Posted: 05/05/2015 at 14:39
yep i'm with what Eggy and Sunnysider said.
I know of very fast runners who have trained their bodies so they don't need gels (or no more than 1 or 2 / or a mouthful of powerade hear and there in their marathon). In training they go out and do the long run with a cup of coffee or a glass of water for breakfast.
I like to go out with tea, porridge and crumpets in my tum, cause I'm greedy and love brekkie - on the long run I might use one or two gels on top of that if there are no drinking taps. On race day I have the same breakfast but my gel belt is loaded with 6 and I'm on the first one after 30 mins and then 1 every 3 miles. Each to their own. It works for me. The gels won't really replenish your glycogen properly. It won't get into to your muscles quick enough to have a meaningful effect, but they help a little. It's all in the long runs and the race pace. You do your long runs slow to improve your endurance, the body gets better at burning fat and storing the glycogen, you don't overcook the race pace, otherwise you burn up the glycogen stores too quick and then you're in the sh!t.