Homemade flax gels recipe

11 May 2016, 15:37

This post will not be for everyone, but if you’re trying to cut down on the amount of refined sugar you eat and really don’t like the idea that you can only run long distances by sucking down sugary gels, well, then hear me out…

I’ve experimented over the years with various cakes, cookies, and tiny pies to eat while on long trail runs (the Feed Zone Portables book is ACE for this!), but these give more of a slow release burn rather than a sharp uptake in energy needed for racing, so I’d begrudgingly gone back to gels (my favourites being Torq and Shot Bloks, which my stomach tolerates just fine). I ran into a friend of mine, Lauren, after London marathon and she was telling me about the homemade flax gels she’d made to get her through the race and that they actually gave her a boost, so I was intrigued enough to give it a try myself.

Homemade flax gel recipe

  • 1 ripe banana

  • 1 cup oats

  • 1/2 cup ground flax seeds

  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt

  • boiling water

To make: mash up the banana in a bowl with a fork until it’s no longer chunky. Add all the dry ingredients and the honey, and stir together. Add boiling water to the mix, stir well, and let cool. Note that both the flax and chia will naturally make it thicken, so you probably want to make it runnier than you’d expect. The above fills 4-5 of the below pouches, so is plenty enough for a few runs.

I took the gels out on a few trail runs and I loved the taste – like delicious porridge from my childhood! The gels also gave me a definite boost after I ate them, too, which is fantastic. The only downside was that they were hard to transport – Lauren said she had hers in a ziploc bag she just sort of squeezed into her mouth, but I tried a little tupperware, which I then out to scoop out with my finger. Not great.

Flax gel

But then someone suggested reusable baby food pouches! Not having any children, I literally didn’t know these existed, but they’re brilliant – double ziploc opening on the bottom to spoon the goo in, seal it up, and then you’ve got a secure cap and sucky straw at the top. They’re freezable and dishwasher safe. Even the smallest, 100ml ones are a bit bigger than an iPhone 6+, though, which means they’re a tad awkward to fit into shorts pockets (though fine in backpacks) and of course you need to carry the empties with you rather than bin them along the run, but I’m really happy with this new nutrition strategy for Transylvania now!

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Maffetone and Recovery

20 October 2015, 13:32

September was not good. Looking back, the entire month was pretty much a blur of exhaustion for me. I’m sure some of it was recovery from Argentina, but on top of that, we were having building work done on the rental cabin on our boat, and we were away every single weekend – first, a sportive in Surrey (much hillier than my first but I gained loads of confidence), then a trip to Southampton for a friend’s 40th, then a crazy long weekend roadtrip through France for a friend’s wedding in Provence. All fantastic reasons to be away, but feeling so utterly shattered left me unable to sleep properly, then unable to get out of bed, unable to think clearly at any times, plus bad skin and even hair loss(!!).

September montage

So I hit October feeling like something had to change, and I was feeling so bad that I said to my husband that if I didn’t feel better by the end of the week, I’d email my haematology nurse and arrange for a blood test, just to make sure it wasn’t a bone marrow problem. Yeah, I felt that bad.

But lingering in the back of my mind was also that it might have a nutrition cause – I’d been on my coach’s “no starchy carbs” pre-track competition training diet all summer, so when the competition was all over, we hit Argentina’s dulce de leche reserves with abandon. Then came home to enjoy foods that were previously forbidden (I love you, peanut butter filled pretzel nuggets!), plus weekends away eating in restaurants, and then driving through France, eating pastries for breakfast, enjoying the Jamon Iberico, champagne, and copious amounts of rosé at the wedding, not to mention freebies at the Valhrona chocolate factory on the way home… You get the picture.

So I figured nutrition was the easiest of the possibilities for the root cause of my fatigue to rule out (much easier than track recovery or bone marrow issues), so I went back to my “no starchy carbs” training diet for two days, and then started the Maffetone Two Week Test on the third. And by the end of the week, I felt so significantly better than I didn’t even bother to email my nurse.

So what’s this Two Week Test business? Well, essentially you take away all carbohydrates for two weeks. Everything. No fruit, sugars, oats, beats, pulses, corn, wheat, etc. Even milk is off the menu because its lactose (a sugar) content is too high, so I’ve been having cream in my tea instead. Then, after two weeks you start to add carbs back in one at a time and see how they make you feel. That’s it. No long term “you must follow these rules”, no cheat days, no nothing – mostly because it’s not really a diet, it’s a self-diagnosis tool. Which suits me just fine, because I really don’t like doing diets at all anyway – I’d choose to run an extra hour or two and eat whatever I want any day. I love my food way too much to deny myself for no good reason!

