Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Long run and gel failure

Yesterday I did my long run. Usually, my long run happens on the weekend, but this weekend it was really cold. I can suck it up for shorter runs, but I find it harder to regulate my temperature once I'm going further. Since we were supposed to be getting some warmer weather, I delayed my run for a couple days.

It was fabulous. It was around -13c (9f). Much warmer then what I've been running in lately, and with the right clothes it was perfect running weather. I did most of the run along the river and got dazzled with snow and sunshine.

On my last long run of 14km (8.7mi), I was starting to feel low on energy. Yesterday was 15km (9.3mi). I've realized that it's time to start refueling during my runs, since they're getting close to 2 hours long. There's a couple options out there, but it seems that everyone is using gels, so I thought I'd give it a shot. Last week, I stopped by a running store and got a handful of gels. I've been asking friends lately about their favourites, but I thought my best bet was to try a variety of flavours and brands to find out what I like best.

The one I took along on yesterday's run was the clif shot, vanilla flavour.

It was my very first one. I was a gel virgin up until this point, and I have to say the first time wasn't so good for me. I practically gagged on it. It was so thick. Like the consistency of partially dried up corn syrup. I actually had to chew it a bit to get it to a consistency that I could swallow. Now admittedly, it was a bit cold, but not frozen cold or anything. BLAH!!! I won't be trying anymore of that brand. The taste was okay, I guess. I couldn't get past the consistency, so I didn't really care.

Do you have a favourite gel brand/flavour?


  1. When I was running I either used the sport beans (LOVED those) or the shot blocks. I couldn't handle the texture of the gels either. I did run / walk though, so I'd grab a block or a few beans as I walked. I'm sure you can run and chew, though!

  2. I tried Gels last year when I was training for my half and gagged on them too. I couldn't handle the texture. If you like the flavours you could try blocs or chews kind of thing?

    Have you tried just gatorade or the like?

  3. Another one who hates the consistency of gels. Gu Chomps all the way! Sharkies are good but they get stuck in your teeth so I don't use them.

  4. I like the idea of shot blocks better. I've had them during hiking and skiing but not while I was running so I can't say for sure. I picked some up for my half marathon training. The guy said he can't do the blocks because of the chewing so he likes the gels. It's probably a preference thing, try the blocks then try the gels again keeping them in an inside pocket.

  5. If you don't like the thick ones, try the powerbar vanilla ones. They're much thinner. I'm also a fan of the clif shotbloks, and GU chomps

  6. Personally I think the Cliff ones are the very worst! I don't love gels but Gu lemon/lime and orange burst, or hammer apple spice aren't bad. The consistency isn't great but they are thinner and I can get them down without gagging. I like beans and chomps for hiking but I find them difficult and messy during a run.