From my marathon coach, Alana:
When it comes to training, gels are crucial! You should take a gel every four to six miles. When training for my first half marathon I had no idea what gels were or how to properly train nutrition-wise. I just muscled through it and it was tough! I first tried a Powerbar Vanilla Gel during the race and it helped me so I stuck with that brand (also because it’s all I knew). Then when I ran my first full I was exposed to different types of training gels/liquid carbohydrates at the expo. I stuck to my powerbar gels and used four gels in my first marathon. At mile 17 of the Kentucky Derby marathon, either due to the unexpected hills, my inadequate training, or my improper nutrition; I hit a major wall and my quads started cramping.
After I finished my first full and missing my Boston qualifying time, I registered for Toronto Scotiabank Marathon and started training properly. By proper training, I mean diligent, consistent mileage with conscious hydration and nutrition. I also tried the Cliff Bar Shot Bloks and quickly became addicted. The powerbar gels really junked up my system and gave me crazy post-run tummy troubles so I was happy to switch to the Bloks. I still train with the Bloks and prefer the lemonlime flavor!
Post Boston and into a great training program sponsored by RunOn! Dallas, I now use Gatorade Prime01 fifteen minutes before a run and use GU Chomps (watermelon is my favorite flavor!) during the run after every 4 miles.
Also I started using a recovery drink after every workout (not just running!) called Endurox RX which has a 4:1 carb:protein ratio to speed recovery, heal, and hydrate my body. I am totally addicted and love the fruit punch flavor! I feel I am in the strongest running shape of my life and I think it’s because of the added help from nutritional science.
– Alana (Spunky Runner’s Coach) Want to read more about Alana?
From Spunky Runner:
I wanted to give you ideas of products others use other than what I use. Try out different products and see what works for you. We are not endorsing any other these products, these are just ideas from 1 runner to another. Talk with other runners and see what they use before, during, and after workouts. Take it for what it’s worth. Good luck finding what you works for you, please leave a comment and share what you use.
Links to Running Fuel:
- PowerBar– bars, gels, proteins
- Clif Bar– bloks, roks, bloks
- Gatorade Prime 01– pre workout energy
- GU Chomps– during runs, every 4 miles
- Article from Fleet Feet with energy nutrition info