What if you skipped the gels though and just trudged on. Would our bodies learn to utilize what we have stored in our bodies better?
Or does it really matter?
Do our bodies get dependent on us giving it a blast of energy to keep going and how much of that could be mental? Like for example if on a long run you always eat your gel at miles 5 and 10. You are at mile 4.5, you know in your mind pretty soon you are going to get that gel in your system and you will feel energized and able to keep running for another 5 miles.
Are you tired because you are tired or could you really make it another couple of miles before you really do need a gel. Or are you tired because you think you should be getting low on energy and need a boost.
What got me thinking about this is that I usually refuel at about miles 5 and 10 on my long runs. But say I am just doing an interval workout. 2 mile warmup, 8x800 and 1.5 mile cool down with 2 minute slow jogging in between the 800s, total mileage can be between 7 and 8 miles. I never refuel when I hit mile 5, in fact I don't typically use any form of energy gels, chews etc on any other day except long runs and races.
I am probably over thinking this as EVERYTHING I have seen about it on the internet talks about how great energy gels are and how they help give you the endurance to keep going. They are probably right and I do love my gels, chomps, stingers, bloks, etc.
The other things I use for running that I think have helped me become a stronger runner are:
- Garmin I think has been one of the strongest motivators to up my training and keep it going so most definitely a help.
- iPod- keeps me from getting bored, and keeps me motivated when I need a pick me up song. Though sometimes I wonder if I didn't run with it, if I would stay more focused on form or pace.
- Head/sweat bands keep the sweat and hair out of my face so, another helper here.
- Compression socks/ calf sleeves feel too good to even contemplate getting rid of.
- Styrofoam roller is my new best friend. I don't know how my hammies survived before. I was never good at stretching, but this seems like less work and faster results.
- Handful sports bra keeps me looking good when I run.
How has the gear you used changed in the last 5 years?
Do you think it makes you a tougher or a softer runner or do you just think I am over thinking on a Sunday? :)