Gels or Jelly babies and amounts

17 messages
14/09/2012 at 12:15


OK the nerves are setting in it's a month until my first marathon.  i'm in the 5 hour plus bracket to me that's running it.  I know to some of you that's a slow walk

Anyway, I'm thinking either high five isogel plus or Jelly Babies.

Reading up it seems that i should be taking possibly 2 or even 3 gels an hour, 2 seems possible i guess but just want to check.  Am I being daft or is that right and if i'm going to take 5 hours plus, around 5.30 i should be basically taking them every half hour after i start running, which is around 52g of carbohydrates an hour, so about the same as 60odd grammes of jelly babies per hour.  So again if 5plus hour is that 300+g of jelly babies so a bag n a half that i should be taking with me?


14/09/2012 at 12:53

Whatever you feel most comfortable with. Though the amount does seem somewhat excessive. Be sure that you are not taking on more calories than you are burning and that you are not giving your body too much work to do in digesting what you are putting in.

I guess that it doesn't really matter that much both are instant energy. I'm slightly worried that jelly babies will give you a sugar spike and crash. 5:30 is a long time, enough time to crash, which I guess is why you need to keep feeding yourself.

What have you been training with? Can you take both and just see what you feel like eating when you're out there?

I have strange food cravings when I run, wonder if a bag of chips counts?

14/09/2012 at 12:59

not a lot on my 28k run i tried a dozen jelly babies, and in just over a week doing a 32km so was thinking about it now for then.

So the 28k according to nice garmin watch and HRM i burnt off 1900ish calories the isogel thingies are 92 calories so 2 x an hour is 184 and around the same for jelly babies. So that will be along the lines of 900 calories intake over the marathon.

Which I agree seems a lot, but I will be burning off probably about 3000 i guess? so that would leave me still with a 2k defecit :0 so not exactly going to pile on the lbs whilst doing it.

Edited: 14/09/2012 at 13:01
14/09/2012 at 13:01
I'd test it out on your runs and see what works. For me, I can normally stomach 2 gels (sis isotonic gels) an hour until 3 hrs and then I mix it up with whatever my stomach feels I can take in. Sometimes its banana's, crisps, flapjacks, peanuts... If my stomach starts to get a little tender - i'll drink some flat coke and that normally helps me a lot. I know a friend I've ran with that will literally take a picnic with her (cheese sandwiches, flapjacks etc).

I think the most important is not forcing your stomach if it does get tender but have plans in place if your current strategy doesn't work.

I'm a 5hr runner too so I know what you mean about being out there for a while!
14/09/2012 at 13:15
Thanks Emmy that is brilliant

Your friend how does she carry it. I've got an omm 6l waist bag probably a bit big but do you actually get runners carrying smaller waist packs full of bits on marathons. It's daft I'm going to be running n looking a mess probably with snot everywhere, and i worried I'll look an idiot being the only one with a bum bag full of nibbles.

Edited: 14/09/2012 at 13:16
14/09/2012 at 13:24
Umm... We normally split everything out to split the weight, I have a camelback bumbag which can fit in 4 gels, 3 flapjacks, bottle of water, phone/iPod etc. if I didn't take the phone I could fit double the amount but I use this for training as well.

During races we will carry the gels, flapjacks and jelly beans and maybe 1 cheese sandwich and we'll pick up the rest from the aid stations as bananas can be Bruised after a few hours. I've also seen people strap things to drink bottles and to the camelback themselves.

I have smaller bags but it depends on the length of the race and what is being provided by the organisers. I'll always check the distance between aid stations and make sure that they'll provide stuff that I need on route.
cougie    pirate
14/09/2012 at 13:59

You need to test this on the long runs you're doing. 

For me I have an energy gel every 5 miles on a marathon. Have done so for years.

If I was having jelly babies I'd probably go with one every mile or two ? Seems about ballpark.  Gel manufacturers seem to give very high 'dosages' - Theres really not many people who would take 3 gels an hour ! How would you carry them all ?

14/09/2012 at 14:12

Booktrunk - like cougie I go for a gel every 5 miles which is 4 for a marathon - by 25 miles it probably isn't worth it.  Definitely get some practise in.  I find they become less easy to take as time goes on and I can get quite queasy so couldn't do more.

I have never successfully managed jelly babies while running - I can't do the breathing and chewing thing.  It'a a pity as they do taste lovely.

I have a gel belt which I use when racing to carry them and for training I tend to use less so just stuff in pocket or use camelbak.

12/03/2013 at 19:18

Look on you tube there are lots of marathon tips

Edited: 12/03/2013 at 19:19
13/03/2013 at 21:07
Thanks Paul for giving no advice except look on the world most famous video site, instead of a running forums six months after i ran the marathon, but apart from that it was a useful reply.


PS: yes I'm being a little sarcastic but only in a joking way!! Thanks for your really useful advice.
Edited: 13/03/2013 at 21:07
14/03/2013 at 09:27

No more blogs for me.

Stick to friends and fellow runners

15/03/2013 at 10:14

I tried York Fruits instead on Jelly Babies. They're much bigger and you can tuck them in the side of your mouth and let them dissolve (which takes about 10 mins) so you don't have to chew them. Not so good for your teeth though...

15/03/2013 at 10:23

I'd worry about doing something daft and ending up choking on them.  I do silly things like fall over

15/03/2013 at 10:34

Just to point out this thread is quite old I did manage it, 5:30:22 but hey I got around,  am training for my second, but have had a week and a bit off with a knee injury hope to be back running next week. 

If you are curious I went the Jelly babies route, flagged a bit around 33-40km but got through it.  I really wanted to beat 5:30 but it just makes me keener having not done it.  Would love sub 5:00 next time.

15/03/2013 at 10:46
Paul Garvey 2 wrote (see)

Look on you tube there are lots of marathon tips

Booktrunk - go to a library and look at running books. Hope this specific advise also helps with last years marathon

15/03/2013 at 10:56

Ohhh... Got myself some Vibram five fingers yesterday.  I assume that you break them in gently with a 50m ultra for the first run.  But I might go to the library and check first, just to be on the safe side. 

15/03/2013 at 11:46

Steph - this has tickled me that the guy posts 6 months after you done it then takes offence you are a ickle bit sarcastic  with your reply

I may consider doing a marathon in the coming years can anyone help..........lmao

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