Sunday, September 5, 2010

Do you GU?

I’d like to think of myself as a pretty smart guy**. I did the college thing, got the computer science degree (bet you couldn't have guessed THAT), and have the student loans to prove it. In fact, I even know the difference between they’re, their, and there. That said, I will be the first to admit that my wife has said that I am lacking a bit on the common sense skills.

It seemed like a good idea at the time?


Just like when I assumed that everyone else peed in the household plants and blamed it on the dog***, I assumed that everyone who ran also ate energy gels. (Side rant/pet peeve: The term “take a GU”. You take a ride in a car, take a dump, but you do not take a GU - anywhere.) In all seriousness, this assumption was COMPLETELY wrong. Not everyone is like Andy Bernard running the “Michael Scott's Dunder Miflin Scranton Meredith Palmer Memorial Celebrity Rabies Awareness Fun Run Race for the Cure”.

I’m actually late to the game to a number of things concerned with personal hygiene running:
  • I STILL run in cotton socks *gasp*
  • I ran in cotton shirts until I started getting tech T’s with marathons and I still have only “bought” 1 tech shirt
  • I didn’t get a Garmin until I had ran for almost 2 years (completed a marathon without one too - maybe two marathons now that I think about it)
  • I didn’t buy any running related hydration belts, packs, or handhelds for over a year and still only own 1 Nathan water belt and 1 Nathan 20oz handheld
  • Up until 6 months ago, at any given time I only owned 1 pair of running shoes

As I poured through my comments**** on my Chocolate #9 giveaway, I noticed that a few of you had either never tried a gel or only tried a gel once.  So, to make restitution for wrongs that you didn't even know existed, here is some linky love:



Also, I had to address Zenta from Runners Luck's question. "Since you like the tingly feeling, what kind of gel are YOU eating while you run?! lol... just curious so i can feel the tingle too ;)" Well, Zenta - there are actually two tricks to feel the tingle: 1. Watch a doctor put an IV into your wife's arm and faint.  Your hands tingle for hours after you come to 2. Have one too many "adult beverages", pass out fall asleep on your hand, wake up with a strange numb/tingly sensation.  Magic!

Honestly, I seem to only eat energy gel during my weekend long runs.  if I'm going less than 90 minutes or so I will just carry Gatorade which seems to do me just fine.  However, if I am going longer than that, I'll normally try to eat a gel about every 6 or 7 miles.  BUT, if I am racing I'll up the ante and eat one every 5 miles - as long as my stomach holds.

What are your criteria for eating energy gels?  Do you eat one if you're running for longer than a specific distance or time?  Only eat them for races?

Now that I've dedicated an entire post to energy gel, don’t forget to enter my Chocolate #9 energy gel contest!!!  Especially if you haven't tried any before - this is your chance!

** I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany (bonus points if you can name that movie)
***Who knew something so little could create so much pee!?
****I normally read them twice.  Yes, I am vain.

29 comments:

track coach and adorable wife said...

Hey, Jesse and I learned everything we needed to know about running from that episode of the office!

-Men have sensitive nipples and may bleed.
-Eat lots of fettucine alfredo right before a race.
-Always carry cash in case there is a good garage sale.
-If making your own course, you may want to make it a loop!

Andrew Opala said...

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

Chris K said...

I'm with you. I'll take my eco-friendly reusable flask of state-of-the-art Electrolyte Fuel System Liquid Shot by the First Endurance Company with me on all runs over 90 minutes. In other words, I GU.

Milk was a bad choice said...

I like to think I have 17 miles of energy in me so I only GU for runs longer than that. Also, Anchorman is quite possibly the greatest movie ever made.

Courtney @ I CAN DO THIS said...

I probably rely on gels too much. I take them for anything over 40 minutes, and I take them every 40 minutes. I'm pretty sure they're 98% psychological for me. And if that's what boosts my energy, I'll take it!

Becky and Jake said...

I do not GU...I am afraid of GU...I tried it once on a run and ended up in a public restroom...I am a wimp and will not try it again.
However I LOVE sportbeans, CLIF and Cytomax, I will eat all of the above even if not running distance.

Matt said...

I Gu—generally on runs longer than 10 miles.

However, I find the choice of verb for what to do with Gu is tricky. Since the substance is neither solid nor liquid, I can't eat or drink Gu. Thus, I find myself using terms like "ingesting" or "consuming", but alas, those don't quite do it either.

Ewa said...

Hey, thanks for visiting my blog. Before I finish reading your recent posts and make hopefully appropriate comments let me answer your question.
If you want to run on a flat trail head for San Tomas Aquino Creek Trail just east from Great America Theme Park. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&sll=37.278523,-121.741881&sspn=0.007717,0.014634&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Baylands+Park,+Sunnyvale,+Santa+Clara,+California+94089&t=h&layer=x&g=Baylands+Park,+Sunnyvale,+CA&ll=37.396244,-121.968112&spn=0.006921,0.012767&z=16 Sorry for this HUGE link. It is mostly asphalt but some parts you can run on the dirt side.
For good hills head to Mission Peak. How does 2,000ft in 2.5mi sound? There are a bit less murderous trails there also.
Hope you are enjoying San Jose.

Ewa said...

OK, I am ready to comment on your post now. I can see you are really behind times :) :) :) These days runners don't even buy shoes. They go barefoot. I am sure cotton will be back in fashion soon too.
As for GU, a long time ago, before my achilles stopped me from running any significant distances I would do GU and other gels till one day when I ran 18mi without any (forgot to take them with me) and could not tell the difference. Go figure.

track coach and adorable wife said...

