Disclaimer: Science in Sport sent me a lot of gels (72 of them to be exact) in exchange for this review as part of the BibRave Pro Ambassador program of BibRave.com. Search and submit your own race reviews at BibRave.com.
It has been two months since I last posted here and though it was a welcome break, I am also happy to be back and give an update on SEVEN weeks of marathon training as well as tell you about Science in Sport gels.
I made the decision to try something new with training for my two priority races this fall and so after four marathon training cycles using Hansons Marathon Method training plan, I am using a custom plan made for me by my friend and long time running "advisor". I was getting bored with HMM and wanted a change for the sole reason that if I am going to dedicate so much time to marathon training, I didn't want it to be boring.
I am seven weeks into my custom plan and wowsa. It has not been boring. It is fairly high mileage - I already covered 200+ miles in the first month of training which is a benchmark that I usually wouldn't hit until the end of a HMM cycle. Three of the seven weeks were 65 mile weeks, although I only actually hit 65 miles this past week due to a somewhat crazy work schedule and an insomnia flare-up (100% because of the aforementioned crazy work schedule). I have been doing longer long runs (my long run this past weekend was already 18 miles), and my long runs now vary between being all easy paced or mixing easy miles with tempo miles. Instead of track repeats, I'm doing fartleks of varying time amounts and my tempo runs to date have been a block at my "current" marathon pace (6:50s) and a block at my hopeful marathon pace (<6:40) with strides and hill repeats thrown in. It has been challenging, I'm not going to lie.
I also am trying new nutrition with this cycle. This decision was fueled (pun intended) by a feeling that one reason I seem stuck around the 3 hour mark is due to nutrition and while in past training cycles I have used nutrition on my training runs, I had not been very diligent in its use. Also, with HMM the longest long run is 16 miles. All of my fueling issues in races have been after that point so with some longer long runs, I am excited to practice fueling after 16 miles.
So when the opportunity came up to test out the Science in Sport gels through BibRave Pro, I ran after it.
Science in Sport sent me a LOT of gels:
1 six pack of salted strawberry Go Energy + Electrolyte gels
1 six pack of Lemon Mint Go Energy + Electrolyte gels
30 espresso flavored Go Energy + Caffeine gels
30 apple flavored Go Isotonic Energy gels
The product I was most excited about was the Go Isotonic gels because these are specially formulated to not require water when you take them. These have been a mainstay of my long runs and I have not had any cramping or GI issues when taking them without water. I have been using one of these gels every 5 miles of my long run. I was uncertain about "apple" flavor as my go-to flavor is always in the citrus family, but these are a nice light flavor and I like them.
With gels, the most asked question is always about consistency. I have found all of the Science in Sport gels to be the same - they have a bit of a gloppy Jell-O consistency to them. So they aren't super thick like a syrup. To me, the gloppiness helps them not stick to any part of my mouth.
While I have been mainly using the apple Isotonic gels and the espresso caffeine gels, I have tested out the lemon mint and strawberry gels and have also liked them, and also didn't take them with water, without issue. I will say that I have had fluids with me on every long run, and while I don't focus on taking them with the gels, it is not as if I am fluid free on long runs.
I have been using the caffeine gels right before my workouts and since I am trying to do more 5 AM runs with the hot weather we have been having, these also help wake me up a bit. The espresso flavor is pretty strong, but being a coffee-lover, I don't mind it.
Overall, I am going to continue using Science in Sport gels throughout my training and so far, my plan is to race both the Madison Mini Half Marathon in August and the Chicago Marathon in October with them. I have been feeling really really good on my long runs, and even with hard workouts during the week so I have to think these gels are doing something positive for me! (If you follow me on Instagram, I have been posting my weekly long run fuel strategy on my Instagram Stories!)
You can use TRYSIS25 for 25% off your order online if you would like to try them. They have some nice variety packs that would be a good way to try a few flavors and product types. Let me know if you try them!