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I'm running my fourth marathon this year (London) and STILL cannot get the whole energy drinks + gel + water thing right. I've tried everything and nothing seems to work particularly well for me.
Here's the problem:
When I'm training I never really feel like I need to drink much. I can easily get through a 2 hour run on a cold day without needing to drink, though on a warm day it's more like 1 hour. It's been a real effort for me to include a drinking routine in my training but over the years I've managed it. If I'm doing a long run I take water with me and have sips and all is fine.
One of the reasons I don't like to drink is that it makes me feel worse. I can feel it sloshing around in my stomach, even in small sips, and I know from past experience that if I drink more than a few sips at a time it can ruin a run/race for me. It all comes back up in my throat again and makes me want to vomit. It doesn't matter how much I train with water, it just doesn't sit well with me when I'm running. It's tempting just to go without it sometimes, because I know from experience that I can run anything up to 20 miles on not a lot of water at all.
Energy drinks, gels and sweets have the same effect, if not worse. By the end of a long run or a race I feel sick from using these products, and I've tried ALL of them in my training to find something that works for me. They might be providing me with energy but if they make me feel sick then it really ruins the run/race for me.
Am I doing something wrong? Do I really need to drink as much as everyone says you should? Jelly beans seem to have been the most successful product so far but I don't know how effective they are at providing energy.
(I am female, 4'11", average weight)