Maffetone foods

But the two weeks hasn’t been too bad – I’ve missed fruit, oats, and dark chocolate more than chips, to be honest, and I’ve managed to eat out, have dinner at friends, get my coworkers to adjust to putting cream in my tea, and generally just adapt. It’s forced my husband and I to expand our cooking repertoire a bit and try new things (like cauliflower “rice”!), but also got me into the habit of eating vegetables and eggs for nearly every breakfast. My own food highlights of the week were the roasted aubergines with homemade pesto and my own chicken satay using almond butter, chillies, garlic, and ginger. When you can’t have anything sugary, carrots start to taste like candy and I found myself eating more spicy and smoky flavours to compensate. And I’ve been eating a lot of nuts and cheese!

Since I’m on Day 14 today, I’m kinda stupidly excited about adding pulses back in tomorrow, and fruits on Thursday (figures my office would get free fruit baskets on my last day of the test)! To be perfectly honest, I have a sneaking suspicion that my problem food is refined sugars, but I’m curious to see if anything else makes me feel equally as bad.

There’s actually a second exercise part to this whole Maffetone thing, which I’m also doing, but I’ll save that for another post and instead leave you with a (quite boring, but probably very interesting to a few people) food log of what I’ve actually eaten during my zero carb fortnight. Minus dinner tonight, as I’ve not worked out what I’m having yet!

My Maffetone Two Week Test Food Log

Day 1 (Wed 7 October)

Breakfast: handful nuts, tea w/cream, 2 eggs scrambled with butter, leek, chia, pumpkin & sunflower seeds
Lunch: cauliflower “rice” with cheese & olive oil, kale, prawns & pat of butter
Dinner: lettuce, chicken breast, mushrooms, homemade salsa & guac, radishes, hot sauce
Snacks: 2 sticks celery with almond butter, tea w/cream x4, handful nuts, triangle of blue cheese

Day 2 – Thurs 8 Oct

Breakfast: 2 egg omelette with pat of butter, 2 mushrooms, leaf of kale & thyme & goats cheese. Tea w/ cream
Lunch: lettuce, radishes, cucumber, tomato, sautéed chicken breast, olive oil, pine nuts
Dinner: block halloumi, 3 mushrooms, kale, sunflower seeds, olive oil, homemade salsa
Snacks: carrot sticks & celery sticks, tea w/cream x3, handful nuts, graze BBQ pistachios, spoonful almond butter, hot lemon & Ginger, handful nuts

Day 3 – Fri 9 Oct

Breakfast: 2 microwaved scrambled eggs eggs w/2 mushrooms, pat of butter & dollop of cream, tea w/cream
Lunch: leftover cauliflower “rice”, sautéed chicken breast, half avocado, hot sauce. Chia seed pudding: almond milk, cream, 1T cocoa, 3T chia seeds & pumpkin pie spice
Dinner: pork chop with smoked Chili paste, kale & sprouting broccoli with butter, wine, cheeseboard
Snacks: 2 celery w/almond butter, handful nuts, assorted mini cheeses, tea w/cream x2

Day 4 – Sat 10 Oct

Breakfast: 2egg omelette with mushrooms, pat butter & goats cheese. Tea w/cream
Lunch: salad with lettuce, radishes, cucumber, pine nuts, half avocado, olive oil & grilled chicken breast. Tea w/cream.
Dinner: stew: onions, pork mince, Hungarian sausage, mushrooms, celery, carrots, courgette, tomatoes, green olives, olive oil, chili. Chia pudding: almond milk, coconut oil, cocoa, chia seeds.
Snacks: handful nuts x2, spoonful almond butter, tea w/cream x2. Ginger tea w/lemon

Day 5 – Sun 11 Oct

Breakfast: handful nuts, spoon almond butter, scrambled eggs with mushrooms, cheddar & pat butter. Tea w/cream
Lunch: salad with lettuce, half avocado, pine nuts, pumpkin & sunflower seeds, pinch of ground flax seed, grilled chicken, tahini & lemon dressing
Dinner: 2 roast pork slices, roast fennel with olive oil, steamed carrot, courgette & peas with salted butter. Cheeseboard.
Snacks: handful nuts, almond butter with coconut, piece Edam cheese, tea w/cream x1

