Gazelle Sports Expert Opinion: AJ Herbel

There’s a first time for everyone, even Gazelle Sports’ Assistant Store Manager AJ

AJ Herbel, Assistant Store Manager at Gazelle Sports Grand Rapids, shares his first experience with Lake Michigan RTS: “I ran the race for the first time last year and absolutely loved it. It was a grueling race, especially the dune! I was not prepared for how steep and long it was. I was in decent shape, especially for a 10k and it took me over a mile to recover from climbing the dune. I originally thought I could run up it the whole way, but sadly was very wrong! Should have paced myself better. In the end it was fantastic and the transition from road to trail to sand made it a really fun and interesting run! I will definitely be participating again but there are two products you will never see me training or racing without:
First is my Garmin watch. I have the Fenix 5 with the over wrist heart rate. It gives me feedback during racing and training to see what zones I am in and how hard I am pushing my body. It helps me train because I can see just how hard my body worked during a race or training run and use it to adjust my plan going forward based on how I performed.
Second for me is sunglasses. I personally prefer the Oakley Prizm lense which I think provides the best protection in all light conditions. I started wearing them for cycling and quickly transitioned them into any activities that I do for their various benefits. Sunglasses are great for eye protection from wind, sun and weather. The advantage of protecting the eyes is you can relax your face which translates to most of the body. When training and especially racing, being able to relax muscles that aren’t in use is beneficial for form as well as not tiring out as quickly which makes a huge difference in this 10k!”
We’d love to hear from you. Share your Lake Michigan RTS experience in the comments below!