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Discussion Starter #1
I am doing a 20mile run this weekend as part of my marathon training and I was wondering, at what stage do you start to take energy gels or drinks? Im guessing it might be an idea.
I might head to my running shop this week and get something for carrying water and maybe a chocolate bar or something for the longer runs.

Any help would be good.

O.
 

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Hi Owain

There's lots of different strategies people use. I generally, for training, have a gel or two in the last 3rd of my long runs, and about 3 in races, 1st at half-way, next at mile 18/19, next at 22/23.

The idea is to boost your energy and blood sugar that's available, so not much point early on (since you have loads naturally still). Chocolate's always good, gels or isotonic gels are maybe better, as they release energy faster and are designed to be absorbed quickly
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I found some energy gels in my local Tesco which don't seem to have to many nasty things in them i.e. Aspartame or MSG so will give them a go this weekend, if I am doing a 20mile run I might take it about the 15mile mark? Would that make sense since I am comfortable with 13miles.

Carry pouches, what do people recommend? I don't want something thats going to bounce around or hinder me.

O.
 

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I would think the 15mile mark may be a little too late... From my hazy memory of reading various articles - your body uses muscle glycogen while you run, and where stores are full they should be good to last you around 1hr30? I think i also remember reading that your body will take like 20-30mins to feel the effects of the carbs from energy gels - so I'd probably suggest taking the first one after around an hour... as for how regularly you need them? no idea!

I went for an 18miler a couple of months back and used two energy gels... I struggled in the last mile a lot - energy seemed to just dissappear! (possibly the wall?!). Others may vary massively but that was my experience :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Cheers Richard, I know for the Edinburgh marathon they are giving out energy gels at the 5.5 mile mark and the 21.5 mile mark. I think I might pick up a gel at the 5.5 mile mark but not use it until the 13mile, 5.5 mile marks seems a tad early.

I think its going to be trial and error, so probably best to give it a go this weekend and see how I feel.

Anyone else used gels for long runs?

O.
 

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I'd get a triathlon style race belt and find a way of taping the gels to it or something along those lines. I'm not sure if it'll work, it should, but if you get a race belt and go into your local bike shop and ask for some tubular tyre tape (it's double sided and sticky as hell) then you can put the tape on yout number belt and whack the gels sideways on that.

I use tub tape in triathlons for everything! energy gels onto the cross bar on the bike, under my inner soles in my running shoes to stop them moving when a sticky bare foot gets jammed in at high speed, same with my bike shoes. Ok so not quite everything, but it might be worth a try.

I'd start taking gels after 1 hour, In a triathlon I will take 2 on the bike one after 10 minutes, one after 40 minutes. So at 30 mins and 1hr into the race, don't take anythign on in the run section usually, but the higher pace makes it hard to get anyhting apart from oxygen in!

If you really want a hit of good stuff I'd recomend getting some Agisko, I'm not sponsored by them so this is a plug because it's amazing stuff! It has MCT's and a number of different natural sugars. You buy the gel in concentrate and make it up yourself. You can take a load of it right before you start and it'll be a massive boost to your energy supply. A 400ml bottle of concentrate contains 5000Kcal if my memory serves me correcty. If you dilute 50/50 then it gives you a lot of extra energy in your system before the start which will prolong your performance. I take the gel 10 minutes before the start of every big race and I have yet to not run a PB and feel good at the end.
 

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I use SiS gels and on a 20 mile training run I'd get away with 3, one at 5 miles, one at 10 and one at 15

In a marathon I take 5... at 5m, 10m, 15m, 19m, and 23m
 

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Indeed... your body needs fuel, and if you don't supply it in the form of food, it'll start finding it from elsewhere in the body which usually results in a slow and painful end to your run (i.e. hitting the wall). It doesn't HAVE to be gels though... isotonic drinks would be suitable, just as long as you pay attention to what carbs you're taking on board :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well I did my 3 hour run yesterday and took a gel with me, Im not sure I did it right though. Are you meant to take the entire gel in one go or (this is what I did) squeeze it in to water and sip at it during the run?

On the gel pack it said take with 300ml water so I just mixed it in but drinking 300ml of water while running in one go is a bit OTT. Can anyone help please.

O.
 

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I just chug them and follow up with a swig or two of water. The general idea's to not "just" eat the gels and drink nothing, so long as you drink "some" water as well, it should be good.

Anyone tried Endurosnack? Recommended by the Czech olympic team, looks like tubes of toothpaste. They've got caffeine, creatine & loads of other stuff as well as sugar, seem to perk me up fairly well (although at the end of a run I get a strange desire to jump in a tank and drive towards Moscow... :huh: )

I'm thinking I'll start with the gels after about an hour in my marathon, maybe 8miles, 13.1, 18 & 22 something like that
 

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Never tried gels, but if I'm running more than 10 miles I make a point of downing at least 1oz of water every mile starting from the second mile, or more if I get thirsty.
 

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The gels I have are 300g taken every 30mins in 100g shots with a few glugs of water...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I tried the HighFive powder during the marathon and it taste really nice, its easy to use, just power the powder in to 500ml of water, shake and your done, and it doesnt have any artificial sweetners in it :)

Well worth trying.

O.
 
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