When running a marathon, you will need to figure out a way to carry your marathon gels with you. While most marathons will provide you with one or two stations where you can refuel with marathon gel, you will most likely need more than one or two gels during the course of your 26.2 mile run. You will also want to be prepared for anything, for example, it is possible that you might miss the gel station.
There are several different options you have for carrying your marathon gels with you during the race. One option is to purchase a fuel belt which holds small water bottles. A fuel belt will fit around your waist during the race. You can empty your marathon gels into the small water bottles prior to the race so that you will have them whenever you need.
Another option for your marathon gel is to purchase an actual gel flask. Gel flasks are relatively inexpensive and smaller than a water bottle.
Some types of gels are very thick and often times are quite difficult to suck through the water bottle or flask. Another problem with the thicker gels is that they get stuck to the bottom of the flask and you are unable to ingest them. In order to make the gel a little more viscus, you can add some water to the bottle with the gels.
Another option to carry your gels on race day is to purchase a pair of race ready shorts. These shorts have pockets strategically placed along the waistband. You can carry three to four marathon gels in them. There are also running shorts with zipper pockets in the back. These are useful and usually large enough to carry a few gels. However, being in the back of your shorts, it is sometimes difficult to access the pocket while you are running.
A running pouch is another way that you could carry your gels. These running pouches have a clip on them which you can use to attach to the waistband of your shorts. If you position the pouch with the pocket inside of your shorts, it will minimize the bouncing of the pouch.
A final option you can use in order to carry your marathon gels during the race is to simply pin the gel packets to the inside of your shorts. Take a safety pin for each packet of marathon gel and pin them to the waistband. When it is time to take a gel during the marathon, just rip the pack off of your shorts and you are ready to refuel!
Remember to always test out the method that you are planning to use prior to the race. It is much better to figure out what does and doesn’t work prior to your marathon rather than right in the middle of your big race. There are so many different things that can happen in the marathon that you want to make sure that you minimize the potential for things to go wrong. For example, if you are wearing a pair of lightweight running shorts and attach a flask full of gel to them, it is possible that the weight of the flask will pull the shorts down as you run. If you wear tights or even half tights, which are more form fitting, this would be less of a concern.
If you have any questions regarding any of these tips, let us know.
Do you have any other methods to carry marathon gels that have worked well for you? If so, please share them in the comments section below!