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.


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?


  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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


© 2017 My Full-Fat Life

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