Tuesday, December 11, 2007

To Gu or Not to Gu

Hey y'all. I'm Christie. I live in South Jersey outside of Philadelphia. I've been running for almost 5mos now. Anyway, I have a question. As my runs get longer, at what point do I need to concern myself with Gu? Or in my case, bananas or something. The thought of Gu kind of scares me (I have a feeling that I won't like the texture). But yeah, when do I need to start wearing fuel belts and carrying sports drinks and carby foods on a run? I ran my first 8 miler on Saturday. I had some water and a banana in the car just in case, but I didn't need it. Any words of wisdom?


Veg*Triathlete said...

My personal choice is to use GU (or something) for a fun over an hour. I know this is going to sound crazy, but I love the stuff. I get the citrus flavored ones. The trick is to immediately chase them with a gulp of water. Also, I think they taste better cold. I'm pretty sure love for GU is mainly psychological - it's a way to break up the run. I view them as rewards. Plus (and maybe this is pyschosomatic) I feel such a surge of energy after I have them. if the texture of GU is too weird for you, try Cliff Shot Blocks. They're like gummy bears.

For a more natural alternative, bananas are good. Dates are also quick easy to digest fuel bites.

Do you take in any sports drink on the longer runs? Coconut water with lemon or lime juice, a squirt of agave nectar, and a pinch of salt is an easy -to-make alternative to Gatorade. I'm trying to suck down less of the sugary commercial stuff, but it's hard to be that prepared all the time. Plus it's good to train with the same stuff they hand out at races, so... okay, enough rambling from me :-)

Experiment. Many sports stores will sell single packets of things. Buy a few different ones and see what works for you.

Christie said...

Hmm, I may skip the GU all together and go for the gummy bear tasting shot blocks. I miss gummy bears.

The coconut water concoction sounds good. I may do that. But no, I haven't taken any drinks with me. Well, I did take some sips of water on my 6miler, but I was on the treadmill sweating like a hog. But I usually drink more water the night before and during the day. Then have a lil bit of OJ right before I step out the door. Oh, and I make sure I get a meal in a couple hours before longer runs. Honestly, the only thing I take with me is gum or some mints.

Charlie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charlie said...

I use a fuelbelt for any run over an hour.
If it is hot out, I will take it at any distance.
It is good to practice taking in calories salt and fluid. It will also make the workout better by remaining well fuel and hydrated.

CPB said...

The general "rule" is to fuel up for any run over an hour. I'll typically toss Nuun in my water bottle and carry a package of Cliff Shot Blocks for anything over 9 miles.

With fueling you need to be aware of how many calories your body is consuming and how many you need to fuel properly. There are several websites (http://www.fhma.com/calories.htm) that will give you an approximation of calories burned during activity. You can start basing your needs from there.

Finding your groove with fueling takes times. I'm still fiddling with my fueling techniques for riding. If you decide to go the route of GU try to stay away from the fruit flavors, they tend to be the most offensive (well, at least I think so). Cliff has several GU-like gels that are a little tastier. I agree with Christie, Cliff Shot Blocks are by far the best out there. The texture and flavor are really aggreable. They've been my fuel source for the past triathlon racing season and I've yet to experience any gastro issues.

Mark said...

I'm in love with the seasonal-only mint chocolate Gu.

It's pretty amazing.

Hammer Gel seems to do all right by me, and they are really up front about being vegan and vegetarian friendly (except for their whey protein, blech)

Crystal said...

Personally I like Gu gels the best out of anything. I'm not a fan of Clif shots (too hard to chew) and I find the other gels to be too syrupy. Like everyone else, I recommend carrying gels/sports fluid for anything over an hour. Make sure you are aware of what they hand out at races and either carry what you want to use or else familiarize yourself with the vegan kinds (at Ironman Canada, I had to read the labels to make sure there wasn't any milk in them!).

As for the texture, I think that Gu gels have the texture of pudding and because I miss pudding a lot, I really like it. Experiment for sure!

Christie said...

See, I don't eat pudding. Texture issues...

Charlie said...

you can always squeeze the gu into a water bottle. mix with water, shake, consume, run happy.

Michael said...

NO GU. As a vegan runner I used GU before I found out it is made from GMO containing corn.


Make your own, be super green.