Running fuel

TavistockToad
TavistockToad Posts: 35,719 Member
I'm half marathon training at the moment and want to start adding a little fuel now my long run is into double figures.

I didn't fuel my last half, other than powerade on the day, so am after suggestions/experiences/ideas? I don't like jelly sweets so jelly babies etc are out.

TIA!

Replies

  • STrooper
    STrooper Posts: 659 Member
    I'm curious as to the why fuel in the HM or is it just the training runs that you are looking to fuel. (Note: I don't fuel during the HM or shorter. I let the 2-3 days before the race and the light breakfast the morning of be my race fuel source).
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,719 Member
    STrooper wrote: »
    I'm curious as to the why fuel in the HM or is it just the training runs that you are looking to fuel. (Note: I don't fuel during the HM or shorter. I let the 2-3 days before the race and the light breakfast the morning of be my race fuel source).

    Both! I didn't fuel last time, and just think it may be advantageous to fuel.

    I am taking more notice of what I eat the day before a long run as well. Just interested in what others do.
  • pondee629
    pondee629 Posts: 2,469 Member
    I used Gu gels in my last Half/my first Half/oh heck my ONLY Half with no ill effects. That being said, with dubious good effects. I trained with them on training runs over 10 miles. Since I hadn't run over 10 miles without using the GelsI couldn't tell you if they were beneficial. I can tell you, they didn't cause upset.

    I also used LyteShow - Electrolyte Concentrate for Rapid Rehydration - mixed into my water which I carried on most long runs and my Half. Had a similar effect as Gatorade/PowerAde without the sweetness or calories. The LyteShow I liked.
  • BeeerRunner
    BeeerRunner Posts: 728 Member
    edited March 2017
    I definitely use fuel in my half marathons. I think everyone is different, but I strongly feel that if I personally didn't use them, I would not have been able to maintain the pace I did. I'm a newer runner so maybe that's why.

    Anyway, I had been using Sport Beans but I found them too difficult to chew while running fast, but I do prefer their flavor. In the marathon I just completed Sunday, I used Huma Gels. I found them much easier to eat on the go. The chocolate and cafe mocha were my faves. The fruit flavored ones did the job, but I didn't personally enjoy the taste. I'm glad I got the variety pack because I would have thought I'd prefer the fruity flavors. Some are caffeinated, some aren't. They are made with ground chia seeds and are supposed to be all natural.

    https://www.amazon.com/Huma-Chia-Energy-Gel-Variety/dp/B00LXK8Y0E

    Anyway, I do plan to use them in future races.
  • MobyCarp
    MobyCarp Posts: 2,927 Member
    The guideline on GUs and other gels usually says take one 15 minutes before the race and one every 45 minutes. I ran my first half thinking I'd need one GU, and that's what I took. 11 halfs later, I've settled into a routine of Sport Beans 15 minutes before (when GUs taste awful) and 2 gels during (about miles 5 and 9, varies a bit based on how I feel). Typical half marathon time is in the 1:30 to 1:34 range.

    I found GU Chomps and Sport Beans are too dry and chewy to take during a race, though 15 minutes before is not a problem. I don't get along well with Shot Blox organizationally, though I know other runners who do well with them due to being able to take fewer calories more often. So far, I've used GU gels, Clif Shot gels, and Honey Stinger gels. They taste different, but seem functionally equivalent for my purposes. Litter is easier to control with the Clif Shot get packaging, offset by the fact that they're a little bulkier. Bulkier isn't a significant factor for halfs, but is noticeable for a full marathon where I'll want 7 gels during.