Day 6 – Mon 12 Oct

Breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled with a leek, goats cheese & pat butter. Tea w/cream
Lunch: stew: onions, pork mince, Hungarian sausage, mushrooms, celery, carrots, courgette, tomatoes, green olives, olive oil, chili.
Dinner: chowder with smoked haddock, leek, butter, cream, mushrooms, 4 carrots
Snacks: almond butter with coconut, pumpkin, sunflower & ground flax seeds. Mixed nuts x2. Edam cheese. Tea w/cream x2

Day 7 – Tues 13 Oct

Breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled with pat butter, 3 mushrooms & goats cheese. Tea w/cream.
Lunch: salad with lettuce, cucumber, radish, pine nuts, grilled chicken, half avocado & tahini lemon dressing
Dinner: pork medallions with butter, mushrooms, aubergine, tinned tomatoes, fresh basil. Tea w/cream.
Snacks: kale crisps w/olive oil. Carrot sticks. Piece Edam cheese. Handful nuts. Tea w/cream x3

Day 8 – Wed 14 oct

Breakfast: scrambled eggs with pat butter, 2 mushrooms, courgette & chia seeds. Tea w/cream.
Lunch: salad with lettuce, carrot, cucumber, half avocado & pine nuts, drizzle olive oil.
Dinner: slow cooker pork ragout with onions, garlic, olive oil, mushrooms, carrots, peas, sour cream, cream, fresh tarragon.
Snacks: carrot sticks. Piece Edam cheese. Tea w/cream x3. Handful nuts

Day 9 – Thur 15 Oct

Breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled with pat of butter, courgette, fresh tarragon & goats cheese. Tea w/cream
Lunch: slow cooker pork ragout with onions, garlic, olive oil, mushrooms, carrots, peas, sour cream, cream, fresh tarragon. Half a hard boiled egg.
Dinner: roast aubergines with olive oil & homemade pesto: cashews, garlic, chili, fresh basil, feta cheese & olive oil. Lemon & Ginger “tea”.
Snacks: piece Edam cheese. Radishes. Tea w/cream x3. Handful mixed nuts.

Day 10 – Fri 16 Oct

Breakfast: handful nuts. 2 scrambled eggs with pat butter, mushroom, leek & grated parmaggiano. Tea w/cream.
Lunch: salad with lettuce, radishes, half avocado & pesto: cashews, garlic, chili, fresh basil, feta cheese & olive oil.
Dinner: curry: onions, garlic, chili, olive oil, ginger, mushrooms, carrots, courgette, yellow pepper, coconut milk, coconut, prawns. Polar bear tea.
Snacks: mixed nuts, almond butter. Carrot. Tea w/cream x2

Day 11 – Sat 17 Oct

Breakfast: 2 dippy eggs with kale, butter & olive oil. Tea w/cream
Lunch: leftover curry: onions, garlic, chili, olive oil, ginger, mushrooms, carrots, courgette, yellow pepper, coconut milk, coconut, prawns.
Dinner: chicken breast with satay sauce: almond butter, garlic, ginger, chilies, lime juice. Bok choy, carrots, courgette & olive oil. Dry white wine++
Snacks: mixed nuts. Tea w/cream.

Day 12 – Sun 18 Oct

Breakfast: tea w/cream x2. 2 eggs with kale & olive oil.
Lunch: cheeseboard, jambon & olives
Dinner: roast chicken with herbs, roast fennel w/olive oil. Steamed bok choy & carrots with butter. Polar bear tea.
Snacks: smoked almonds & cashews. Tea w/cream x2. Handful mixed nuts.

Day 13 – Mon 19 Oct

Breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled with pat butter, mushroom, courgette. Tea w/cream.
Lunch: salad with lettuce, radishes, mushrooms, goats cheese, pine nuts & satay marinated grilled chicken (see Sat)
Dinner: green tea, salmon & scallop sashimi, miso roast aubergine, stir fried bok choy, miso soup.
Snacks: mixed nuts. Carrot sticks. Smoked almonds & cashews. More mixed nuts. Tea w/cream x3

Day 14 – Tues 20 Oct

Breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled with pat of butter, leek, courgette & smoked cheddar. Tea w/cream.
Lunch: lettuce, courgette, radishes, pine nuts, goats cheese
Dinner: TBC?
Snacks: olives. Mixed nuts. Tea w/cream x2.

