I think taking gels etc on long runs is about topping up the tank rather than giving you a boost. In other words, it's about delaying the time it takes to run out of energy rather than give you higher energy (adding more fuel to a car doesn't make it go faster or run easier...it just stops it running out of petrol).
I struggle to get anything down on long runs of more than 12 miles. I understand it's quite common because the blood in our body is being directed away from the gut towards the muscles as they need it most.
If you can't stomach gels and things, the lucozade chewy energy tablet things are good? At least, I think they're lucozade, there are probably different brands! They give you the energy without the cloying sticky feeling in your mouth
I have been training to not drink or eat on any runs up to 16 miles for the last 2 years and now as long as I have had a few mouthfuls of water pre and post run it does not effect the performance at all and i dont feel thirsty during the runs.
Mind you if it is a hot day I will carry some water, just in case.
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