And I did it somewhere other than the Bedford/Euless area!
Hooray for looping White Rock again!! Yaayy!!
10 miles, 1:38:47. Woot.
Let's talk gels.
When you train for an hour or longer you are supposed to have some sort of calorie/electrolyte replacement. There are probably countless ways to do this... gels, chomps, honey sticks, jelly beans, power bars, etc. You could also probably eat something like a banana or PB&J sandwich, but that would be a little difficult to carry with you while running.
Enter space food. AKA gels. They fit in little pockets on/in a SPI belt (think runner's fanny pack), shorts, water bottle, etc. and they're easy to tear open and eat while you're running if you want.
Why I like them:
-I feel like I'm doing what I'm supposed to
-Sometimes I get an extra boost (real or imagined, I don't know)
-Nice mantra of run 5 miles, eat something. Run 5 miles, eat something. (x5)
-I kinda like the taste. haha.
I can't vouch for all the different options, but here is what I have tried:
- Jelly Belly Sport Beans. Yup. Jelly Bellys for running. Very tasty but you use about half a pouch for one serving and I don't like having to close it back up and put it back. (Really not a big deal but it's the little things.) I do like them before or after a race though when I'm not concerned about time.
- Honey sticks. Honey Stingers makes some but I just had some from Montana. I like honey, but it's kind of difficult when you're running, especially straws since you have to bite them open and sometimes you just puncture them, and then it's all over the place and you're frustrated and you don't get the nutrition you need.
- Shot Bloks. Made by Clif Bar, Shot Bloks are gummy cubes that come in a long, skinny package. They taste great, but again you have more in a package than you need for a serving, and can be a pain to put back, and their shape makes it more difficult to put in shorts pockets or water bottle pouches. Perfect for SPI belts though!
- GU Chomps. They taste like Gushers. YUM. I love how the strawberry ones taste! Again with the packaging/serving size though.
- GU Energy Gels. As you can tell from the photo above, this is my personal preference. I like the small, individual serving and I like how they fit into all my pockets. They come in a lot of flavors but I like the fruitier ones best. (Jet Blackberry, Mandarin Orange, etc.) The sugary-sounding ones like Vanilla Bean are too sweet for me. They have another division called Roctane but I can't tell the difference between the two other than the flavor selections. (Cherry Lime FTW.) They're also easy to handle if you want to eat them without stopping.
There you have it. All of this can be a trial and error process and is up to your body and your needs to determine how to replace your calories/electrolytes/carbs while you train. Gels can be an acquired taste and can make some people sick to their stomach, so it's important to try them out during the week than on race day.
As my TNT coach used to say, "NOTHING NEW ON RACE DAY." I partially disagree but I've never gotten sick from gels, and I ate a Ghiradelli chocolate square during the Nike Women's Half and it was just fine. :)
Run 5 miles, eat something. Run 5 miles, eat something.