Stay tuned for part two, in which I run literally twice as slowly as my “comfortable” pace. Over and over…

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Packing for a long run

25 February 2014, 12:20

I had a request from Rebecca to talk about what I pack for my long runs, so I thought it was a great point to explore since my supplies have evolved over the last several years.

My bare minimum I take for a run (of any length) is my phone and my Oystercard (London transport card – so I can get home should anything go wrong). If I’m wearing a jacket, these will usually go in a pocket, otherwise, they can both fit happily into an armband. When I first started running long runs (I’m going to qualify these as anything over 90min), I pretty much just added water into this mix, usually in the form of my favourite lady Camelbak (see here). This was easy as I was running my long runs around the river, starting and ending right outside home, so I didn’t really need much for the journey there or back, and as soon as I got in the door I could eat or drink something.

OMM backpack mid run

Things became a bit more complex when my trainer started making my long runs hill sessions, too – there obviously aren’t any hills along the river, so I now needed to travel up to Hampstead Heath for my runs. Getting there consisted of a 1km jog to London Bridge, then a 40min tube ride, and then another short run to the park. In the summer, I travel light, only really needing to add an armband pocket with a gel or two, and some cash to buy a bottle of water and a snack for the ride home. Oftentimes I’d fit this into my trusty Camelbak, but I recently bought an Inov-8 waistpack to give me a bit more storage space (mostly for larger snacks, as I’m trying to mix up gels and “real food” for my fuel).

Innov-8 waist packInnov-8 waist pack

I’ll admit – I was surprised at exactly how big it is when it arrived, but I’ve taken it on a few test runs when fully packed and it stays out of the way of my arms and doesn’t bounce, so it seems like a winner!

My default for winter long runs, however, is to wear my OMM running backpack. I’m not exactly a tiny girl, but I’ve got the various cinches and sliders on the absolute shortest and near-smallest settings and it stays very nearly bounce-free, providing I pack it with the contents tightly at the bottom of the bag. I’ve found that it really weighs me down for speedwork, but for my long runs, it doesn’t really make too much of a difference when I’m already trudging up hills in ankle-deep mud into a headwind!

OMM backpack

I probably do the girl thing of overpacking, but my main reason for needing the backpack in winter is so I’ve got a jacket to put on after my run – otherwise I get really shaky, yellow-fingers numb and cold on my tube ride home, which is not a good thing!

So for the typical wintry Saturday long run (anywhere between 2-3hrs at the moment), I’ll pack:

  • Phone

  • Oystercard

  • Chapstick

  • Tissues

  • Plastic bag for my phone in case it starts raining

  • keys

  • Headphones

  • Water bottle with nuun inside

  • Banana

  • 1-2 gels or Shotbloks

  • Baggy of whatever run fuel from Feed Zone Portables I made the day before

  • Jacket for afterwards

  • Dry gloves & hat for afterwards

  • Spare phone battery

  • Skratch hydration powder sachet (to mix with a bottle of water afterwards)

  • Cash to buy water or a candy bar afterwards

As you can see, I’m not exactly packing light! I’ve been carrying a fair amount through all my toughest training runs, which should hopefully make things feel much easier when I’m off racing the next consecutive three weekends(!). But that’s the point of training hard, right – to make race day feel easy in comparison.

My first race is Bath Half this weekend (where I’ll really only need to carry my phone and a gel or two), then the weekend after I’ve got Flatline (where bags are stashed at the top of the hill) and the Marrowthon 10k (just my phone for anything under an hour), but the third weekend is the Spitfire 20 miler. I had been hoping to use it as a dress rehearsal for London marathon, but there are fewer water stations at Spitfire than the (really, almost excessive) every mile water stations at London, and also fewer cheering stations for friends to resupply me, so I may wear my Innov-8 pack even though I probably won’t for the big day itself.

I know I’m not alone in running with backpacks – I see an awful lot of run commuters and weekend long runners wearing them, too, but what’s everyone’s view on bringing supplies along on race day?

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The eating part

30 December 2013, 15:15

I’m well and truly in the thick of training for London Marathon, and I’m handling the training runs pretty well – even when my trainer introduced the first “doubles” (two runs in one day) for me this month, and she’s got me running 7 times in 6 days! I’ve always been one for following a regimented plan (I guess it’s the German blood in me), but much harder for me to follow is the nutritional plan.

