Many trail runners experience a love-hate relationship with gels even though they are not Marmite flavoured…bo-boom. I abhor them – whenever I use them in races I get stomach cramps, so it was with great regret that I identified my lack of va va voom 13 miles into my 20 miler this Sunday was from lack of energy. That could only mean one thing. Break into my emergency gel.
I was in for a shock. We get various nutritional things sent into Trail Running magazine and I’d randomly packed a Honey Stinger Fruit Smoothie gel which was DELICIOUS! Not slippery with a disgusting texture, but really chunky honey-textured, almost chewable, and it wasn’t too sweet but tasted beautiful – I must have been tired!
The other great thing about the thick consistency of the gel was that it didn’t slip out so uncontrollably quick that you got it everywhere. I did get a teeny bit of goo on my gloves but I sucked it off (yes I was THAT hungry).
I want to get an absolute shed-load of these to power me through The Coastal Challenge Costa Rica this Feb. My coach Rory Coleman always recommended a gel at half way on my 20 miler, but I told him I didn’t like them. Well now Rory, I do! I’ve also had a GU Chocolate Brownie one in the past that was amazing, just like the chocolate ganache that you get in a real brownie, and I’ve heard really good things about the Clif gels too. So I’ll try all of them and report back to you here…