Energy gels

Hi there.I was wondering if anybody out there and experience of energy gels?ie what works?,what tastes good?,which ones can you use without additional water?Also I a new pair of shoes for Ironman training/racing.Im 11 stone,3:34 marathon and am using Saucony Grid Jazz at the moment.Thinking of Mizuno Wave Rider or Asics Nimbus or Saucony Grid Spy/Azura.Any thoughts?


  • ChaosChaos ✭✭✭
    The SIS gels are meant to be isotonic so don't need extra water over and above what you'd take just to rehydrate. They are a little tasteless though i think SIS claim this is because they only use natural flavourings.

    I had a powerbar vanilla gel the other day as well which was absolutely delicious! Got a feeling that my extreme hunger and fatigue at the time helped somewhat. They do need washing down with water.

    Can't help with the shoes - maybe best left to another thread? Also you haven't said whether you pronate or not & are you a heel striker or a forefoot striker at the moment?
  • Hi Simon,

    I have used SIS gels and they are the only ones that I know of that can be taken without water, but it's not the nicest experience all the same! Try and get hold of some Maxim ones. My local Tesco's stock them so yours might too. They contain three helpings(?) of carbs in one small sachet with an easy screw cap as well. You'll need to take water with these though.

    As for shoes, the best thing is to go and try them for yourself and see which ones feel comfortable for YOU. For what it's worth, I have both the Wave Riders and Nimbus (whatever the plural of Nimbus is!) The WRs are the best shoe I've ever had by a long way. The Nimbus are really rigid (as many Asics shoes seem to be) and I don't like them at all, but best go and see for yourself.

  • Whereabouts in tesco's ?
  • In my humble opinion Squeezy from Leppin is good stuff, tastes good.
    High 5 didn't help me very much.
  • I'm an avid gel user, all of them work for me but you do need to take water with them. 'Ironman'? which one are you aiming for? I live in Germany, my husband and I have both done Roth twice, and the aid stations there have water, electrolytes, bananas, power bars, gels, even cake.
  • I've done several Ironman races and the only nutrition I use is energy gels. I have tried most different types over the years and in my experience they are all pretty much the same. I think that the most important thing is to make sure that you take water with each gel (normally about 200-250ml or half a pint) in addition to your normal water intake.
    SIS gels look like a good idea as you don't need additional water - ideal for runners but you try opening one on a bike!
  • Thanks for the info.Which gel would you use most often?Do you keep the gel in its sachet or decant it into the gel flasks available?Im hoping to do Ironman Newzealand.Any training or handy hints?
  • Simon - have you done an Ironman before? I have a great article by Paula Newby-Fraser, 7 months to an Ironman, which gives lots of practical tips and training advice from 7 months out right up to the last couple of weeks' taper. If you want it, send me an email and I'll forward you a copy, I have it stored as a Word document. John and I both use the plan for our Ironman training and it works great. After all, Paula has 22 Ironman wins to her name, so she must know a thing or too!
  • Simon,

    I'd agree with Mark H. SIS gels are tasteless but easy because you don't need to take them with water. I'd imagine they're pretty good if you suffer with a delicate runner's stomach!
    I find them easy to carry on anything up to the marathon.
    Onto shoes, have you considered New Balance 764s? Very comfortable and easy to 'run-in'. I'm similar to yourself; 12st and 3.37 marathon.
  • I use the Maxim gels and find them pretty good. The screw cap in particular is a nice touch.

    I'd be interested in seeing that article if you don't mind as myself and a friend were thinking of doing an Ironman. I'm more concerned at the training than anything else though. All the training schedules I've seen specify about 3hrs training 6 days a week for 4mnths leading up to the race. Not sure I can commit to that.
  • Yes, Ironman training is very time consuming, although I’m not sure you need to do 3 hours a days 6 days a week - I doubt if anyone with a full time job could fit that lot in.
    Training programmes can be found all over the place on the Web: try for a “mere mortals” plan, have a look at for lots of IM info. Unfortunately none of them tell you how to fit them all in. I have found that the most important thing to do is to make a realistic training plan right at the start of your programme – if it doesn’t fit in with your work and home life then it is probably going to fail. Make the best use of whatever time you have available, including “dead time”. For example, cycle to work if you can, run home, try a run from your workplace before driving home – your drive home will be later but much quicker.
    At the risk of being struck off this runner’s forum I strongly suggest that you structure your IM programme around swimming and cycling, fitting the running into the remaining time. You need quality pool time for long swim sessions, and you aren’t going do a 5 hour bike ride after work during winter, weekends are the time for that, but you can run anytime and anywhere.
    It can be done! My club (Black Country Triathletes) organises The Longest Day Triathlon, and we see plenty of first timers completing the distance each year. They all manage it despite having full time jobs, and if they can do it so can you!
  • Hello Simon,
    Not sure were you are from?But they have a sports shop in glasgow called greaves sport!
    You can actually call and book an appointment,with them either morning/afternoon:And when you go along they have a computer screen
    which takes an x-ray of your foot.Although in the shop you do feel a bit silly as they put a pad on the floor and you run across this:Therefore getting funny looks from other customers.
    I found this ideal to choose the correct footwear.I have the saucony grid and have never had any problems at all.I have now been running for approximately six months,never had any trouble.
    This shop in glasgow is on gordon street,and they also have another branch as well.

    I hope this helps you out.So far have done 5K & 10K:Looking to do the Oban half marathon on 6th October.Have managed to get the mileage up to ten.
    Keep the fingers crossed.

    Anyway good luck with the shoes!!Can not give you any hints on gels and stuff:As I have still to try them myself.

    bye for now!!
    Signed Flipper!!
  • Thanks for the info. Martin, admittedly the programme I was looking at was not exactly aimed at those new to triathlons and so would probably not have been very appropriate for me even if I had the time to do it. I'll give the websites a look and see what I can do.
  • Hi Greg - sorry for the delay, just saw your posting. I'm sending you Paula's training plan right now. Doing an Ironman does mean you have to commit to lots of hard training, but not necessarily as much as you think. Take a look.
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