Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Lauren’s Picks – Race Fuel

One of the many aspects of running that I enjoy is experimenting with different kinds of race fuel.

Fueling while running is very individualized, and takes a lot of trial and error in finding what types of fuel works best for you, and how often to take that fuel during your run. It is very important that this experimenting is not done on a race day, because trying something new can have bad consequences (i.e. Gastrointestinal -- AKA ‘GI’-- irritation… not fun when you are trying to PR!).

That being said, I have decided to compile a list of fuels that are my personal favorites and work best for me. Hopefully this can serve as a starting point for others, or maybe help someone discover something new!

My Pick for Best Gel:
Vi Fuel

Why?
1. This gel caused me almost no GI stress. I think that speaks for itself.
2. It is very easy to take while running. I have found with some fuels (gels & chews) that I have to stop running because the consistency is so difficult to swallow/chew while also making sure my breathing is not affected.
3. Taste. It is actually pretty good!

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My Pick for Best Chew:
Clif Shot Bloks

Why?
1. Easy to take 1-2 at a time to avoid GI stress and take in a little energy at a time.
2. It is easier to chew and swallow than other brands; however, I have not found a chew that I can eat while running. I always have to take a walk break.
3. I have not tried a flavor of the Clif Shot Bloks that I did not enjoy. They are all delicious!

Side Note about chews: I usually do not use them during the hotter months because it makes breathing much more difficult – the consistency causes the chews to stick in your mouth and creates thicker, stickier saliva, which is a pain to me, but may or may not be to others.

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My Pick for Best Energy Bar:
Clif Bars & Honey Stinger Waffles

Why?
1. Neither causes any GI stress for me, so I sometimes will use these as a pre-race fuel. I have not tried to eat one of these during a run, though. I think it would be too much to take in while running at the same time, or would require a lengthier walk break.
2. They both really work; I always have a lot of energy after eating one of these!
3. Delicious would be an understatement for these energy bars. I could probably eat them every day!

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My Pick for Best Fuel on a Budget:
Individual Honey Packets

Why?
1. Little to no GI stress.
2. Easy to take while running at the same time (the packets are very easy to open too).
3. They taste great, and they work just as well as other fuels!

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QOTD: What is your favorite type/flavor of race fuel?

8 comments

  1. I recently discovered Sports Beans and I love them. Just like jelly beans, they're not hard to chew at all, and the packet is resealable.

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    1. I like the Sports Beans too actually. It was a hard decision to choose between those and the Clif Shot Bloks :)

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  2. I prefer the Clif Shot Bloks in the Black Cherry flavor. They do get very chewy and I always have to drink a lot of water with them. I also can't eat and run (or drink and run), so it's a forced walk break. :) Those Honey Stinger waffles look good!

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    1. Yup, that's why I like the Vi Fuel or honey packets the best, since I don't have to take a forced walk break!

      You should definitely try the waffles, they are absolutely delicious (I may or may not have eaten them as my dessert before lol) :)

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  3. I've never even seen those Honey Waffles! I can't do gels.... never found a flavor that I like, but the waffles look interesting! Great blog Lauren, with great tips! Now you just need to invent something to help people who fall while running (see my latest post!) Have a great day!

    Our Journey

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    1. Hi Sarah! Agreed, some of the gels out there can have a nasty taste to them haha :) I do really like the Vi Fuel though.

      I love your blog; beautiful customization -- had no idea you could do all of that on blogspot!

      I read your latest post too, that sounds PAINFUL. Can't believe nobody stopped to help either! Prayers for a speedy recovery - I will be following along with you :)

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  4. The Clif Shot Blocks! I am addicted to the cherry chocolate ones. I do keep running while taking them in races, but I pretty much look like a crazy person...I'll pop 1-2 in my mouth right before a water stop and just keep on going. My other favorite are the Honey Stingers gels...the ONLY one that works for me, and I love 'em! :)

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    1. That is impressive that you can run and eat those things at the same time! I haven't tried the cherry chocolate ones yet, those sound good :)

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