It’s hard to believe it but only 3 weeks from today is the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. As many of you know I will be participating in the ½ marathon! I am beyond excited!!!! I have been busting my butt all winter, trying to better myself for this race. I have some goals in mind (some rather big goals) that I am really hoping to crush! I am keeping my goals to myself for now, but might share them as we get a bit closer =)
If you have been engaging with the Ride Aid Marathon on social media you will see they announced a partnership with Carb Boom Energy Gel. These Gels will be the ones provided at the race. Now many of you have asked me about gels, chomps, jelly beans, gu, and other forms of fuel that I might use for my runs. I have to tell you, no two people are the same and it’s all about trial and error.
Last year around this time (maybe a bit earlier) I found myself completely overwhelmed. My training was going well but I did need a little extra push around mile 9-10 to help me finish strong. Well, all my running friends had advice (running friends always do). They said things like well try these jelly beans, peanut butter works, I eat a fig newton cookie around mile 7, try these honey stinger chomps, I like all natural forms of fuel carry some grapes with you, raisins are good at mile 10………..whoooooaaaaaa so much information!!!!!
I knew I needed to find something that worked, and everyone seemed to have a different answer. So I set out to try different things and find a combination that worked for me. I tried fig newton cookies, I LOVE THESE darn cookies but didn’t find they provided me with any help during my runs. Then I ventured into various chomps, gels and jelly beans. Let me just say these will all have a variety of effects on your stomach!!! Some might work, some might cause cramps, and others well others will find you wanting to break into a strangers home just to use their restroom (even if there home looks questionable….it’s THAT SERIOUS).
I found that my stomach and body really enjoyed hammer gels, specifically the huckleberry flavor. One of these gels around mile 6-7 helped me get over the 10 mile wall and finish strong. I found that when taking this gel I needed water at hand, as it’s a bit thick going down.
So I encourage you if you are considering the gels, chomps, fruit or other form of fuel during your run TRY IT OUT! You must test drive these fuels and see how it interacts with your stomach and makes you feel. I would also encourage you to try the Carb Boom Energy Gels (if you are taking on the Rite Aid Marathon) as they will be available to you at various spots throughout the race).
Also when trying these different fuels, make sure you are mindful of when you are taking them as taking something at mile 3 is a lot different than taking it at mile 7. You are trying to get ready for when you think you need an extra push, usually taking something 1 or 2 miles before needed is ideal.
While training this time around I have yet to use my hammer gels, I will probably take them for a test spin during my long run next weekend. As for me, I only use gels when trying to get a good pace/speed otherwise I personally would rather eat my calories (keep in mind these little gels really can add up in the calorie department, each packet can range from 90-130 calories).
So after reading this you are probably thinking I really didn’t provide you with an answer as to what you should be using. That is true, as there is no right answer. We have 3 weeks until the big event!!! Use the next few long runs to figure out what works for you =)
With that being said please comment below with the best way you like to fuel (if you already know), you could be helping other readers too (I really appreciate it).
Happy training friends!!!