Until about a month ago, I've never tried Gu or any other energy gel during my runs. I would say about 90% of my training cycles were fueled by gummy bears for my long runs with the rest using Gatorade sport energy chews. And I was never really that consistent with how I was fueling. I ran my 10 miler PR back in October without taking in any food or water along the way. Not the best idea because I was starving after it, luckily we got brunch quickly after it and I demolished a mimosa and waffles. But with marathon training coming up, I knew I wanted to find something more convenient to carry for long run fuels.
Another Mother Runner had a great deal with Gu Energy Labs that allowed you to sign up to receive their Pro discounts (40% off prices for food) so I signed up for that and ordered a box of Gu. Because the best way to try out something new is buy a box of 24....I did get the fruity flavors mixed box so I could try out multiple flavors.
Since getting the Gu, I've tried it on three different long runs and I've been enjoying it so far. The three flavors I've tried are:
- Lemon Sublime
- Jet Blackberry
- Strawberry Banana
My favorite was Lemon Sublime, which taste exactly like a lemon bar (probably my favorite non-chocolate desert in the world) but the other two tasted awesome too. Just like I would expect them to taste without any aftertaste or being overly sweet.
I had no stomach problems any of the times I took them which was another plus for me. The first time I tried it out was one a run where I went out without eating breakfast (trying to get things done without getting up so early just to eat) and it was the perfect thing to keep me going. They are also super easy to eat, versus gummy bears, since I can just suck it down on the run. I was walking while I had them but I feel like it would be easier to eat them while running versus trying not to choke down gummy bears without choking.
There are a couple of downsides to the Gus versus gummy bears. One is the price, I could get a pound of gummy bears for about $10 versus the $37 for a box of Gu energy gel (I did pay less for mine, $22.20 plus shipping). I also found my hands got a little stick after eating the Gu because I had to carry the empty packet not being near a trash can. But it was easy enough to get my hands wet after tossing it in the trash to get rid of the stickiness.
I'm pretty excited to keep on using Gu during the rest of my half training and into my marathon training. Currently, I'm using them at an hour into my long runs which I'll do for this week's long run as well. During my half marathon, my plan is to take one right before the race, one at the 4-6 mile mark and, if needed, one around the 10 mile mark.
I would like to try their indulgent flavors (Vanilla Bean, Salted Caramel, Caramel Macchiato, Espresso Love and Chocolate Outrage) but I think I'll buy individual packets from a local running store to try them out first. I've heard others say it's a little bit strange having sweeter fuel on the run and I don't want to waste a box on something I won't use.