Sunday, December 13, 2015

GU Energy: keeping the bunnies ultra running!

Didn't you have friends comparing you to the Energizer bunny already when you were sharing ultra tales with them? It happens to me often and that usually leads to great discussions about where we get our physical and mental energy to keep going after 3, 6, 12, or 24 hours...

As much as I now get used and equipped to draw many calories from my body fat while running, thanks to Vespa Power, I still rely on GU Energy a lot, first to keep my electrolytes in check, but also for a few strategic carbs to keep moving and get a burst of energy before a long and big uphill for instance. So, no, in this year end season in which you see a few athletes boasting about their sponsorship, I didn't get on Team Energizer, I don't think there is one as a matter of fact, I trust nobody is cheating by running on electric power (yet...)! ;-)

No Energizer then, but, after losing the Brooks sponsorship last year, and insisting on paying for my own Vespa, I'm thrilled that GU Energy kept me on their GU Pro program.
With all I consume in races and training runs, that discount really helps. To avoid surprises during races, with other flavors or brands, I even carry my own GU2O and GUs during races instead of relying on what is provided at aid stations. And with all the racing I do, I need a lot! Here is what I got in the mail this week to get me through 2016:

A few tips on how I use these products:

  1. GU Drink Mix (ex Brew, which I still use the original Gu2O in my blog posts for). I stick to Lemon Lime, that has worked well for the past 10 years and makes it predictable. I typically drink 20 oz of it per 15 miles (2-2.5 hours), more on super hot days, a bit less on cold ones. I have a few Drink Tabs in case, for long travels, but, most of the time, I carry powder doses in snack-size ziplocs. By the way, I got a big upset when the dosage changed but I think I'm mostly back on my feet now (can you tell I don't like change, especially when things are working?!).
  2. GU Roctane Energy Drink Mix. I know this will disappoint running elite Magdalena Boulet, GU Energy's VP of Innovation, Research & Development, but I still have mix feelings about the different composition after trying it for a year on training runs. Anyway, glad the simpler brew works for me.
  3. GU Energy Gel. This is a no brainer, compact packets of pure calories to sustain very long runs, and not requiring any digestion effort. I typically take one gel every hour, starting after 1.5 hours of racing to give the fat burning enough time to kick in. I use mostly the Tastefully Nude (ex Just Plain) flavor, a neutral flavor which I believe helps keeping nausea at bay, but I don't mind trying other flavors from time to time, although remaining with classical ones: Vanilla Bean, Chocolate Outrage, Lemon Sublime, Tri-Berry (as opposed to salty or stranger associations).
  4. GU Energy Chews. I haven't consumed too many of these yet during races, but there are easier to pack when flying since TSA restricts the number of gels we can have in our carry-ons.
  5. GU Recovery Drink Mix. I started using the recovery brew super rich in proteins after tough races and training runs, 2 years ago, and I definitely saw a difference. I really love the Orange-Pineapple flavor in the summer and I regret it isn't available right now on the web site, I hope it will come back. I like the Chocolate flavor in the winter so I'm all set for now. I typically use the brew (3 scoops) in a smoothie with water, milk and vanilla ice cream. So delicious that just the idea lifts up my energy level at the end of challenging long runs! :-)
With that, I pretty much use all the products GU Energy offers, except one: I don't take the Roctane Electrolyte Capsules as I got so used to the S!Caps since I started running ultras 10 years ago. 

GU Energy is such a wonderful supporter of our ultra running sport, as well as other endurance ones like triathlon and cycling. Not only by providing these great products but also sponsoring most of our races, very grateful to them too. It's also cool to know this is a local business based in Berkeley, CA, and run by local athletes, with the manufacturing happening in the US. Way to go, GU Energy, keep us ultra energized and going, going, going, ...

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