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Hi. I'm Theo, 42 from Sydney, Australia, living in Valencia, Spain. Fortunately, a city with a strong running culture, as there's a 9km long urban park on its riverbed, splitting the city, and proximate to all. The city's December Marathon is special, now the largest in Spain (30,000 entrants for 2020) and of the world’s fastest.
I’m a recreational runner, only recently getting into Marathons. I try and do 1-2 a year now, taking it somewhat seriously. I see it as my habit override to keep healthy and avoid vices as I enter middle age. That said, I am no speedster. It is more about pushing my PB.
My first marathon in Prague'15 went exactly to plan, with a 3:43. After 6 more marathons, I have got my time down to 3:15, though most attempts on the way were wipeouts. My 2yr goal is to qualify for Boston 3:10hr. Don’t think I have 5min in me, but we’ll have a crack! Next stop, Athens in Nov 2020 with a big group of friends, mostly first timers.
For race fueling, I first used GUs. Then 33Fuel Chia Gels, for its low refined carbs. On to UCAN Superstarch Powder, attracted to its slow carb release formula. For electrolytes, I’ve taken 3-6 SaltStick Capsules per race plus 2 NoDoz tablets for Caffeine.
Of note, the importance of Osmolality stood out - how much water is required for gel ingredients to be easily digested (to be “Isotonic”). For example, Maltodextrin seems to require much less water, and hence why it is so common. Further, I found that different carb profiles absorb at different rates depending on their ratio (e.g. Glucose to Fructose). Fellrnr has an excellent comparison table of major gels that addresses these 2 points.
On further research, I generally found it difficult to get a macro view of what gels are available, their specifications, and how they compare to each other. So I started punching in ones that interested me in into my own table. I strangely found it interesting, and just kept going. It reached a tipping point, where perhaps I should find all known gels, and make it public in a Google Sheet. Kind of what i was after in the first place. It's become a hobby of sorts:
You should assume there are errors and missing gels. This will be ameliorated over time. Feel free to send an email to suggest improvements. I will check and update table every 2 months.
Lastly, if the table attracts sufficient interest, I will aim to migrate it from Google Sheets to the homepage.
I hope my new hobby, the Energy Gel Table, is useful to you! 😁
Theo, Dec 2019
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Around every 2 months, we'll review all gels and their links.
Additional gel specifications will be added over time (see columns "AR" and beyond).
If sufficient interest, we will migrate the table from Google Sheets to the homepage.