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Gel Recommendations (Read 83 times)

BarryRunsWild


    I am running my first marathon in 2 weeks, and I was wondering what gels people recommend? I want ones that don't sit heavy in my stomach and ones that I don't need to wash down. Also, how many would you recommend that I take throughout the race? How often should I take them? I recently bought salt sticks. Does anyone have any experience with these? Do they suffice in providing electrolytes? Thank you for your responses.


    Train SMART

      You are a little late in the game. I know you are running this without major training but you cannot risk consuming something in middle of a long event that won't agree with you. You should be practicing taking gels or the like in your runs to see what agrees with you. I like ACCEL Gels. Purchase a couple brands and play with them over next few runs. Ideally you should take a few ounces of water with each gel. Will water be available on course? BTW, gels have electrolytes.

      THE RECOVERY MAN. Run Injury Free. www.smartapproachtraining.com

      DavePNW


        Agree with everything Tchuck said. This would have been a good question for your original post. Some of the available options give some people GI issues.

         

        I just use the traditional Gu. They recommend one every ~45 min, and followed by some water. Not sure what your aversion to this is - you will need plenty of water during the race anyway. If there is opportunity for Gatorade or other sports drink - you might also have this periodically during the race, for extra calories/electrolytes. Although again, not without testing it out first.

         

        A lot of people take a gel right before the start of the race (I don't). I'd suggest to buy a few brands, and for each of your 3-mile runs from now till race day, take one right before you start and see how it makes you feel. Not whether it helps or hurts your performance (it won't), but how your stomach feels. Not sure if this will be of any help, because a 26-mile run has a lot more impact on your GI system than a 3-miler. But it's all you got.

        Dave

        Christirei


          cutting it kind of close, but does the marathon you are running provide gels? most do. i have had to carry my own though because while the brand doesn't always make a difference, the flavor makes a HUGE difference for me. I cant stomach any of the fruity flavored ones, the texture is wrong for how they taste, i can only do the chocolate or caramel flavored gels, and always always have to wash down with water.

           

          go buy a variety and try them out with every run, and also, i would practice using them while you are running so you figure out how to breathe, run and swallow at the same time

          DavePNW


             

            go buy a variety and try them out with every run, and also, i would practice using them while you are running so you figure out how to breathe, run and swallow at the same time

             

            Normally good advice. But I’d suggest for what he’s doing to just come to a complete stop, take the gel, and drink some water. And come to a complete stop anytime getting water, to make sure he is drinking enough. 


            Dave

            LedLincoln


            not bad for mile 25

              The marathons I have done have handed out the gels too late, like mile 18. I try to take one about every 4 miles, starting at mile 4.  A constant replenishment of energy is the goal.  And yes, the water is even more important than the GU.

              AndyTN


                The gels like GU make me grossed out from a mental standpoint for some reason. I cannot stand gummy bears and other gummy candy/vitamins simply because of the consistency. I like using the Jelly Belly Sport Beans which basically have the gel on the inside of a harder coating. The jelly beans also force me to eat them slowly over 2-3 minutes which helps me not eat them too quickly. I have to pack these in my pockets or running pack since aid stations won't have them. I eat a pack of beans every 2 miles but I have only raced a half and not a full marathon.

                 

                I echo what everyone else has said regarding trying things out. My stomach gets stirred up with too much food/water before a run and I have developed the routine of taking Alka-Selzer before a serious run just to proactively settle my stomach.

                Memphis / serious runner for 3 years / 34 male

                5k - 21:01 (SEP 19) / 10k - 46:30 (SEP 19) / Half - 1:40:17 (NOV 19) / Full - maybe someday

                Races - When will we race again???

                JMac11


                Taper Czar

                  Once I went over to Maurten, I never went back. Not sure how I ever used other gels. I have a very sensitive race stomach for side stitches, and I don't get them with these. Also, they don't need to be washed down.

                   

                  Just try them on one of your final tune up runs and see if you like it. If not, I agree with others, it's a little too late in the game and you're taking a big risk either way (not taking any gels or taking gels you've never tried).

                   

                  The how frequently question is a bit of a preference. Also depends on what sort of time you're looking to run. But most people are in the 3-5 range. Some take less because they take Gatorade along the way, some take more because they have strong stomachs so there's no downside of taking more.

                  5K: 16:37 (11/20)  |  10K: 34:49 (10/19)  |  HM: 1:15:28 (3/20)  |  FM: 2:36:31 (12/19) 

                   

                  Next Race: Whatever COVID-19 will allow me to run 


                  an amazing likeness

                    You're already in a high risk scenario in terms of needing to do well (to win your bet) and not being able to have failures along the way to gain experience.  Adding gels and gu or other crap you're not used to eating while running is adding a decent amount of risk (regardless of which type) this late in the game...

                     

                    Assuming this event has water stops, I'd advise to just stick with the water and gatorade on the course -- rotate them each stop until your stomach cant stand the gatorade.

                    Acceptable at a dance, invaluable in a shipwreck.

                    runethechamp


                       

                      A lot of people take a gel right before the start of the race (I don't). I'd suggest to buy a few brands, and for each of your 3-mile runs from now till race day, take one right before you start and see how it makes you feel. Not whether it helps or hurts your performance (it won't), but how your stomach feels. Not sure if this will be of any help, because a 26-mile run has a lot more impact on your GI system than a 3-miler. But it's all you got.

                       

                      Although I never was able to confirm this I am convinced that GU hurt my performance once I got up to a certain effort level. I had enough data points both from tempo effort runs to races that I made a switch. I have chronic GI issues so this might be a very personal thing, so take it for what it's worth.

                      5k: 20:32 (1/17)  |  HM: 1:34:37 (2/18)  |  FM: 3:31:37 (3/18)

                       

                      Getting back into it

                      BarryRunsWild


                        Hey guys, I forgot I made this post. Thank you for the responses. I ended up using SIS gels, 2 with electrolytes and 2 with caffeine. I didn't need water to wash them down, and they didn't leave that sticky taste in my mouth. I'm not sure how much they helped, but they didn't detract from my ability to run or hurt my stomach in any way.