Surprising Gels

Wednesday, we had our longest run yet schedule for our Mini Marathon Training Program.   A big 11 miler.  For some reason, I was so nervous about this run.  Typically, I am a morning runner/worker outer, and I am finding that when I schedule to run or workout for the evening I have all day to feel “nervous” about it.

running shoesHonestly, I know it is totally a mental thing, but sometimes I wonder if it effects how “good” or “bad” my workout is.  Are there any other morning worker outers who feel a little anxiety to workout after a full day of work?

During this week’s 11 mile run, we planned to stop back at the water/refueling station after each set of around 4 miles.  After the first 4 miles…I was ready to quit!  My legs were tight, I was starting to feel shaky, it just wasn’t a good run.  I sipped on some water, and I noticed that they had some Hammer Gels available for refueling since we were going to be running for more than an hour.

hammer gelTypically, I stay away from the gels and gatorade, but I decided I would give it a try since I already was not feeling too hot.  Within the first mile after taking the gel I instantly felt energized and better than I did when we first started the run!  It was AMAZING and much needed.

I was able to finish the run strong, and lead the group through the rough 11 miles.

Thank goodness for the Hammer Gel!

I then came home, immediately ate a dinner of shrimp, asparagus, Ezekial Bread with peanut butter.  It was delicious and much needed.

shrimp asparagus and ezekial breadBrian then helped me put some Bengay on my calves and hamstrings and I was out like a light.

I woke up, and my legs were not sore, I felt well rested, and ready to go like any other day!  Typically, I feel a little sluggish the day after, but I must have done something right this week!

Honestly, I cannot believe how well the gel worked, and now I think I need to do some experimenting for race day to see what kind works best for me!  I would love some advice.

Question of the Morning:

  • When distance running, do you use gels or gummies of any sort?  
  • What is your favorite to use?

Comments

  1. I am a morning workout girl, and when training for my marathon last year definitely had the after work ‘workout’ anxiety :) but on the gels – I cannot use the ones with caffeine in them, my #1 suggestion make sure you try them before the actual race…then get your favorite and stick to that plan for the race! Your tummy will thank you.

  2. Hmm… I wonder if it might have been a placebo effect or if it really is a miracle worker?! I tend to be a mid morning exerciser. I like to get my coffee and breakfast settled in my belly then I hit the weights – luxuries of being a housewife.

    • Tara Deal says:

      Well, not sure if I would call the gel a miracle worker, but it really did help me out! Maybe it was placebo, but I loved it!!

  3. I cannot believe you train med for multiple half marathons and never used a gel! Some kind of nutrition is essential to long-distance running. I take something on anything 9 miles and over. I have experimented a lot over the years, trying gels, chews and Swedish fish. You definitely have to find what works for you. Right now I use Clif Shot Bloks and nuun. Definitely try things out before race day, though. Good luck!

    • Tara Deal says:

      Now I understand the importance of the nutrition mid run :) I can only imagine how it will improve my time and recovery!! Thanks for the tips! I have been looking at nuun for a while…looks like it’s time to order some to sample!

  4. I stock up on free gels when I can during a race. :) Surprisingly, I thought the Clif gels in both chocolate and vanilla flavors were tasty and kept my energy level up!

  5. That’s great about the gels being able to help ya out girl. When i would run long distances I was a huge jelly bean fan — and gum :)

    • Tara Deal says:

      I have seen sport jelly beans!! I have eaten them as something quick before my workout but not during…I’ll have to try it, but I have never heard of gum!! What kind of gum? Is it like a special sport gum!? I am a total gum fan, so I want to know more!

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