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12-02-2009, 14:11   #1
greenplain
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Energy Gels

Hey,

Just wondering which energy gels people use. I used the Gu gels doing Dublin last year and apart of the fact that you feel like you are swallowing a mouth full of snot when you take one, I really think they did nothing for me.

I was meant to do the conn marathon but my knee had other ideas and I had to side line that one. The knee is all better now and I have signed up for Cork. I do not want to use the Gu again so any ideas ?

Preferable I just want to use a gel where I dont have to take on any water when using them.
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12-02-2009, 14:18   #2
rovers_runner
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I use the juicy orange high-5 gels.
Don't drink too much water with them and make sure the gel is on the way down before taking on the water.

Going to tempt fate now by saying this but they have seriously helped my itb and groin pains, was told this by a physio also that if you don't deplete carbs too much during exercise that conditions such as itb can be witheld.
More to do with having more carbs to distribute to problem areas during exercise though I'd say.

Is working a treat at the moment as I've not noticed any problems running upwards of 16m, taking gels at 5m,8m,10m,13m.
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12-02-2009, 14:28   #3
Peckham
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Is working a treat at the moment as I've not noticed any problems running upwards of 16m, taking gels at 5m,8m,10m,13m.
In training? That's a hell of a lot of gel!
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12-02-2009, 14:36   #4
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I can assure you that the gels do work, just if you "normal" people taking them is probably a bit less noticable as far as the immediate effects of them is concerned. Here is a post that I made a while ago in another thread about gels and my reasoning behind me needing to be taking so many.
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12-02-2009, 14:43   #5
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I had used Powerbar Gels for the last two marathons, and as above, snot sliding down your throat wrapped up in a sickly sweet taste, but they definitely worked as long as I took them with water. At the end of Longford marathon, I was almost dry heaving with the over abundance of sweetness. Just didn't agree with my stomach. Not as bad in Dublin as the water stations were at more predictable locations.

Based on a few pointers here, I recently bought a box of Science in Sport - Go gels - Tropical Flavour (30 gels for 24 sterling from Wiggle.co.uk - Now 30 pounds). They actually taste quite nice!! They go down very easy, and they're isotonic, so you don't need to take them with water.

But: They are heavier than the other gels (I assume because they contain more water), they are significantly larger, and they do not contain as many carbs/cals as the PowerBar gels. But still, I'm a convert. Will still use the powerbars, (as I have a box of them!) but will bring the Go gels to the marathon and not bother carrying a bottle.
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12-02-2009, 14:44   #6
tunney
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Originally Posted by rovers_runner View Post
I use the juicy orange high-5 gels.
Don't drink too much water with them and make sure the gel is on the way down before taking on the water.

Going to tempt fate now by saying this but they have seriously helped my itb and groin pains, was told this by a physio also that if you don't deplete carbs too much during exercise that conditions such as itb can be witheld.
More to do with having more carbs to distribute to problem areas during exercise though I'd say.

Is working a treat at the moment as I've not noticed any problems running upwards of 16m, taking gels at 5m,8m,10m,13m.
Eh change physio. Yes if you are overly fatigued you can stop paying attention and your form can slip. Too much of this can aggreviate ITBS. However gels will not deal with the underlying problems can cause problems in form, gait and muscle strength.

Also taking that many gels for a 16m long run, where the primary goal is the development of fat buring energy systems is, imho, counter productive. IMHO if you are properly fueled and running at the appropriate pace then you don't need *any* fuel on long runs. (Until you go over 20 miles or so, well thats my limit).
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12-02-2009, 15:26   #7
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Have a read of this webpage. It's from Cranksports. They've a gel called e-gel (not currently available in Ireland unless ordered from the US) which they claim will guarantee PBs, but all boasting aside, the page linked explains hydration and gels quite well (especially in the 'more info' section).

Extract:
Water is the key to proper gel usage, whether you are using e-Gel or one of our competitor's products. Gels are absorbed in your small intestine, and water is the transport vehicle that allows this to occur. If you fall behind on your water intake during longer workouts, you run the risk of dehydration, delayed benefits from the gel and possible stomach irritation.

Me, I got the SIS go gels like Krusty and agree they're quite bulky but very easy to take.
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12-02-2009, 15:32   #8
rovers_runner
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Tunney, I only take gels on the very long runs when I know I'll be out for 2 and 1/2 hours or more. If running anything from a 1/2 marathon downwards I wouldn't bother with them.
Would not have used them in the past but I do find they help fight fatigue a lot.

You'd be right about the form slipping which probably does lead to the itbs as the left leg tends to get lazy first.
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12-02-2009, 23:26   #9
Enduro
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I've used many different types of Gels over many years in extremely long races (up to 9 days), and one type stands out as being by far the best... Voom gels. The cycle super store used to stock them, but I'm not sure if they can be gotten anywhere local now.
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13-02-2009, 15:51   #10
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13-02-2009, 16:22   #11
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+1 on the fatigue fighting effects. I did my first gel-assisted run ever this morning. 2 gels over a 3 hour run - took one at 50mins and another at 2h10 and I was still running well at the end. On a similar length run with similar fluid intake last week, I slowed up quite a bit on the last 2 miles. My legs were definitely tingling more when I stopped last week as well.

But I do wonder if there's a bit of a psychological factor too. I know I was taking the gel, so I may have pushed a bit harder. And I knew I wouldn't be doing BHAA cross-country tomorrow morning. I think I'll have to do another gel-free run to compare.

Reading the back of the sachet, it says don't go over the daily recommended maximum of 4 gels at one every 20-45 minutes. I presume these are the kind of daily limits you can push every now and then if you're actually using up the sugar/salt, rather than the ones that could kill you like on medicines.

One more question for gel experts, now that I know I'm not going to throw up if I take a gel. Can it be more beneficial to train without gels and race with them to get your body used to running on empty? I'm not trying to lose weight, if that's relevant.
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13-02-2009, 16:41   #12
shels4ever
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Just wondered how many gels people took on training runs for a marathon, Planning on testing htem at some stage prior to a marathon but dont want to over do it. From what Tunney mentioned )(fat buring energy systems)it seems that they would only be used on race day and training runs should be done without ? or do you just take the odd one during training to see if they are ok then use them race day?
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13-02-2009, 19:25   #13
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i took 3 SIS blackcurrant in last year's marathon,at about 6,13,18 miles--don't know if they did much,i died away badly in last 6m but that could be from several reasons.they taste ok to me though.
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13-02-2009, 23:13   #14
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There's the Macmillan school of thought, where you need to teach your body to run on fat, rather than carbohydrate reserves. In these cases he (Macmillan) advocates drinking only water and electrolytes. But he still advocates bringing a gel with you for emergency purposes.

If you're going to race with gels, you have to train with them too. Awful to find out during a race that you couldn't stomach them.

I generally carry two, but take one on 20 mile runs, usually around mile 8 or so. You should probably do a dress rhearsal where you take gels at the same intervals as you're planning to take them in the marathon, just to be sure!
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14-02-2009, 11:08   #15
shels4ever
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There's the Macmillan school of thought, where you need to teach your body to run on fat, rather than carbohydrate reserves. In these cases he (Macmillan) advocates drinking only water and electrolytes. But he still advocates bringing a gel with you for emergency purposes.

If you're going to race with gels, you have to train with them too. Awful to find out during a race that you couldn't stomach them.

I generally carry two, but take one on 20 mile runs, usually around mile 8 or so. You should probably do a dress rhearsal where you take gels at the same intervals as you're planning to take them in the marathon, just to be sure!
Very good reading there thanks, and food for thought or not as it maybe.
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