First try at gels


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07/10/2013 at 11:33

Last month I was given a gel sachet in a goody bag. As I was going on a long 20k run on sunday I thought I might as well experiment with it to see how I get on with them.  It was an orange isogel.

My biggest gripe was opening the flipping thing with cold sweaty hands was almost impossible at one point I even stopped running to try and get to the gel. Once it was finally open it tasted ok ish but did not want the whole sachet. I was then left carrying this leaking packet until I passed a bin.

I am still not convinced by them but would be willing to try again. My Sunday long runs are normally before breakfast and when going over 15k I sometimes feel low on evergy.

What would anyone recomend that is easy to open and does not make you wretch?

07/10/2013 at 11:38

you need to try a few brands and flavours to find out your preference

for me SiS GO gels are still the best as they are isotonic (no water needed), taste good (not sweet like many), and are easy to use (grab tab in teeth and rip open)

the caffeine Smart gels from SiS are good when you get tired - the caffeine gives a rocket boost

cougie    pirate
07/10/2013 at 11:49
Unless you're racing - I'd go with sweets. Easy to carry and eat.
Gels are good for getting the energy into you quickly - but trickier to open and then messy.

You do need to practice with gels before using them in anger - but for other long runs I find those foamy bananas (3 packs for a quid in the spar) perfect for scoffing and keeping the levels up.

Jelly babies too.
07/10/2013 at 11:50

Yes, SiS are easy to open on the run, no faff with needing to take with water, and one of the more paletable brands. It is one of those things that needs some trial and error testing till you find the right one for you.

You should note however, that an important part of the race is to cover your face in the stuff in time for your finishing photo

07/10/2013 at 11:52

Agree with the others.  It's all about practice. I use High5 gels (iso ones or regular) and they're the best and agree with my stomach. It's very much trial and error to what works for you. I know a few friends that swear by jelly babies

07/10/2013 at 14:44

jelly babies

07/10/2013 at 15:12

Ive used the high5 ones and found them ok although it takes practice to take them without slowing down too much but you soon get onto it.

07/10/2013 at 17:07

Thanks for your feedback all. I will try both jelly babies and the other gels mentioned and see how it feels. I am not overly convinced that at the pace and distance I go I really need these things. It is always worth a bit of experimenting however.

07/10/2013 at 17:07

high5 and those big jelly strawberries Had the misfortune of trying a Lucozade gel once,BAWWK!! ,like wallpaper paste

07/10/2013 at 19:04
The isogels are easiest to open with your teeth as you're going. Don't need to rip the whole top off, just enough to suck out the gel. Less mess. They are a pain to hold onto once they're used though, but better that than throwing them on the ground.
07/10/2013 at 20:43

Besides the logistics of actually eating them, how does everyone find energy gels? Once described to me akin to "rocket fuel", I find them to simply take the edge off slightly for 3-4 miles (only ever used during 1/2 marathon)

07/10/2013 at 20:49

does anyone offer gels in smaller capsules?

cougie    pirate
07/10/2013 at 21:02
There's only 100 cals in each. If you had them in smaller portions you'd be unwrapping them all race.

Maybe try shot blocks ? Jelly sweet with liquid centre.

Gels take 20 mins to be absorbed so it's probably just in your mind ?
07/10/2013 at 21:04
Smaller gels would just mean more faffing around opening more sachets.
08/10/2013 at 16:48

I used to use shot blocks and they were really good as I cannot tolerate gels (intestinally or the taste). 

I was recommended, by a seasoned runner, to take small blocks of marzipan wrapped in clingfilm as it's apparently a good sugar rush - didn't get round to trying this though so cannot comment on the result.  Perhaps its just as well as I love marzipan and would probably have scoffed the lot in one go!!

08/10/2013 at 17:02


I completed my first marathon on sunday,i used 3 gels which id never used in trainning as trained my body on the minimul..they worked a treat,kept my mind alert all the way ..i went with the holland and barrat citrus gel (cant remeber the name) £1.65 a pop but well worth it..i used them from 10 mile onwards..get a good grasp on the top with your teeth and rip it open....also they were that good i wasnt tierd or hungry after for a good while

Dustboy    pirate
09/10/2013 at 22:30

I took to decanting a few gels into a slightly squeezy gel bottle. Only about a fiver and about 4 inches tall. Goes into a back cycle pocket or side pod of a small OMM bag or a running belt. Take what you want when you want it and reseal. All the wiping and clearing up takes place when you "load" the bottle.

I got fed up spraying it everywhere and being a landing strip for the local wasp brigade.

13/10/2013 at 14:25

Has anyone tried using jelly cubes? Y'know, the block of jelly cubes you buy from the supermarket that you'd usually add hot water to to make jelly.

13/10/2013 at 22:12

I am considering trying out jelly babies on my long runs, but I'm not sure how exactly I would use them. How many would you use, and how often are they eaten? I know this might sound really stupid, but I really have no idea about how many you are supposed to eat while running!

13/10/2013 at 22:20

By the way I should add I am already using High5 gels on my long runs and they do work very well, but I'm just curious about jelly babies!

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