I've been using High-5 energy gels for the last few months. They are palatable - far better than some other brands - but a little sickly. At the last Endurance Life event I took part in though I was handed a complimentary Razz-flavour (that would be Raspberry then?) Clif gel and blimey it tasted good. Remember Hubba Bubba? Its a bit like that. I could actually eat this stuff out of choice, like without actually going running (but I don't, honest).
I've eaten Clif bars when climbing for a while now. Having previously been a disciple of Ma Baker and her un-feasibly large flapjacks I made the jump after finding out just how hard these are to eat in hot weather. Clif bars go down a treat when I'm climbing, whatever the weather. Clif as a company seem to be right up there on a Patagonia-style tip as far as ethical business practices go and a lot of what they put into their food is natural and organic which is a plus.
So I bought a box of gels from Amazon and this week took a few on a long run to make sure they sit OK after a few hours. They do a variety of flavours and differing levels of Caffeine. I don't like to have any Caffeine before or during any run over about 6 miles as I found out, eventually, that it was a contributing factor in my developing heart burn while running. With that in mind I went with the Caffeine free ones.
I also bought a tub of the Clif Shot Electrolyte powder. I normally run with just water but for an Ultra I'm thinking this might not cut it. Again, I've had digestive issues with energy drinks so this weekend was a test run for this as well. Another advantage is that Endurance Life tend to have this stuff on hand at the aid stations so if I could stomach it then I get to use the freebie drinks instead of my own during the Classic Quarter!
I followed the instructions for the drinks mix (I went with Lemonade flavour) and was a bit worried after a few sips it was too strong. Over the course of the run though I found it was fine, quite tangy really and it settled well on my stomach so that was good.
The gels were as tasty as I remember so pleased with these. I ate three over the course of the day and, again, felt no ill effects. The consistency is a little thicker than I am used to and I found I was dragging the goo out of the packet with my teeth rather than squirting it into my mouth but this was not a problem, in fact it might be an advantage since I could take little bits at a time without worrying about the rest squirting everywhere as I ran. Also worth mentioning is the clever little handle which stops you inadvertently dropping the top once you rip it off. Clever stuff.
For the rest of my food intake I went with Hummus wraps again which I am very pleased with. I was intending to try making Onigiri again this weekend but to be honest its a bit of a fiddle and since I was trialling two other products I didn't want to vary too much.
So I reckon I'm ready in terms of food. I'll be making some homemade flapjacks as per the recipe in my previous post (here), taking a couple of hummus wraps, half a dozen Clif gels and Clif Electrolyte drink. And of course, there will always be ice cream!