The first time I had an energy gel, I was taken aback and a little weirded out. I was running the Cleveland 10 miler for the first time and I needed water, so I put my hand out and got a packet of gel instead. I was pretty tired, so I decided to follow the crowd and eat the goop. SURPRISE! It helped! Actually, I wasn’t surprised. I had been eating fruit chews during my long training runs for the Rite Aid Cleveland half marathon, so I knew the value of having some sugar during a run. I just didn’t know how weirdly satisfying the gel would be.
Now I swear by the stuff. I take it with me on long runs and usually indulge around mile 8 for a nice pick me up…and, let’s be honest, for something to do. Sometimes running can get monotonous, so opening a pack of goop and eating it is a welcome activity. Some of the flavors aren’t the best (looking at you, vanilla), some are mysterious (ahem…tri-berry…), and some are just delicious (strawberry banana, classic yums), but they all work to give you an energy boost during a long run and even help with recovery after all of the exertion.
I recently bought a variety pack of GU and shared it with R and another runner friend, Bryden. (R mentioned GU in last Munday Runday, so you may already know that we’re fans.) We’re all working our way through the flavors and figuring out what we like and don’t like. Do you have a favorite brand of gel? Flavor?
PS HUGE shoutout to the volunteers that clean up those little packets during races.