As I had mentioned before in previous blogs, being of “advancing years” but a very keen runner I had been asked to trial and review a joint health product called GOPO®. I have received no payment for doing the trial but received free samples in order to conduct the trial and to give an honest verdict. You know me, too honest at times, so I will certainly not get bought off with a few jars of tablets 🙂 Original blog post is here GOPO TRIAL 1
What was I told? GOPO® Joint Health is made from 100% specially cultivated natural rose-hip and is the only product of its kind to contain a high level of GOPO® – a key component of the rose-hip which may play a valuable role in the care of joints and joint tissues.
What I was looking for? Coming into my marathon training late I wanted to have a go at beating my marathon PB of 3.23 and heading towards my aim of a sub 3.15 (at the time the London GFA for old timers such as myself. To do this I was going to have to do an intense 12 week programme. My problem is my body didn’t like me doing consecutive days running. I’m stiff. I get sore, I tend to get injured, so anything that may be able to help me here was a no brainer.
What happened? In my 12 weeks I managed to run over 500 miles, averaging over 40 miles a week despite a few days off with a tight hamstring and everything that the “beast of the east” could throw at me. The consecutive days thing got easier, my running got easier and on race day I took 12 minutes off my PB running a time of 3.11 despite 3 miles of cramp.
All brilliant but where I really saw benefits was in my post marathon recovery. Last year it took me ages to get going again but I hit the ground running so to speak and raced a 10k track race less than two weeks after the marathon, the following week I ran my second fastest 5k, and then the following week smashed my 5k PB with only my second ever sub 18.
My training and racing was really consistent over the next period, a stream of 38 minute 10ks and a great trail race series finishing 4th overall. I decided to take a challenge on. Regular readers will know of my youth past as a steeplechaser, but as a past mid 40s auld man this really was all in the dim and distant past. But in July the Scottish Masters Athletics championships were on and the Steeplechase had in recent years been brought back into the championships. I had a wee plan, a wee idea, and a big challenge. That last steeplechase back in 1990 had been the end of my running career after dropping out. What perfect closure it would be to run one on that same track and finish it, some 28 years later. In previous years I wouldn’t have considered it as I would have got sore even looking at a barrier, but I was confident, daft and feeling like I was running more freely now. And I was genuinely able to recover quicker. GOPO® kindly agreed to extend my trial to the championships and I gave it a go. The full blog of that experience is here STEEPLECHASE , but to summarise I split it into sections of what I wanted to achieve:
- To be able to simply jump a barrier, mentally and physically this was a toughie.
- To complete the race (On the day not everyone did)
- To beat the medal standard of 12.20
- Major aim to try and beat 12 minutes
On the day my time of 11.36 exceeded my expectations and got me a Scottish Championships silver medal (in my youth heyday my best I managed was 4th, so this tickled me) and although I may not have had the speed of the top runners I was really proud of my technique on the waterjump in particular, and the jumping of some 35 3 foot high barriers was something I couldn’t have dreamed of doing previously.
So what’s my verdict? 100% honestly? I was very cynical prior to starting the trial and don’t believe in miracle cures but I have to say that since taking GOPO® my recovery levels have increased a lot allowing me to train more and this in turn enabled me to get into good shape quicker than expected and to turn in a couple of big personal bests. At the age of 47 this has been amazing for me. The recovery aspect with my joints and flexibility to be able to jump/hurdle again was a big thing to me. The pictures here are something I didn’t think I could do again and here I am doing it.
Who would I recommend GOPO® to? To me it’s not for the superfit in great condition. It’s not going to make you faster. If you are perfectly healthy and young etc. then look away and thanks for reading, but for people like me, the wrong side of 40, the type of person who can’t run/ compete/ exercise the way they used to, who has joint problems/ stiffness/ pain, maybe it can help you get that extra wee bit out of yourself. Since I started the trial my joints are not as sore and I can definitely recover quicker and because of that I can run more. And I can jump over things again. And that is something I never thought I would do again. It won’t take away your risk of injuries, you can still overdo it, common sense is still needed (and I wish I could buy a bottle of that :)) The last 5 months or so has seen probably some of my best training since I started back running.
The trial itself: for the first month I took 3 tablets twice and day, then 2 twice a day. I felt no side effects of any kind or any sickness. I didn’t suddenly “ping” and feel different. Check out the GOPO website if you are further interested. My trial is now finished, my capsules are finished and as I say I have received no payment nor will I, so I can say anything I want here, so if I thought it was a load of nonsense I would say so.
The jargon: GOPO® Joint Health is made from 100% specially cultivated natural rose-hip and is the only product of its kind to contain a high level of GOPO® – a key component of the rose-hip which may play a valuable role in the care of joints and joint tissues. GOPO® was discovered over 20 years ago in Denmark and significant levels can only be obtained if the rose-hips are dried using a special patented process. GOPO® has been available in Denmark for over ten years and has been the subject of several scientific studies.