This week, I’ve set my mind on fueling up for race day. Breakfast is a no-brainer: porridge like I’ve eaten throughout my training. If it’s good enough for Paula Radcliffe…
But a runner of my sturdy build will burn at least 3,000 calories during the race. To avoid grinding to a malnourished halt, I’ll need to top up my muscle glycogen stores in a hurry.
My best bet might be energy gels: tubes of glucose gloop squeezed right into your mouth on the run. Here are my thoughts after trying out a few brands:
Gel 1: Lucozade Sport Body Fuel, £1.05 for 45g
The orange flavour is bitter, like marmalade, which is actually refreshing after the sickly sweetness of most gels. Packs in plenty of carbs, but I had to glug water like a maniac to wash it down.
Gel 2: Hi-5 IsoGel, 99p for 60ml
With 10g sugar, there’s no mistaking that this gel gave me the biggest energy boost. Since the first ingredient is water, it was also pretty easy to swallow, though the texture was weirdly like semi-set jelly.
Gel 3: Torq Rhubarb and Custard Gel, £1.35 for 45g
This one makes plenty of scientific claims, with electrolytes like calcium and magnesium and a 2:1 ratio of maltodextrin to fructose sugars. Pity the flavour was overpoweringly sweet.
All just my opinion, of course – every marathoner should experiment to find their faves. For my part, I’ll probably be packing a Hi-5 gel (and an emergency pack of Lucozade jelly beans!) come race day.
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