Hi from me! I’m back to blogging more regularly now, I hope. I promised an update in my last post about my fueling for the Brooklyn Half Marathon, so here it is!
I struggled in London with fueling and it seems like every training cycle, I change it up. Some things work okay, but nothing works perfect or even well for me. I’ve tried the Jelly Belly Sport Beans, Mint Chocolate GU Energy Gels (they don’t sell this flavor anymore, but it was the only kind I found that I could stomach), Generation UCAN (pre-fueling with this and then taking limited other fuel along the way), and the Honey Stinger Organic Chews. My main problem is that I can’t really eat while I’m running. Chewing usually leads to excess air (and then the need to burp or throw up, sorry too much information) and the gels just gross me out, they are too sweet to take all at once and I’m definitely not coordinated enough to drink water and take one at the same time. In the half marathon distance, I can get by a little easier since I don’t need to fuel as much or sometimes at all. So maybe the answer is that I should only run half marathons?!?
Anyway, I found CLIF Organic Energy Food at The Running Company (by the way, this is the best store ever with its location right by Central Park and free bag check) the week leading up the Brooklyn Half. When I looked at the ingredients of the Banana Mango with Coconut flavor, I was shocked that I could actually read and understand all of them: Organic Banana Puree, Organic Mango Puree, Organic Coconut Cream, Organic Coconut, Sea Salt, Citric Acid. Real food, who knew? I chose the Banana Mango with Coconut flavor over the others because I was afraid I would not like the other ones in a gel/smoothie form (there’s Pizza Margherita, Sweet Potato with Sea Salt, and Banana Beet with Ginger).
I tried one of the packets on my shakeout run (on a treadmill though) the day before the race and it tasted great and my stomach seemed to react okay to it, so I was excited to give it a try during the race. I only used one packet on race day and probably only ended up finishing a little over half of it. I haven’t had a need to try them again since the race but here is my pros/cons list:
- Easier to eat than GUs/gels because it is less sweet and tastes more natural
- Consistency is also not as thick since there is a higher water content
- Which also means I don’t need water immediately after eating it or flushing it down with water
- Cap is screw top (kind of like kid’s food) which is nice if I can’t finish the packet at once
- Packets are bigger than that of GUs/gels and are tougher to carry
- Down side to the screw top is that it is bigger and does get in the way if you’re trying to store multiple packets for a longer run
- I’ve read many reviews where other people really liked the pieces of coconut, but for me since I don’t like chewing on a run, I didn’t particularly love them. I would have preferred the whole consistency to be in liquid form.
Overall, I love the idea of fueling with natural ingredients and I think this will be a great alternative to the typical energy supplements out there. I am looking forward to being able to try different flavors, testing it out as a fuel alternative on marathon training runs, and hopefully CLIF will change the packaging to be more compact.
Have you tried any new fueling options lately?
Any one try the new CLIF Organic Energy Food too? What did you think of it?