So if you do a long training run do you take energy gels?

  • suedeheadscot

    Posts: 1130

    Jan 28, 2014 4:50 PM GMT
    I only really used energy gels while on actual races. I have started to use a couple when out on longer runs with my running club at a fast pace which I keep thinking is cheating!! Does anyone actually use them for training purposes? I noticed towards the end of the run last Sunday I started to overcome fatigue a lot more....but concerned that gels could become "the norm"...
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    Jan 29, 2014 5:07 AM GMT
    Definitely. I generally consume one gel for every 50 to 55 minutes of running, whether that's in the context of a race or a training run.
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    Jan 29, 2014 5:34 AM GMT
    I take gels only during marathons. On my long runs I fill my bottle at the start with sport drink or fruit juice, which gives me the simple sugar that a gel provides, spread out over the hour+ it takes to drink the bottle.
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    Jan 29, 2014 6:20 AM GMT
    What is your idea of a long run?

    And for those of you who take water bottles and gatorade with you, how do you carry it? And doesn't that weigh you down and cut time off your mileage?

    I'm doing my first marathon in July. Right now I'm running 8 miles, but will be upping it a mile every other week for training, so this is good stuff to know!
  • suedeheadscot

    Posts: 1130

    Jan 29, 2014 6:58 AM GMT
    ^^ My idea of a long run is anything above 10 miles. Which is why I have been taking energy gels around mile 5! Best of luck with yer marathon!
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    Jan 30, 2014 5:44 AM GMT
    For me a long run is any distance over 90 minutes. Up to that point I dont worry about hydration till I'm done [assuming I load up before starting]. When I was your age, 90" = 12 miles; nowadays it's less than 10. icon_cry.gif

    If there's a water source on the course, I carry a single 16 oz bottle in a hand-holder and refill as needed; I need 16 oz an hour. If the course has no water and the run is really long, I have a dual bottle carrier that goes around my waist. But because it bounces around, I will generally only use that one on slower trail and hilly runs when I'm moving [even] slower. Never tried a camel-back -- they don't look comfortable.
  • Markguy

    Posts: 36

    Jan 30, 2014 4:15 PM GMT
    I try to make my long training runs exactly like the race - that way I know how my body will react. I eat the same food the day before the long training run that I plan to eat before the race. Same with any food I eat the morning of the race, as well as hydration and and gels during the run. My body is very sensitive to some of the ingredients in different hydration fluids and gels. I stick to the brands I used during training while in the race. I made the mistake of using the gels they were handing out on the course during one race - a different brand than I was used to. I ended up throwing up and having to walk a couple of miles.
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    Jan 30, 2014 7:02 PM GMT
    I only use gels at around mile 20 during marathons. Since my training runs only go up to 20 miles, I don't use them during training.
    I don't think they are necessary until you are at least doing 14+ miles, or as from what I have read you should be getting the nutrition you need from the foods you are eating. I only carry water with me on 14+ mile runs as well, using a bottle that straps to my hand.
  • DanOmatic

    Posts: 1155

    Jan 30, 2014 7:31 PM GMT
    For me, "long run" is more than 90 minutes, or about 12 miles. Unless it's hot, I don't worry about gels or hydration up to that point. If I'm running longer than that (which is rare anymore), or if it's really hot out, I'll plan my route so I can circle back to my car or house to eat an energy bar and hydrate at the halfway point.

    I tend to use gels only when racing, and only if the race is longer than 90 minutes.

    I really don't like the taste of gels, but consider them a necessary evil.

    But to the OP: everyone's nutrition needs are different. If your body is telling you on these training runs that you need a gel, go ahead and take one!
  • mrk100

    Posts: 157

    Jan 30, 2014 8:03 PM GMT
    I agree if you respond well to them after a certain mileage then take one. Training or racing keep it the same if it works for you.

    I'll take one around mile 10 which is usually when I need a boost and wake up. For longer runs 15 miles plus, I'll take one every 45-55 mins or 1/4 packet more frequently as needed.

    I also run with a bottle as I like my hydration there and ready when I need it which I know is probably more of a mental thing at this point.
  • suedeheadscot

    Posts: 1130

    Jan 30, 2014 8:50 PM GMT
    Thanks guys. And to the poster above who was querying about water, my body seems to dehydrate a fair bit (probably due to my coffee habit) so I tend to take a water bottle out with me. Got a Karrimor oval-shaped one that I can put one of my hands through while running which is neat.

    I have started to use the gels while training faster runs with my running group and we are doing more than 10 miles. Its good to know that you guys use them too. I seem to get a boost around the 7 mile mark which is pretty neat.