Over the summer, when I was training for the British Transplant Games and slimming down to racing weight, I found the strict diet really difficult to keep on top of, even when it was clear I was getting results. Somehow in my weird little mind, not eating pasta is a bigger ask than running up hills for two hours!

Now that the nutrition is less about weight loss and more about giving my body the fuel it needs to train, I’ve got the opposite problem – I’m finding it difficult to actually consume the quantity of quality carbs and protein that are called for each day! The other issue is that, while I’m happy to eat the same porridge every morning, I get sick of eating the same lunch with brown rice every day, so I’m always on the lookout for interesting new ways of consuming “the good stuff”.

I was recently asked if I’d like to try Cherry Active concentrate, and the first thing that pleased me about it is the ingredients list:

Cherry Active

Yup, just cherry juice. Nothing else.

I don’t really follow all the latest “You should be eating THIS! This magical, performance-boosting thing!” BS I read about in the running magazines, but I figured this was unlikely to do me any harm seeing as how it’s just cherry juice, and if worst comes to worst and it does absolutely nothing for my training, then, well, at least it’s something different to flavour my post-workout smoothies, porridge, or even…. cocktails. Oh yes, it may have detrimental effects on my nutrition after all!

I also owe you all an update on the recipes I’ve made from the Feed Zone Portables cookbook, because I’ve made about 4-5 of them so far and tested most on my long runs. I’m one of those people for whom gels pose zero gastrointestinal issues whatsoever, but still I’d prefer to be eating cinnamon rolls, apple pie, tiny quiches, or waffles on my runs. By the time London comes around, I may be scoffing an entire picnic on the course!



Lunges & Lycra Summer Social

9 September 2013, 13:51

I’ve been following Lunges & Lycra on Twitter now for quite some time, so I was chuffed (and flattered!) when I received an invite to their Summer Social gathering last week, even though it was before I’d launched this site and therefore wasn’t even a “fitness blogger” (Spooky – how did they know??).

As you’d expect from girls who “like sweating, fitness and the odd nip of gin”, it was a lot of fun! We all came dressed ready for a workout (myself in FehrTrade gear I’d sewn myself, of course!) and after finally putting faces to quite a few online names (hi Becca and PT Mollie!), we were split up into teams ready to run all over Soho on a WhatsApp-based scavenger hunt compliments of the Fitness Playground guys.

Team Midas Touch
The nice shots are compliments of Lunges & Lycra’s pro photographer!

Even though it was technically my rest day, I reckon we easily clocked up 5km running everywhere from Charing Cross road down through Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, and even out to the Mall before returning to base, including a super-fast sprint through the curved tunnels in Charing Cross tube station in order to grab a tube map! There were also challenges along the way, like ping pong (where, despite my watching the Olympic ping pong last summer, I failed miserably!), photo ops, and even an egg & spoon race!

Team Midas Touch

It all ended with a set of racing lifts to get back to base first, and after tallying up the points, I’m proud to say that my team, Midas Touch, triumphed! It was all in good fun, though, and as we chatted over salads, smoothies, and fizz, it was clear that there’s definitely a competitive streak in fit ladies (yeah, who’d have thought, eh??). We then heard a great talk from ultra runner Rebecca Cox, who gave us some real-life advice about training that had me shaking my head vigorously in agreement (especially the bit about getting out and running in the worst, hungover, rainy condition in your rattiest kit so race day seems a breeze!).

Lunges & Lycra party

We also heard about A Mile In Her Shoes, a new charity that’s helping homeless women to start running (and they desperately need donations of ladies running shoes!), there were some competitions for door prizes, including a new Tom Tom running watch and Yurbuds, and I had a great chat with one of the founders of Honestly Healthy, who supplied the salads for the event.

Thumbing through their cookbook, I couldn’t believe how closely it aligned with the diet my trainer had put me on for the past few weeks (more on that another time) – mine didn’t really “have a name”, but I could certainly see similarities to the alkaline foods Honestly Healthy were advocating, and the book is mostly vegan and gluten-free, too (neither of which I am, but neither is a bad thing!). The cookbook is high on my wishlist, but the very next day I tried out their “Sticky Seed Flapjack” recipe since I had all the ingredients and it didn’t contain anything verboten in my diet plan, either. I’d really missed baking, but it’s hard to bake without flour or sugar, but these flapjacks were just dates, nuts, seeds, oats, and agave nectar!

