Worthwhile getting in the habit or using them or not?
OK, so I've done a 10 mile plod in my marathon training and i'm about to start doing longer distances, is it worth getting in the habit of trying to take gels whilst running or is it just not worth it?
If not gels, and i'm running say 12 - 20ish miles should i be taking anything else if so what? Water... that seems a lot heavier to carry then a few Gel bars?
I don't really have any idea so i'm throwing it out there for your clever people
Oh.. one of the reasons is i'm thinking of how do I carry them or water, a big pack, a small bum/thigh bag? or i've seen a gel strap that's barely more then a strap that you can put them in and can hold an inhaler, and if you want a phone etc... Just wondering if I should get something like this and get in the habit of wearing it, or if it's just all a waste of money and just need to carry a small rucksack or something with water in it.
When I run more than 12 miles - i'll use gels (SiS and Powergel). It all depends on your race day strategy - how are you planning to run the marathon? On gels? food? Energy drinks? This will dictate how you prepare and work in your training.
I have a waist belt from Camelback that has:- 1 500ml bottle (i use water)- 2 locked pouches. I use one for gels/flapjacks and the other for keys/inhaler/tissues.
You should never try anything new on race day so you need to make sure that in your preparation runs you're trying out the different fuelling methods to see what works for you.
If you're going out in hot weather - you'll need water and if you're using a non-isotonic gel (e.g. powerbar) you'll need water to slurp it down.
Thanks Emmy. This is me trying to decide what my race day strategy will be
Gels, seem a way of hopefully avoiding the dreaded wall, mind you i'm so slow i might not have that issue.... anway. I'm thinking Gels (carrying my own around, possibly every half hour, not sure if mean to be that or every 20ish min) and water from the oncourse watering holes. If so, then I guess I should train with Gels and a watter bottle and drink every 5k to emulate on course water. (wll check to see if that's how often they are in my race).
Does that seem a reasonable thing to get in the habit of doing for anything over 10m or just overkill?
Best thing is to try a load of different things out on your training runs and see how you get on. Personally I don't like the gels so I have some jelly babies or something similar, dried apricots or flapjack. I'm not super speedy though so it's not all swilling around in my belly!! I have a waist belt too that takes a couple of bottles and has pockets for other stuff.
So... I guess I should get some sort of belt, and go from there arrgh it's all soooo complicated
Steph I would go with what Emmy_bug said - do the same in training as you would on race day. Every long run over 10 mile start introducing a gel or 2 - I usually have one half way on a 10 miler and 12 miler and 3 for a 15 miler (1 every 5 miles) and so on
- every 45 minutes during a marathon is enough to avoid the "Wall" and a light brakfast (300-500 Kcals),if your body is used to the gels from training you know there won't be any bad reactions on race day
Tip: even if water is provided by the organisers don't rely on it (they've been known to run out) - best to carry your own just in case - that way you can take gels at whatever stage you wish (topping up your bottle belt now and again if water is there)
Best of luck!
Andy ( myrunningtips.com )
by the way, I use high-five energy gels on an elasticated belt, like the one you mentioned - you can just wash these down with water - this works well for me!
@Steph - I'd try out as much as you can. I'm not fast (5 hour marathoner) and I'm slowly coming round to the idea of flapjacks because i have issues with taking on anything after 19 miles. I love them.
A friend of mine gave me "shot blocks" to try for this weekends run and i'll see how i get on. I'd much rather try and fail during training than fail during a race!
I also carry my own water - but that's because in hot weather I put a nuun (electrolyte tablet) in it. It helps keep off stomach cramps and stitches.
Thanks everone. That's exactly the sort of thing that I wanted to know
The every 5 miles is great. I'm a bit slower than you I think so it might be every 6 or 7k for me
But i'll get some and experiment I think i'm going to try the high5 thing as they do a box with some gels in and the belt for about £15 so seems a good starting point. Do that and carry a hand bottle that takes 500ml and see where i go from there.
I'll just throw a spanner in your thinking. Part of the training for the marathon is to train your body to get its energy from burning fat and to increase your capacity to store glycogen.
I take no carbohydrate at all on any runs. The excpetion is when you are experimenting to see what works digestion wise. Therefore I would just take one gel towards the end of some of your longer runs.
The theory is that you complete deplete your glycogen levels on your long run the body then compensates by storing more each time. During the race you then prevent your stores from running out completely by taking Gels etc.
Someone will probably explain why I'm totally wrong though.
I take a backpack out on runs over 15miles, I tend to use over 500ml of water which is hard to carry. It's 2litre but only half fill it.
I was told roughly every 30 minutes you should be taking on a gel but I think that depends on you/your body/how fast you're running etc.
Play around, experiment and see what is best for you.
Good luck with your training!
Do what suits you and take a spare gel with you as they can fall out of your belt! I tried a couple of HM's with no gel, just relying on water but I found the last 3 miles hard work so I have gone back to using gels at 60 mins then every 30. I also use the High 5 gels, banana to be exact and buy them in bulk as they're cheaper that way.
Agree with TimR. One of the most important parts of the long run is to get your body trained to store more glycogen. So, yes, do practice with Gels, and decide on the strategy for race day, but don't let gels become a regular part of your training runs
Note also that some Gels must be taken with water (e.g. Lucozade), while others can be taken on their own (e.g. SIS). I choose not to take them in line with water stations, so something like SIS Go Gels are perfect.
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