Running can be an expensive sport once you start looking at all the kit and accessories available. There is a whole industry built around offering more and more sophisticated options to runners, all with a price tag attached.
One area I’m very sceptical about is runner’s nutrition. I’ve seen people at 5k runs taking energy gels, clutching sports drinks, they are probably taking on more calories than the burn in the 30 or so minutes they’ll be running.
My rule of thumb is that I don’t need anything extra if I’m doing up to 70 minutes of exercise. Beyond 70 minutes, I might need more fuel. For up to 70 minutes, a piece of flapjack before I head out and a bottle of water are fine 🙂
When I’ve done half marathons in the past, I’ve faded at the 7/8 mile mark. For the marathon, I’m working on strategy of taking on some fuel every hour, and I’m incorporating that into my long runs now so I don’t get any tummy related surprises on the big day.
I’ve been using SiS Go Gels. The marketing blurb says “concentrated carbohydrate energy in a convenient fast-flow gel, Science in Sport (SiS) Go Gel is the world’s first and only isotonic energy gel with unique patent-pending formulation.
Each handy palm-sized Go Gel sachet contains 25g of isotonic carbohydrate energy, which is enough energy for 20 to 30 minutes of exercise, and because it’s isotonic, it will still deliver energy without the need for extra water.”
I say “they don’t taste too yucky, seem to hit the spot and don’t give me any digestive grief”. Tropical is my favourite flavour, the blackcurrant isn’t too bad either.
There’s another version of the gel that contains a hit of caffeine as well, but I’m trying to avoid caffeine as part of my training regime, so I’ll be giving that one a miss – if you’ve tried it, let me know what you think in the comments.
The sales websites suggest 3 gels per 60 minutes of exercise. I’ll go for 1 per hour in the marathon with one for an emergency, so I’ll be carrying 5 in total. My next challenge is to find a way to transport them. I don’t really like running with belts or backpacks but I’m going to have to try a few options, another kit review will follow when I find something I’m happy with.
How do you fuel your long runs? Gels, jelly babies, just water?