Mid-run fueling and my experience with gels

My friend’s sister ran the San Diego RNR marathon with a 7:30 pace, without any high-tech fuel, eating only oranges!! But I have heard from so many runners that gels can help.

gu

When I ran my Radical 80s 5k, the goody bag came with a berry gu. I sure as hell wasn’t going to need it to run only 3 miles, and I had made pancakes for breakfast, so I hung onto it for awhile. A friend told my at the 5k to take a gu before the start of the half marathon. I have also heard from someone else to take it at the 6 mile mark.

3 years ago I almost choked on gu lozenges while walking/running a trail 10k. I ate a couple while running and instantly swallowed them. Back then, I didn’t know what I was doing! It’s amazing what you remember doing back then. I felt like I had instantly swallowed a cough drop and it was in my throat. I was hoping I wouldn’t choke, and it was kind of scary because I was all alone. It turns out trail runners are super elite athletes. They are a very different crowd than a local fun run I was expecting!

I remember wearing a long-sleeved shirt over my tank top for the start of the race. I know now that I overheat within a minute or 2. I know better now.

I thought I would need gu to run 6 miles back then. LOL.

During my half, I plan to stop and take a quick break to take a gu with some water. I have been running and working out a lot, but I know I won’t be running 13 miles without a break. The breaks will be brief but they will happen. I was also thinking of bringing a clif bar. I absolutely love the coconut almond butter filled bars.

I will eat a good breakfast and maybe take a gatorade gel before the race begins, consisting of eggs and toast. I bought Gatorade energy chews one day when I was hoping to buy gu. Safeway doesn’t sell Gu so I figured why not try these.

These are working well for me. So far I am a fan. I haven’t tried them mid-run yet, but I will try them mid-run soon. I’m a pretty big eater. Yesterday I had a big breakfast but I felt like too much time had passed before I went running, so I took 2 gatorade gels. I had plenty of energy to run. Maybe I’ll have a gatorade gel before I start and then have a gu at the half-way point. My plan is to not be hungry or tired, and I would rather start refueling before I feel exhausted.

I first tried gu a few weeks ago just to see if my stomach could handle it. I had a gu after 5 miles and had 5 miles left. I was mostly walking though because it was so hot. The gu didn’t bother my stomach at all, and I went to my local running shop to get more.

I also tried on a pair of Hoka Cliftons. Hokas seem interesting to me because they offer so much cushioning yet have a low offset from heel to toe. I was surprised how narrow they fit, and would need to get a half size up if decide to buy some. I might after the half marathon, but for now I don’t want to change anything.

How do you refuel while running?

Do you stick to gels or eat “real” food?

4 Comments

  1. Huge pasta meal the night before, banana almond butter muffins and an english muffin the day of. Oh yeah, and tons of water. I heard that fueling the night before and even 2 nights before is more important than anything you eat on race day.

    • Emma

      September 30, 2016 at 6:00 pm

      Hi Miranda! Thanks for your advice. I will try that to eat well for a few days leading up to the race. .. then I’ll let eating healthy going out the window. JK 🙂

  2. I don’t use anything during a half, for fulls I do fruit snacks!

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