Sunday was my last long run before the Westchester Half Marathon in early October. In my last race, I carried a few Starburst Chews for sustenance and, quite honestly, they made me feel ill. So I’ve sworn off grocery store candy for running sustenance.
For some reason, I can’t stomach the idea of eating GU (or any of the products like it), and the availability of Gatorade at water tables is unreliable. So, I picked up a few packs of Clif Shot Bloks last week to try those out. On Sunday I tried the Orange flavor (with caffeine).
While I wouldn’t call them tasty, they are not offensive. And, unlike gummy bears, they’re easy to chew. Plus they don’t stick to your teeth like Starburst Chews do. A package contains two servings (100 cals each). They are quite large (about .75 inch square), and the package is hard to open. I ended up hiding the pack with my water and sticking 2 or 3 in my key pocket, then “refilling” when I finished a loop. If you don’t have ample pockets, you’d probably need some sort of fuel belt to carry enough for a longer event.
So, what’s the verdict? Well, I ate one about every 15 or so minutes once I hit the 1:30 mark. I do think they helped. I tend to feel very drained around mile 12 of a run. I started taking the Bloks around mile 9 and didn’t feel as bad when I hit 12 miles and felt quite refreshed at the end of the run (16 miles). Maybe it’s the placebo effect, but I’ll probably carry these for the half.