I am just watching the pigeons. Three were sat merrily on my neighbour’s apple tree just now, when a fourth landed in the vicinity. It sidled up to each and they all flew away one by one as it got close. I wasn’t sure whether I was witnessing a bully or a failed attempt at pigeon chat up lines. ‘Tis the season after all.
It is a rare moment of wilful idleness as I’ve been unusually busy but after my long run this morning (I got to 9 miles), I feel like I can put my feet up for a bit.
It took me 1 hour 45 minutes ish and I realised that I’d need to start taking a gel in the middle of my long runs now as my quads (or ‘thighs’ to normal people) were starting to turn to rubber. That may also be because I’d been for my first proper cycle ride of the year yesterday. It was just under 12 miles done in a leisurely 1.5 hours and by the end my thighs (or ‘quadriceps femoris‘ if you want to be technical) were very happy to see the bike go back in the shed, as were my buttocks.
Now, for me, gels are tolerable but many people find them sickly. There are a ton of makes and flavours etc. and I use the SIS ones as I tried them first and I didn’t throw up, so. They definitely help me get a little more energy in my slow but steady legs and I would recommend them, ( or dextrose, or chewy sweets, or whatever works without making you barf), for any run that is going to take you well over the hour mark. I’ve heard of some people use them for a 10k, or even a 5k. If your 10k takes you an hour and a half then maybe. But, otherwise, I’d go for porridge (or other real carbs) a couple of hours before you run and that should be enough. I personally only take these gels while I’m running, probably around 45 mins in, and then 40/45 mins apart. They do help but they don’t give you superpowers and they’re full of artificial shite.
PLUS, the other thing to remember, is to put the packet, once tipped into your gullet, in a BIN or in your POCKET.
The amount of empty gel packets lashed onto the ground, even during races, should not be allowed. We have enough of a problem with litter and fly-tipping without adding to it.
I’ve come back to this blog this evening, while watching an episode of Drag Race UK (weirdly compelling). It looks like I was about to rant about litter, as it is a REAL bugbear of mine. But instead of that I shall keep it positive. Yesterday my biking buddy Gary told me about a facebook group, the Wirral Wombles, an incredible local group that goes around picking up a lot of this rubbish that people throw, to make our streets and country lanes nicer places. I’m going to join it and get out there with them.
You can read a little more about gels here.