then I ran an easy hour, with MAP. Everything felt good, so I resumed training. My Saturday long run, a week before Lake Sonoma 50 miler, took me up Black Mountain outside Los Altos Hills. It wasn't until about a half hour into the run that I realised I had forgotten to take any MAP. The run went well, I felt strong. Afterwards I took 5 as usual for recovery...

Sunday's recovery jog revealed heavy legs, but little soreness. I resumed my daily 15 grams of MAP. Monday morning, DOMS returned! That familiar ache indicating a hard effort from days before was all the proof I need. While I do enjoy DOMS as a reminder of an honest workout, I have not missed it these three months! I have put in efforts 2-3 times harder than my run up Black Mountain and suffered no residual indication that I had a hard workout. I am now 100% certain that the daily use of MAP is facilitating better recovery, muscle repair and training volume. Not having any in my system for the 17+ mile, 3500' effort resulted in an obvious difference. 

That's my two cents. Speaking of cash, I was able to get 50% off the retail price per bottle by buying two boxes at once. While I find it worth the money at either price, I have enjoyed not feeling the need to ration my supply!


  1. Aloha Wanderplace,

    i've been using MAP for awhile now myself, where did you buy your 6 months supply at 50% off, sounds like a great deal for the long term.


  2. Aloha MeepMeep,

    I buy MAP through the manufacturer, INRC. I noticed that the pills can degrade if the bottle has been shipped too many times (i.e. third party distribution). A long shelf life (>30 months) will ensure it all gets used.