What effect do you notice after taking a gel?



  • GU made me feel sick, and the Cliffe jelly blocks seem to take forever to chew and interrupt my breathing. SIS gel for me was easiest to swallow quickly as the added water makes it flow well.

    Jelly beans for me had too few in a packet, and did not seem to do much.

    Horses for courses I guess.

    Unless you're french.
  • you might get the runs!!

  • I forgot to say I tried to train without Gel on my long runs but for the Marathon decided an extra mental boost of knowing I was not going to hit the wall made it worth spreading 3 over the distance. I think it is as important to properly hydrate over the previous 48 hours so not to need excessive fluid during the run.

    I am still trying different strategies but finishing my first marathon in good shape makes me think I am close to the right solution FOR ME.
  • I use SIS gels when running/training anything over 1 1/2 hours. They take about 40 minutes to get in to your system so I plan around that.

    They dont make me feel super energetic (if that's a word) but what I can say is when I dont use them I feel a lot worse.

    It might be a placebo effect but who knows.

    Andy Murray, Bradley Wiggins and Chrissie Wellington cant all be wrong can they.

    Trial and error is unfortunately, your best bet to see what is best for you.

    Good luck.

  • Trots normallyimage

  • Everytime i've watched Andy Murray in a long match his favourite energy source seems to be a banana & fluid. Everyone will have their own take on gels but the twice i've taken them on marathons both times i've been nauseus at the finish, the 16 other marathons i've finished i never had that problem & there was certainly no improvement in my performance or time in the twice i've taken them. Maybe it's me & i'm allergic to them but at the Paris marathon where i only took water & banana i had a really good run & felt great at the finish. Everyone to their own but they're certainly not for me.

  • Really interesting discussion! I haven't done enough LSRs and longer races with and without gels to be able to make a comparison yet. I'm going to aim for 12 miles LSR this weekend, which will probably take me just over 2 hours, and try without any gel to see how it feels. 

    Isn't it a bit of a pain to be carrying banana on a long run? 


  • I suppose the best way is to try out a long run using gels & another without then you can see if they really work, it's surely in the companies best interest to bull their products, Lucozade Sport really makes you last 33% longer? If that was true maybe i should have taken it on a gruelling 20 mile road race last spring & could have gone on for 30 milesimage

  • I'm not really a huge fan of the thought of gels etc, but as I do my LSR first thing on a Sunday morning...and as I'm not good at eating first thing, I usually go out without breakfast. (Before my marathon I intend to do a few practice runs and eat something before I go out). This means I take a lucozade and some sweets out with me. Try not to eat the sweets unless its a particularly tough bit (did a hilly LSR this week and some of the hills were toughh!!)...but is it bad to be taking out the lucozade with me? I wouldn't do so unless it was a run of 15 miles plus, but I figure off no breakfast it's ok to take a sugary drink?

  • If it a LSR i just leave the sugar at home - I just make sure I have a decent meal the night before, then wake, quick cup of tea and off.

    Adding sugar/gels mid LR is going to interfere with you training yourself to burn fat more efficiently. If you are doing the long runs slow enough then you have plenty of fuel on tap. For a pacy long run, or 'dress rehersal' I take them. At least, that's my interpretation
  • Brilliant ok, thank you

  • M.r Zuvai wrote (see)
    LouiseG wrote (see)

    I am pretty slow so my LSR can be 3 - 4 hours.  I don't like to eat too much before a run and I find gels quite useful as an easy to carry top up; I use Gu gels, but only take about half a sachet at a time, any more than that and it makes me nauseous.  No more than 3 in one day, for the same reason.  Can also cause a bit of stomach distress afterwards.  Regarding effect - about 10 mins or so after taking it I do feel a boost, suspect most of it is down to the caffeine.

    i would have a think about the volume of gels you're using during training - the LSR is there to train your body to fuel from fat, and by taking gels you'll be limiting how much you're developing that process

    yeah - wasn't going into that much detail but on training run more likely to use none or maybe just one.  Experimented once with 2.  Full marathon I used 2.5.

  • Out of interest, what mileage did you use them on? I only ask as I'm tinkering with my use and 2.5 sounds low ish for 26 miles....
  • On marathons I go with one every five miles. It's easy to remember and ties in with the "body has enough energy for 20 miles or so" theory.

    I do take the 25 mile gel a bit early though as it takes 20 mins to kick in.
  • That's how I tend to work on long runs as well. Certainly been working well recently. Each to their own I guess
  • For marathon I took a half at the start then approx every 6k, theory being to have last half at 36k after which a bit pointless.  But I added chocolate into the mix and laughed off half a gel somewhere along the way.   I have the advantage of quite liking the vanilla and coffee flavours.  Most of the others are pretty revolting.

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