Energy gel territory

Evening all, hope you all had a fab Saturday.

At Christmas my Dad put together a box of running things for me and Andy- as well as a running top each it also included things like various energy gels (he said he had so much fun choosing all the things and was told by the lady in the shop that we would need to try different ones to see which ones we prefer). I have been a bit chicken about trying them, but today I decided to start. I took with me 2 clif shot bloks in a sandwich bag (did not want to be faffing with the packet)- this went in the pocket in my waist pack.

I thought they would be all joined together, but they are seperated in the packet already, which would make them easy to eat on the run. The plan today was 11 miles, and I decided that instead of looking at the time on my Nike+, I would look at the miles instead, as I can get a bit obsessed with the time at where I think each mile marker is. After about 7 miles I took one of them, and was pleasantly surprised- they were soft, like a soft fruit jelly whereas I thought they would be really chewy like wine gums or toffee or something (not keen on that). The flavour (mountain berry) was yummy too. I duly had water after (well nuun but that counts I am sure) and then at about 8.5 miles I had the second one. The pack says 3-6 every hour, but I wanted to try first. I did not feel like I got a rush of energy or anything, but interestingly my speed did pick up during those miles- the first one is fairly steep downhill so that may be why. Anyway, I had no side effects and felt good, although I did feel tired and the wind was so cold it felt like my bones were frozen and my face is still sore now. In the end my route was 11.4 miles, which took me 1 hour 57 mins (including several road crossings). Again, I was tired when I got home, but not shattered, and I did not feel like I was limping home, I managed to end feeling pretty strong. πŸ™‚

I am quite impressed with the ingredients too- brown rice syrup, evaporated cane juice, brown rice syrup solids, pectin, citric adic, colour, flavour, sunflower oil and glazing agent (nothing sounds too scary or chemically)- each “blok” is 33 cals, 8g carbs and 4g sugars, 23mg sodium and 7mg potassium so good to know they replace some of the lost salts too.

Andy was off to the football in the afternoon (Southampton) so we had a fairly big lunch (he had run 11 miles before his breakfast)- some spicy bean soup and some mozzerella, pesto and pepper quesadillas. Plus some nuts.

(The quesadillas are super easy- spread a small wholemeal tortilla with basil pesto or basil puree, sprinkle on chopped pepper and some mozzerella, top with another tortilla and grill on a griddle pan thing, flip, then serve. Normally I do not add the peppers as it made it all lumpy and very hard to flip, but we had a spare one in the fridge).

This afternoon I made a birthday cake for Andy’s Dad- using some delicious Green and Black’s cooking chocolate and a Rachel Allen recipe.

Apparently it has more cocoa butter in it for easier melting- mmmm.

Stirring the melted chocolate (in a little bit of milk) into the batter-mmm some more!

I made the caramel frosting from Veganomicon for something a little different I hope, although it went all stiff like fudge and was very hard to spread! It will taste better than it looks I am sure! Anyway, I go for the rustic look- then we know it is home-made!

I also tried making my own cereal bar type thing this afternoon, using rude health oat puffs, some PB, rice syrup, dried cherries, spelt flourΒ and a few other things. I had one with some tea this afternoon, but it was not quite right. I am not sure if it just was not quite sweet enough, or if the oat puffs burnt a bit in the oven. Anyway, it was alright, and I have a few ideas of how to improve it.

I am going to lay down in front of the football now -night πŸ™‚

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15 thoughts on “Energy gel territory”

  1. Is that the caramel frosting from those apple cupcakes? I never thought to use that on chocolate cake that sounds delish! How did you find the bloks to digest, I often find stuff like that makes me feel queasy, I’m trying to find something that doesnt!

    1. Yes it was the apple cupcake frosting- I thought that caramel and chocolate would go well together πŸ™‚
      The shot blok was fine- I did not feel queasy or anything so I would say give them a go- at least as there are several in a pack you can have one at a time instead of a whole big gel.

  2. Those energy bloks sound ok, I was always put off trying those kind of things due to yukky ingredients but they sound good. Sounds like you had an excellent run, I still can’t get my head around how you can run in this cold! I will be giving it a try again soon though. Your cake looks amazing too!

    1. I run with many layers on! And look forward to a hot shower, hot soup or tea etc when I get home! But mostly layers!

  3. I like the practical way you are approaching refuelling & the blocks look like a really good thing. And that cake looks amazing πŸ™‚

  4. I really liked the taste and texture of the Clif shot blocks, but unfortunately they gave me horrendous stomach ache πŸ™ They taste *much* nicer than a lot of the gels though. Although do they contain electrolytes? I can’t remember (some gels don’t, but for mara, you definitely need ones that do)

    It’s going to be fun seeing you go through trialling all the different ones. Give us Andy’s reviews too! πŸ™‚

  5. I should probably stat looking into little fuel bites like those. I always wonder what kind of mileage those are usually required..but the fact they helped you through an 11 mile run is good news. Congrats on the run, too!

    1. I posted this a while back and a few people had advice on when they used gels and when others did during races- the consensus seemed to be two or three spread out during the marathon would suffice, not too near the end so they had time to work.

  6. Well done on your run!! Those bloks sound really good! I was put off that sort of thing after trying (and HATING!) gels, but these sound good, so I’ll try them at some point! Thanks for the info!

    Mmm that cake looks GOOD! The rustic look is clearly best! πŸ™‚

  7. Your baking ‘faults’ are invisible to me. I’d be happy just to bake anything without setting the kitchen on fire.

    Given my tummy troubles, I’ve always kept away from gels, but it’s good news that they seem to work for you as they’re such convenient fuel.

    That dietician shocked me too: luckily I have more sensible, unbiased people like yourself to keep me grounded!

    Have a lovely Sunday


    1. Ah thanks Jess- I don’t mean it is a fault persay, but it certainly does not look perfect (one of my friends does a wedding cake decorating course and her cakes look amazing)- mine are all about the flavour πŸ™‚
      Yeah I would say again that the dietician did not know enough about other diets to give you a rounded opinion.

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