I can honestly say that now I feel like I am a true distance runner because today I consumed my first Gel. I know many people have these in half and full marathons and triathlons and like them a lot. They come in lots of flavors so everyone should be happy, right?
After a weekend in Michigan for a wedding, I got back to Chicagoland and knew that my 15 mile run today was going to be solo, and hot. As I was driving to my normal starting point, my car said it was 93 degrees outside. Lovely. I knew that I needed to carry my handheld water bottle with me given the heat and distance I was covering, and the fact that I was running alone. I also thought it would be a good idea to have a Gel halfway through the run given the distance I was doing.
I stopped at a water fountain, knowing that I would most likely need quite a bit of liquid to wash my gel down. I opened up the pack and took a swallow of it and about died. I could not get any more down because the consistency was awful. I know people swear by them, but I just want to know how they consume them. The taste wasn't that bad, but the consistency is just horrendous. Knowing that I might have this problem, I read that sometimes it was helpful to freeze gel before you consume them make them easier to eat. Even though mine was frozen, it still didn't help.
I know I need to consume something during 15+ mile runs. My body was tired and needed fuel and by mile 10, I was feeling the effect of not having any. I know Gatorade is offered at aid stations for half and full marathons, but people have told me that the lines are long at Chicago. I don't want to waste precious minutes in a line for Gatorade.
I have other flavors of Gu, like strawberry, so maybe since it is a different brand and flavor it might be better? Is there a difference in consistency between gel and gu? I feel like I have so much to learn in regard to nutrition during the race..and training runs.
Do you like gu or gel? Do you have any advice as to how to eat/slurp them so they are easier to consume? What is your favorite flavor?