Adapted from Heart Runner Girl

Are you sick of gels?

I know I am! They’re often too sweet, sticky, messy, don’t taste very good, and they can irritate your stomach. I tried using chews instead of gels, but that only eliminated part of the problem – they tasted better than gels, but that was about it. I’ve also used chews in combination with sports drinks, but either the sports drinks were too sweet, they didn’t contain any calories or they didn’t contain the right combination of electrolytes. I don’t run to lose weight and I burn through lots of calories, so no calories really isn’t an option. There always seems to be at least one ingredient missing that I want…

Fueling My First Half Marathon

When I ran my first half marathon in 2016, I fueled with chews and the on course hydration at aid stations. The first problem I encountered was that my GI tract started shutting down after a couple of hours. All of my blood and energy was allocated toward sustaining a heart rate of over 200 BPM and digesting food was no longer a priority for my body. This made it difficult, if not impossible to digest chews, which resulted in my body not getting enough energy and therefore negatively affected my race performance. I was still able to drink, but a bunch of sweet sports drink wasn’t a great option.

Ditch the Chews

My half marathon experience made me realize I needed to find another source of fuel if I wanted to run a full marathon. That’s when I started using powdered drinks. I started both the Berlin and Paris marathons with a bottle of fuel and switched to aid station sports drinks after I finished the bottle. That definitely helped, but there were still some things I didn’t find ideal about this strategy. I struggled to find a flavor and texture that I liked and I didn’t like how the powders dissolved.

That’s When I Tried Tailwind

When I heard about Tailwind, also a powdered drink mix, I decided to give it a try. Tailwind dissolves much more easily and completely than other drink mixes. Tailwind also has a variety of Endurance Fuel flavors that aren’t too sweet and the proportions don’t matter as much. With Tailwind, I can determine the amount of water and the amount of powder based on how strong I like the drink and how many calories I need.

With other fuels, you’d have to mix again during your race, but with Tailwind you could just take a stronger mix with you and drink extra water at the aid stations.

Happy racing!