    Many other runners use fewer gels than I do. One size does not fit all. I also carry water with me; there is disagreement within the running community on the value of doing so.
  • spiriteagle99
    spiriteagle99 Posts: 3,654 Member
    I like Gels and Gus, though it has taken some experimentation to see which I can stand (Espresso Love and Salted Caramel are best IMO) and which I can't (some taste grainy to me). Shot Bloks are easier on my stomach, but so chewy they can be hard to deal with when running hard. I've had luck on training runs with cutting them in half ahead of time. I've also done well with dates (get the pitted). For a half, I'll usually only take one Gu, or one Gu and a couple of shot bloks. For a marathon, I try to do one every 45 minutes, along with Gatorade at every other aid station. If I take them more often, they seem to upset my stomach less than if I wait until I'm starting to feel tired.
  • daj150
    daj150 Posts: 815 Member
    I don't typically do much fuel for a HM. I'll carry maybe one Gu with me and just grab water / Gatorade as needed. I will train the same way, so during race, the only thing that is different is that instead of my hydration belt I use when I train, I don't have the added weight. I'll typically down 3-4 GU's during a marathon though, and if it's going to be a super hot race, I'll bring a bottle and nuun hydration or active.
  • lporter229
    lporter229 Posts: 4,907 Member
    If you can't stomach gels or chews, you can always try pieces of dried fruit. If chewing/eating in general is an issue for you, fueling with just sports drink is probably sufficient for a half marathon. Just carry it in your hydration bottle and use as needed. I usually don't fuel for half marathons, but I tried it the last time I ran one to see if it would help give me some energy towards the end of the race. It didn't, but I also think I waited too late (miles 10). I would suggest waiting no later than half way through if you are going to fuel once, or every 45 minutes if you plan to use multiple fuelings.
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,866 Member
    I'm really finding that Tailwind works for me.

    I source mine from X-Miles in Dorset, who do a trial pack of different flavours.
  • SteveTries
    SteveTries Posts: 723 Member
    edited March 2017
    SIS Gel at 40 minutes in and every 30 minute thereafter worked for me through the one marathon I have run. I was 93kgs at the time, so others would need less. For half marathons I didn't use any, because I was well rested (and well fed) - but I DID in training, because long runs would typically be happening whilst I was dieting and/or running multiple times a week.
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,719 Member
    Going with these I think as they're delicious! Having one at around mile 5/6 of my long training runs (12 miles) seems to help. Whether it's psychological or not I couldn't really say!

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  • MobyCarp
    MobyCarp Posts: 2,927 Member
    @TavistockToad - Yeah, salted caramel is one of my 3 favorite GU flavors. The other two are caramel macchiato and espresso love; if you like coffee with sweetener you may like those also.
  • pondee629
    pondee629 Posts: 2,469 Member
    I've also found the Gu's. Also agree I can't tell whether it's psychological or not. The best I can say is they didn't hurt in training for my half and running it. During the race I used two; one at 5/6 miles and other at around 10 mile marker.
  • lporter229
    lporter229 Posts: 4,907 Member
    A new favorite fuel of mine are Boom Apple pie gels. I actually like the taste of these instead of just tolerating them.

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  • dewd2
    dewd2 Posts: 2,449 Member
    I use GU and Honey Stinger gels. But I'm not a bold as your folks. Chocolate and vanilla for me. :smiley:
  • apullum
    apullum Posts: 4,838 Member
    I prefer chews, which is probably not your cup of tea if you don't like jelly candies. But I fueled with raisins portioned into single serving bags during my first half marathon training and race, and that worked nicely once I learned how not to choke myself on raisins while running :)
  • 7lenny7
    7lenny7 Posts: 3,428 Member
    edited March 2017
    I have three things I'm doing for running fuel.

    First, for races, I make my own gel out of a diluted honey, adding in a bit of molasses. I put it all in a soft flask with a bite valve, which allows me to take a small pull whenever I want, rather than having to consume an entire packaged gel, and struggle to get every drop out while running. This worked great for my only full marathon and I'll use it again next month for my 50k ultra.

    Second, I've started making my own energy bars using Dr. Phil Maffetone's recipe as a base. I LOVE these bars!! I bring two bars, which are about 500 calories for the size I make, with me on runs of 18 miles or longer.
    https://philmaffetone.com/phils-bars-revisited/

    Finally, and most importantly, I'm training my body to burn a higher ratio of fat to glycogen. Keep in mind that I'm training for my first ultra, and plan on continuing with ultras as my main races. For a half this wouldn't be as big of a factor.

    I don't bother with anything during runs of 16 miles or less and I've had runs up to 19 miles with no fuel at all (and no water for that matter) with very little drop off in pace towards the end.

    I still using packaged gels for long training runs, but only until I use up what I have. Then it will be honey and Phil bars.
  • spiriteagle99
    spiriteagle99 Posts: 3,654 Member
    I love Espresso Love and Salted Caramel gus. The strawberry banana goes down well too.
  • rightoncommander
    rightoncommander Posts: 114 Member
    A bit late to the party, I know, but since you're from the UK I'll just plug High 5 gels. Apart from the gross banana flavour, I find them smooth and palatable and genuinely juicy (5%-ish real fruit juice). I use the originals, which are not isotonic, so I take them just before a water station. If you need isotonic gels, they're also available but much bulkier for the same carb hit.