Gels on Long Training Runs - How Often?

Hello all,

I've entered my frist marathon in May and have found that when I run more than say 1 hour 45 minutes I really need to take on more calories, so have started experimenting with Energy Gels. My question relates to how many/how often people generally take them on board. I did a long run today (2 hours 30 mins) and I had a gel at about 1 hour 35 mins, and then another about 2 hours 5 mins. That seemed to work fine for me, so my plan for the marathon itself was to take on 5 gels, at 30 minute intervals from 1 hour 30 mins til 3 hours 30 mins (my target time is circa 3:45 for the race). Does this seem about right for what other people do, or does it seem way off?

Sorry for the question but I'm in unknown territory here - I've only ever done halfs before and I was fine with just water for those, but that won't get me round a full so need some advice from people in the know.

Cheers

Comments

  • Your body can digest/consume/convert 60g of carbs per hour.  Typically a gel is 60g so one an hour starting 45 mins in to a run should do you.  Hope that helps.
  • Yup, the people at Lucozade pretty much say the same as EdinburghKev - one every 45min-60min starting at the 45min mark. They say not to leave the first one for hour 2 but to start them early as it won't be as beneficial.

    But you also need to practise with them or else youy may end up feeling rather ordinary!

  • Yup, the people at Lucozade pretty much say the same as EdinburghKev - one every 45min-60min starting at the 45min mark. They say not to leave the first one for hour 2 but to start them early as it won't be as beneficial.

    But you also need to practise with them or else you may end up feeling rather ordinary!

  • Brilliant thanks for your help. I'm at the experimenting stage now really, and I've got plenty of time to play around witht them before now and the race. I was just interested in tried and tested methods that have worked for other people really, so will have a try with what you recommend. Thanks for taking time out to reply - your help is much appreciated.
  • I've just noticed I've been using the Science in Sport gels too, which are only 25g I think. So I'm guessing if I carry on with those it's more likely to be one per 20-30 minutes then really. I think I might have a try with some other brands to see how I fair with those.
  • LS21  I use the same gels as you.  Take one after your first hour, then one ever 30 mins afterwards.  Sisgo are better gels as you don't have to take water with them.

  • I use the High5 gels and for marathons I take them at every 5 mile interval. I find thats better than trying to remember to look at my watch - works for me - havent hit the wall using them like that.
  • 5 Mile intervals for me as well. Anything after 18 miles probably won't havetime to digest to be beneficial.

  • The SIS Go Gels are very good, 60g of carbs and can help rehydrate as well.  Easy to swallow on a run and the berry flavour is very nice. 

    Try them out as well.image

  • Thanks for the help everyone - much appreciated.

    Pavey - I was planning on one after an hour and then another every 30 mins so your strategy fits with exactly what my thoughts were, so cheers for the reply. The 5 mile interval thing sounds a good option too for the race so a couple of things to have a play round with in the coming weeks I guess.

    Cheers for your help.

  • Easy thing for races is that usually they show the 5 mile markers quite obviously- whereas if its a time interval - you need to check your watch.
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