Gels, Shots, and Energy!

13.05 miles down yesterday! In 1:56:34 no less, essentially beating my half marathon race time from April of 1:57:49. What an awesome feeling!

I can’t believe I ran a half marathon.. without being entered in a race. It’s only going up from here! No more long runs under 13 miles from now until 2 weeks before the marathon. Oi. I see lots of foam rolling, icing, and bribing the husband for massages in my future. 🙂

I experimented with Gu yesterday. Flavor: Strawberry Banana.
Much to my surprise it wasn’t gritty which I was thankful for but totally not expecting. It was obviously, very gooey, and the taste wasn’t awful.. until I had the third slurp. At that point I was just slurping it down to get the goods (a.k.a. energy).

I can’t even explain what it reminded me of. I guess because it isn’t real food and there is really nothing else like it unless you’ve had a sports gel.

I timed it right and slurped it down as I was approaching a bubbler, so I got to chase it with some water. (As you always should do, but I wasn’t carrying water on this run. *tisk tisk*) I used my gel at 45 minutes into my run so it would kick in around the one hour mark. The packet tells you to use it 15 minutes before every 45 minutes of your run, but I’ve seen people wait even longer to use them than I did.

The aftermath was worth the initial grossed out feeling, sticky fingers, and just an overall feeling of ‘why am I eating this?’ I had a great last half of my run and didn’t feel too fatigued as I was coming in at 10, 11, 12, and 13 miles. No GI issues either – which I credit to actually having water on this run vs. the 11 mile run I tried Cliff Block Shots with. I also didn’t have to digest the Gu since it was already “liquid” like I did the Block Shots as they are gummies.

Overall, I was happy with the sports gel experience. I have different flavors of Gu to experiment with, as well as other brands (below) to see which I like better and works best for me. I know it just takes some getting used to, that’s why I am starting my experimenting now so I will know what I like and can easily take during the marathon. Now that I’m finally up to higher mileage every weekend, I will be able to knock those out pretty quickly!



I’ve decided to try these brands based on reviews I’ve read and by talking to the guys at my local running store. It’s all about trial and error over here during training!


What types of sports nutrition do you find works well for you during endurance events?