I am just starting to get into the GU. I'm not so sure about it. I'm pretty sure I'm not in tune enough with my body to notice:(

I also heard there was a wonderful new body spray that increases your agility and endurance... If I remember right it was called "Sex Panther." It's made from little bits of Panther so you know it's good.


P.S. I agree with you, the tri shorts really do make things look nice. It's really the only reason I got them.

Zaneta said...

lol... thanks for answering my question ;) I actually have just started experimenting with GU ... but so far I like it! Also... I get a tingling feeling when I have to pee but hold it cuz i want to keep running...

Ironman By Thirty said...

Wow, Anchorman and The Office in one post - it almost makes up for the lousy writing. Kidding! Love your blog!

I'm not huge into the whole Gu thing. I'll take them every once in a while if I have them on hand or they are handed out in a race, but I prefer a granola bar or "real" food whenever possible.

"Oop... I almost forgot. I won't be able to make it fellas. Veronica and I trying this new fad called uh, jogging. I believe it's jogging or yogging. it might be a soft j. I'm not sure but apparently you just run for an extended period of time. It's supposed to be wild."

Keep up the yogging!

Pam said...

Ummm... I don't know what it should really be called, but I'm pretty sure "eating" a GU ain't right either. Eating should involve chewing. I do not chew a GU. Drinking? No, it seems a little too gooey to say you drink it. Suck it? Slurp it? lol

Whatever the hell you want to call it, I don't do it on anything <10 miles. Anything >10 miles I'll do it every 5.

Running Through Phoenix said...

Only on runs over 5 miles, and I'm limited on the flavors and brands I can eat. Gu brand is my favorite so far. I also like Cervelo bikes in case they are reading and looking for someone to give a bike to.

ShutUpandRun said...

I'm still trying to figure out my fueling after 2 years. To GU or not to GU? I sorta follow your rule about every 60 mins on long runs, but depends on what my stomach was doing. During yesterday's long run I had to stop 3, yes 3, times to dump so nothing was sitting well. But that's just me. I love your giveaway, but I can't do chocolate flavor while running for some reason. Maybe you could do a strawberry cheesecake gel giveaway next?

Johann said...

I use GU and also Breakthru JOLT. Breakthru JOLT is made in South Africa and works very well. Also well priced for being local. GU is expensive here. R17.00 per gel and JOLT is half the price. I only use it for runs longer than 15km. The only reason I sometimes use GU is to have some other flavors during ultras. I think any gel has a limit to how many of the same you can stomach.

Laura said...

I actually use the term "take a Gu." What's wrong with it?

And I usually "take a Gu" only during marathons (never during long runs, even if they're 20 miles). I started with the "one per hour" rule but found that my performance didn't suffer from dropping down to two gels per marathon, usually around mile 10 and mile 18. Saves me some calories!

HEATHER @ runfastermommy! said...

Last summer I tried every type of Gu/Gel/shot under the sun during marathon training, and every single one gave me less than pleasant GI issues. I now take Honey Stinger Chews. Best thing ever. Now that said, I have a few friends who swear by beef jerkey and pringles while racing...

Her Name is Rio said...

I use gels if I'm going to run longer than 1 hour. I can't use chews or eat anything solid while running because I can't breathe at the same time. ( So embarrasing that I wrote a post about it last year).

Pam said...

If you like Snorg, check out tshirthell.com, too. They've got some really funny ones. They've got some really raunchy, racist, sexist, and blasphemous ones, too, though...

...Barbie... said...

i am the anti-gu gal. i have to eat luna moons or chomps. gu's literally make me hurl on the couse and on training runs. something about the texture and i have tried everything from taking it with water, gulping it down like a pill, and taking it in small doses. no sir. no gu for me.

James said...

I GU sometimes. If it's longer than an hour. Occasionally I'll GU before a shorter run if I feel I didn't have enough food that day yet.

Angie Bishop said...

no time to read the comments but my guess is
Anchorman.
I am kind of a big deal.

Tara said...

I fart and blame it on the dog, so it's totally acceptable to pee in plants and blame it on the dog.

I GU on my long runs too. Anything less then an hour and a half I only use water and/or some sort of electrolyte replacement. GU is actually my favorite brand (I LOVE the chocolate and mint flavor...nom nom), so I'm off to enter your giveaway!

Berryfine said...

Um Anchorman of course. "It's so damn hot out here. milk was a bad choice!"
Also- don't have a garmin (check), ran in cotton socks until this year (check), never bought a tech shirt (check) and don't own any type of hydration belt or bottles (check). Shit is expensive man and 13.50 an hour don't cut it.
Also, thanks for the bloggy love. I was wondering where that one new follower came from.

Chad said...

It's great you wrote on this subject. I just had an awesome fueling experience when running 90 minutes on vacation.
I didn't have ANY Gu's (gels is the proper generic term), so I grabbed 3 packets of jelly from the hotel breakfast bar. I got grape, strawberry, and orange marmalade. I ate one ever 20 minutes, and it was spectacular! The orange, especially was fun since it had bits of zest in it.

Jeri said...

I still run in cotton sucks too. That episode of the office was on last night. Love it. :)

kilax said...

Thanks for the link!

And for posting this, because I have only tried one flavor of GU (2x now) and have no idea when to take them - now I see what other people are doing. I did buy a few more kinds to try for my 18-miler, uh, whenever I do it :)

Jamoosh said...

I do not GU - I Hammer Gel. And at a certain point I pass on gels and move to HEED.