Alternative to Torq
Ive used the Torq gels in the past and have seemed to get on OK with them, but havent used any other makes to compare them against.
RW mag did a short review on gels (May 2011) and gave the Torq gel the lowest rating out of the 4 on test, albeit the negative comment was about the taste and cost rather than performance.
Forgetting the taste/cost thing, for off road, hilly, runs of up to 50 miles in the UK, are there better gels out there ? If so, what and more importantly why ?
Ive looked at the whole fructose / glucose / maltodextrin / isotronic / electrolyte thing, but being honest, didnt really understand it all.
I guess my question should have said "Do certain gels use ingredients which make them better suited to long/slower runs (ie a slower/more sustained release) than others, which may be suited more to a quick/intense burst of energy.
If you've used Torq and get on with them, presumably including the flavour, why change because someone marks them down because of the flavour?
I find Torq's flavours a bit strong and therefore prefer SIS.
SIS all the way.
Even the reps for their competitors privately admit that they are the most effective.
Captain Beaky wrote (see)
All the gels I've tried use "sugars" (for want of a better word) as their carbohydrate source. Fructose can be absorbed/digested at the same time as glucose/maltodextrin which is why some manufacturers use it. It can cause some people stomach upsets.
The isotonic thing aids digestion- theoretically the isotonic gloop is at the optimum concentration level to be most rapidly absorbed through the gut. A more concentrated solution will be digested, just more slowly (if I understood the arguments correctly).
Electrolytes=salts, trying to replace those which you may lose through sweat. May prevent cramping, although I have read articles that say cramping is independant of electrolyte levels.
Thats interesting (Hillheader). Ive walked 50 milers on which Ive taken "real" food, but Ive never run this kind of distance.
Im training for a 50 mile run later in the year, but so far havent run more than 26. I assumed, perhaps wrongly, that Id just take gels with me as it would be hard to digest "real" food on such a long run.
What food would you suggest taking as well as the gels ?
PS - thanks FerrousFerrett for the breakdown of the scientific stuff - makes sense.
I've run 2 ultras and 2 marathons this year and previously races up to 100 miles. On a supported ultra I get custard, fresh fruit, tinned pears, rice pudding, cold pizza, and soup along with the usual bars and gels + jaffa cakes! However I've noticed that there is a huge variety of different tastes out there and I've seen plenty of weird stuff - weetabix, fried sausages, marmite sandwiches etc. What works at 20 miles doesn't necessarily work at 50. If you are supported go for variety and take lots of different things. You never know what you might feel like and the weather makes a huge difference. To drink I like fruit juice, nuun tablets, skimmed milk and the occassional energy drink (never the same one in a row!). If you have drop bags on a hot day, it can be very tough. Jaffa cakes don't work for a start!
Eat early, eat a little at a time and eat often.
best of luck!
Im training for a 50 mile run later in the year, but so far havent run more than 26. I assumed, perhaps wrongly, that Id just take gels with me as it would be hard to digest "real" food on such a long run. What food would you suggest taking as well as the gels ?
Yeah, that's what you'd think, but in practice it doesn't really work like that. The longer you run, the slower you'll be going overall, therefore you're more able to digest 'real' foods on-the-go, and will get more benefit from eating some fat and some protein as well as just carbs in goopy syrup form.
I've marshaled at quite a few ultras now and love checking out what people put in their drop bags. Jam sandwiches, salty crisps, pots of rice pudding, jelly babies, peanuts, flapjacks and flat coke seem to be the most common things but I've also seen scotch eggs, sausage rolls, pork pies, cold pizza and big slices of cheesecake.
The fastest runners do tend to use gels and pre-mixed drinks more than real food, probably cause even on a 100 mile run they're still going fast enough that digesting solid food would be a problem. But if you're going more at an amble than a dash, you should be okay with all sorts of nibbles. You just have to train your stomach to digest food while running, and use your long runs to figure out just what you can and can't handle, as it varies wildly from person to person. Some people take years to get their ultra nutrition sorted out, some people have tougher stomachs and get the hang of it quite easily.
Just whatever you do don't wait till race day to try out anything new as if you do, it'll almost certainly come shooting straight back out of one end or another a lot faster than you were expecting it to!
They are not my favorite flavour-wise but they serve a purpose (good cal:weight ratio, and cheap) and I can stomach any gel - maxim 100g
I do like the taste of the zipvits though, partic cherry coke and banana. They are also quite concentrated with a decent ratio
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