Friday, September 7, 2012

RunLog + Energy Gels

Sunday 26 August - 10 mins slow, 2 x 5 mins brisk with 4 min jog recoveries, 10 mins slow

Today I ran along the NW cycleway because it is flat.  I felt flat too.  I don't think I'm very good at running such long stretches of straightness, although the lack of traffic intersections is extremely positive.  I took Jenn's advice and ran later in the day!

Tuesday 28 August - 30 mins slow

Thursday 30 August - 30 mins slow

Friday 31 August - 65 mins slow

I'm loving my long slow runs!  I get to explore new areas and running routes, each time running a little bit further - this time I made it to Meola Reef.  Like last week I ran early afternoon when it was fine and warm, and so made sure I took my little wrist water bottle.  At my halfway point I took an energy gel which used up all the water, but I refilled at Western Springs (the water fountain, not the lake!).

Did the energy gel work?  I don't really know!  I suppose I did have a bit of a second wind a few minutes later, but that could easily be attributed to other factors - some shade finally, interesting distractions, or simply the placebo effect.  I used Horleys Replace Gel that somehow found its way into trolley at the supermarket.  One sachet slides neatly into the cover of my water bottle which is handy:

You're supposed to consume it with 300mls of water, and you will understand why as soon as you start to do so.  My water bottle is only 200mls, so I made sure I drank more at my next water stop just in case I dehydrated and frizzled up before I got home.

I suppose you'd need to take a couple of runs under similar conditions and compare results with and without energy gels, but then how do you know if you are just having a bad/good day or not?  Time and experience will tell I suppose.

Have you tried energy gels before?  And have you found them to work?


  1. I haven't tried gels, never really saw the point as I was only running for (what I considered) short distances comparatively. I thought they were better suited for marathon-type distances. I just grab a mouthful of water at a drinking fountain if I happen to pass one. I have an iffy tummy so would probably steer clear anyway. I'd be interested to see how you go with them, and whether you think they are beneficial.

    1. I read somewhere that they were only really useful for runs over 1 hour - that's about my long run at the moment so I'm just beginning to experiment with them. They seem to digest really easily but you do need water!

  2. I have yet to try energy gels. I love the cycleway, primarily because it's flat. Auckland is far too hilly for me. Although last time I ran it I did have lots of interesting distractions.

    1. I expected to really enjoy the cycleway because it was flat, as I've been avoiding those hills! I'm sure the sunny day made it more of a struggle too.

  3. Experimenting to see what works best for you is a great idea! I tend to use gels on my runs that are about 10-12 miles or longer nowadays. ...Just found your blog!

  4. Hi Sherry. Boo, I started typing out a really long reply over the weekend and then Blogger ate it! Sob! So here we go again...

    I think you'll really start to see the difference gels make on longer runs. Personally, I don't use them unless the run is 18km+ and then I take them every 30min starting at 5 or 10km. I know others who only take them for longer than half marathon distance, so it's really preference. You should know that you CAN'T wait until you're really flagging to take one, or it's already too late to do much good.

    When I started my training for my first half, I bought a ton of different gels from different brands, and made tasting notes when I got back. Some people can get really upset stomachs (read: diarrhoea) from some gels, but the worst I ever had was chemical-tasting burps. My absolute favourites are Shot Bloks, which are like gummy cubes, and Torq gels, which come in flavours like Banoffee Pie and Rhubarb Custard! The important thing is to get ones you LOVE the taste of and that don't irritate your stomach. Then buy in bulk. :)

    Also, if you're running much longer, you reeaaaaally need to get a bigger water bottle! I don't bother with water for runs shorter than 10km, but otherwise, I take my trusty Camelbak, and on my 30km runs, I even have to stop and buy water to refil its 2L reservoir!

    Feel free to drop me an email with any questions. :) Oh and the ClifCast podcast is excellent for sports nutrition information and the WHY of all this advice if you like podcasts!


Thanks for commenting!

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