Honestly Healthy flapjacks

The verdict – they’re really freaking tasty, and would make great on-the-go running fuel, too. My problem is only that it made a ton of flapjacks and I’m having a hard time not eating them all myself in the first day!

To end the evening (as indeed it did have to end eventually), we were all given a goody bag on our way out, and they seriously outdid themselves with the contents!

Lunges & Lycra goody bag

Included were lots of my favourites like Nakd, Sweaty Betty, and Nuun, but also some stuff I’ve been meaning to try for ages, like calf compression sleeves from RGA, nom bars (once I eat my way through my flapjack mountain!), and an interesting-looking pistachio protein shake from Puriton.

Team Midas Touch was Cat, Kathleen, Jane, Rachel and me!

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The gel tasting menu

23 August 2013, 10:06

When you take the leap from 10k races up to half and full marathons, mid-race nutrition suddenly comes into play, and you’re face with a multitude of gels, energy drinks, and an awful lot of psuedo-science and rumour, too.

It’s easy to hear one person’s horror stories of mid-run emergency toilet stops and assume that gels will suddenly turn your insides into a chocolate mudslide, but I really think these people are the vast minority, and with some careful pre-race planning (which you should be doing anyway as you train, right?), you can find the best gels that work for you.

Assorted gels

My tips for finding the best gels for you:

  • Buy single gels from a bunch of different brands. Write down what you’ve bought, and try a different one on each long run, and when you get home, write notes and a rating next to what you’ve just tried. Did you like the flavour? Did it give you weird burps? Any stomach distress? Was the packaging easy to open? Once you’ve gone through the whole list, one or two should rise to the top as favourites.
  • Once you’ve found a gel you like, explore their other flavours. In my original tasting menu, I enjoyed the vanilla flavour of Gu gel, but it wasn’t in my top 3. It wasn’t til I discovered their peanut butter flavour by accident that it suddenly shot up to the top of my list, so don’t necessarily dis-count a brand just because one flavour is off (if it makes you ill though, I wouldn’t bother trying others from that brand!). It’s also worth looking online to see if some flavours are only available overseas – Clif annoyingly only sell about three flavours of Shot Bloks in Europe, but have dozens in the USA (including margarita and chocolate cherry flavours!), so I always get friends and family to pick some up for me while they’re over there.
  • Caffeine or no caffeine? If you’re a coffee fiend, then it’s probably safe to say that you like the extra boost that comes along with it, so look for gels that contain caffeine to start your race. Just as you wouldn’t knock back multiple espressos though, be careful you don’t have too much over the course of a run. I personally am not overly affected by caffeine (I can have a cup of tea right before bed with no ill effects), so I can’t really tell the difference between caffeinated gels and ones without, but I recognise I’m in the minority here!
  • Try different textures. When you’re on your fifth gel in a marathon, you start to appreciate cramming something different in your mouth, even if it’s just a slight difference. Some gels are really thick like the consistency of peanut butter – others are thin and syrupy. Then there are the gummy gels, like Clif Shot Bloks, Gu Chomps, or Jelly Belly Sport Beanz, which give your mouth a chance to chew rather than just slurp from a packet. You’ll need to drink water or electrolyte alongside any gel, but the thicker ones will require a bit more to wash it down, so in a race you’ll want to time the thicker ones to a kilometer or so before a water station.
  • Once you’ve got a favourite, buy in bulk. Buying by the case is far cheaper than buying individual gels, but the downside of this is that you’re usually limited to one flavour. Start talking to other runners and see if you can convince them to buy a case with you and swap half the flavours. At least then you get a bit of a mix!
  • Look further afield. You don’t have to eat gels just because you’re running – ultra-runners consume all manner of “real foods” on the move, so you might want to experiment with things like bananas, medjool dates, malt loaf, applesauce pouches, and even jelly babies and Haribo. It’s of course easier to carry these things in the winter as you can cram them in jacket pockets!

Use the above to find what works best for you, but my personal favourites are Clif Shot Bloks (pretty much any flavour, but the extra salt in the margarita ones is a bonus), Gu peanut butter gels, and Torq gels in banoffee, black cherry yoghurt, rhubarb & custard – pretty much all of theirs I would happily eat over ice cream!


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