In the past years, I’ve been buying GU Gels by pieces, depending on the distance of the race that I would join. I’ve been conditioned to use GU Gels in half-marathon and full marathon races, taking one gel every hour of the race. I’ve never used gels in my training runs because they are very expensive and it was hard to be accustomed with the best tasting one.
When I started to join ultra marathon races, I was sparingly using the GU Roctance until I completely shifted to solid foods. Since then, I forgot to use these Gels in my training and races.
With my new training program which started three months ago, I re-introduced the use of GU Gels in my body system during my weekend long runs but only when I am in the verge of bonking on the second half of my workout. The Espresso Love Flavor is presently my most preferable tasting GU Gel and it gives me the desired energy on the last 1-2 hours of my long runs.
It was only when I bought this preferred flavor in boxes when I read the printed instructions on the side of the box on how to use GU properly.
It states that in one’s training workout/run, the runner must ingest ONE GU 15 minutes before starting the run and then ingesting ONE GU every 30-45 minutes during the run. In order to save my stash of GU gels, I eat solid foods before I start my run and during the first half of my workout. On the second half of my workout, if I feel that I am losing my energy, I would ingest at least ONE GU in order to maintain a strong finish.
The instructions also states that when a runner is going to join a race, he/she has to ingest ONE GU 45 minutes before the start of the race and to be followed by another GU 15 minutes before the start of the race. During the race, the runner must be able to ingest ONE GU every 30-45 minutes.
In my latest ultra road race last Sunday, I made some adjustments with the suggested instructions since I had prepared some Perpetuem Mix and additional solid foods for my additional nutrition. I ingested ONE GU 15 minutes before the start of the race and then ingested ONE GU every hour during the race. I think my regular intake of GU Gels with solid foods and liquid/water provided me the much needed energy to finish strong in the said race.
ONE GU Gel (Espresso Love) has 100 calories in one sachet. If it is taken every 30 minutes, the runner has 200 calories for his energy to burn in one hour which is enough to maintain for a consistent energy for the body.
It took me sometime to experiment on the use of GU Gels for the past months. It is costly but very effective but if you have the desire to finish a race, the costs will be worthy.
Finally, it should be noted and highly suggested that the empty sachets of these GU Gels should not be littered along the course. Make sure to return the empty sachets to the pocket or hydration belt/vest where you stashed them before the start of the race and dispose them later in trash bags/bins at the Finish Line.
Keep on running!