Taking on gels in marathon

21 to 32 of 32 messages
16/01/2014 at 22:24

I read it's 6 jelly babies, so it'll be the equivalent to a gel pack every 50 minutes + they taste nicer and easire to eat.

17/01/2014 at 16:51

Can popping extra gels with water at aid stations make up for not carbo loading and not carrying the extra few pounds from carbo load?

There is around 100 calories per gel barely enough to fuel 1 mile. How is taking 4 or 5+ gels during the marathon going to make any difference?

Can a carbo load make up for not taking gels during the marathon?

In my last three marathons I crashed and burned during the last 10 miles and my pace went down from 7 minute miles to barely 8 minute miles. I only took 3 energy gels in those three marathons with 2 in the first halves and only 1 in the second halves.

18/01/2014 at 09:46
Roadwarrior - I'm no expert but from what I understand: no, you can't replace carbo loading for taking on gels in the race as your stores need to be full when you start rather than trying to play catch up. You can also only absorb a certain amount in a certain period of time (sorry I don't know the numbers) which is why people take them every 30-45mins or so. This also helps them stay topped up as you're using them. It's not about how many calories are in them but what percentage is carb or caffeine etc. I think the fact that you've crashed could prove this, especially having taken 2 in the first and 1 in the second. I think most people, if taking 3 gels, would have done it around the other way as your stores are depleting and you're running out of steam!

Not everyone takes gels in the marathon but most have something - lucozade drinks, jelly beans or other sweets. I think it's important that u try things out in your lsr to see what works for u

It could also be that you're setting out too fast. Difficult to know without knowing your other times and whether it's a realistic pace for you
18/01/2014 at 09:59
Yes 7 min mailing may just be too fast for you regardless of fuelling. I did something similar at Abingdon this year and looking back I was just not fit enough to go out at sub 3 pace. I had done it previously but my 16 week build up had been perfect.
I prefer to carb load and just top up with 4 or 5 gels on the way round. If I took any more I think I would get serious stomach issues.
18/01/2014 at 11:42

To the people who eat jelly babies, how many do you have and how often?

PSC    pirate
18/01/2014 at 13:26

I'm sure I worked out once that 3 JBs is equivalent to typical gel.  How many an hour depends on you really.  I was tested last year by our local uni and they worked out I needed 1.2g/kg bodyweight/hour.  In reality (having tried that on a x-country marathon) it was too much and at the 3 hour point I was sick to the back teeth of carbs and did the rest of the race on water and finished fine!

18/01/2014 at 14:13
PSC did they take into account any carb loading that you would be storing? As I always find the reccomended amounts way to much. I just wonder if they forget that you should have approx 2000 cals of glycogen in the tank and you want to finish with a nearly empty tank not a full one.
PSC    pirate
18/01/2014 at 14:23

It was all done properly, but I just couldn't take the carbs on board.  I don't train with carbs if I'm out for less than 2 hours so now I tend to start eating about 90 mins in to a longer run and that seems to work better.  In truth I'm not the best person to give anyone advice on nutrition.  I've done a full mara distance on no extra grub.... just isotonic drink.  I think at my pace I can comfortably burn fat all day long.  Carbs are over rated!!

Edited: 18/01/2014 at 14:24
18/01/2014 at 16:32

Carbo loading requirements are insane anywhere from 7 to 10g in carbs for every kg you weigh. If you weigh 70kg you are looking at 490g to 700g in carbs per day over the two or three days leading up to your marathon. That is carbo overload.

No wonder marathon runners who undergo carbo load have bloated bellies.


PSC    pirate
18/01/2014 at 18:59
Carbo loading makes me feel crap. I just eat normally.
25/01/2014 at 17:43

yes eating to many carbs prior to racing...can make you bloated and uncomfortable..and often binds you up...I just add my gels into my water.bottle andsip this during my long runs..taking on water at the water stations

27/01/2014 at 13:29

I know they're not for everyone, but I really rate the GU gels.  

I'm in training for the MK marathon in May, and I'm thinking in terms of GUs, plus cola bottles (which I prefer to jelly babies - £1 for a big Haribo bag from Aldi), and maybe a handful of Sports Beans. I'll rotate these as I go.

I'll be running with a bottle belt, so I'll always have water on hand to take with the gels, meaning I'm not married to where the water stations are on the course.

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