Alicia (pictured above atop Mt Elbert, 14,439 ft) is a Run SMART coach and Nike sponsored athlete. She consults on Nutrition for Performance and has her BS in Nutrition from Stanford University. She is the former NCAA record-holder and two-time NCAA champion in the 10k.
Below is part 1 of our MTP Nutrition Q&A:
MTP: The manufacturers of energy gels, like GU, recommend that a packet be consumed every 45 minutes of sustained activity. Is there a way to effectively test in training whether one would need a packet every 45 minutes? I have often thought that one every 45 minutes was excessive, but was fearful of hitting the wall in training or racing, if I consumed the gels less frequently than every 45 to 60 minutes.
AS: It depends.
#1 If you have fueled well heading into the run then you will be less dependent on taking in as many calories as frequently. If you have not eaten breakfast or another meal prior to your run then you will probably want to begin consuming gels a little earlier and closer together (every 30 min would be appropriate).