Why I love GU

by - Wednesday, September 23, 2009

*Note in no way did GU pay me to write this post or give me freebies*

As I've been thinking about why I had such a great race at the PDR on Sunday, I keep coming back to nutrition and hydration. I mean we all know both of those things play a huge part in a successful race day.

Until this summer, I never really had a solid race day fueling plan. I would always have pasta the night before a race, and some kind of carb-heavy breakfast, but then it was just drink the Gatorade and whatever other stuff as I felt like it.

But this summer, I realized that wasn't the best race strategy ever. So I revamped what I was doing. I still do pasta the night before and two pieces of wheat bread with PB the morning of, but I've rethought what I do during the actual race.

And that is where I have developed my insane love of GU (especially the chocolate flavor!)

As I was researching fueling strategies for races, I read that it's important to take GU (or whatever you prefer) before you feel like you really need it. That got me thinking. I tended to just grab whatever I had lying around and mix and match things and take them whenever I felt tired.

But my plan for Philly was this:
Eat PB bread in the car on the way down (about two hours before race start)
Take one GU right before the first few corrals go off for instant calories
Continue to take on GU every four miles for the rest of the race

I have to say, my plan worked pretty well. And I love GU because it doesn't make me sick. I have no bad digestive problems or anything when I take it. And for me, it's soooo much easier to take a GU when running than to worry about chewing anything. The GU you can just open and wash down with water. Maybe not the most appetizing thing ever, but it gets the job done.

I've also found GUs tend to be easier to open than other brands I've tried, which is super important in a race when you need to get the calories in your system.

When I'm training I normally only use GU on runs over 10 miles. Anything shorter than that I'm usually OK if I eat my PB bread before heading out.

Nutrition is different for everyone and it's important to find what works for you, but for me GU rocks and keeps me going in my races.

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  1. I don't know why, but I'm always leery about trying GU. For my past races, I've done life savers and they've done the trick. Maybe if I decide to do another marathon.

  2. I'm glad you finally started fueling during races. It really does make a huge difference! I used to take GU with no problems (the chocolate is pretty dang good!) and still can for 1/2 marathon's but now it bugs me on longer runs/races.

  3. I don't think I could consume near that many GUs in one day (I do one for HMs and one + shot bloks for marathons and long runs), but I agree that gels are fantastic.

  4. I've got to admit that chocolate GU is pretty good. I grabbed one on my last marathon in addition to what I brought and it was better tasting than some of the other gels.

  5. i like taking a gu every 45 minutes if i know i have at least 45 minutes left in the workout. i take them on the bike too. i even keep electrical tape in the gym bag so i can tape them to the top tube of my bike. awesome!

  6. Ahhh, Gu!

    The Snot Of Teh Gods!

    Or so I hear.

    I make of rule of not eating snot, myself, no matter how allegedly Dei-licious.

  7. i loooove gu. the consistency has never bothered me (hooray) and i could probably eat any of their products as a snack or meal. i sure don't mind sucking down a gel. i think that's why i actually do long runs -- 'cause that's when i allow myself to take gu's :)

  8. I agree, I'm a chocolate GU kind of girl.

  9. that sounds a lot like my fueling plan... I find I race so much better when I have constant calories in my system.

  10. Good plan. I can't tolerate GU or gel or similar things or I'd be doing that also. I have to carry accelerade to get my calories and nutrition