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Energy Gels: Can You Train Without Them?

Q: Can you train without energy gels or beans, and only with water when training for a half marathon?

You can run with only water, but when you do, be mindful of the loss of electrolytes (sodium, potassium…) and energy lost (carbohydrates). An optimal way to supplement these losses in long distance runs and races is a sports drink as it is readily absorbed into your system and provides both energy in the form of carbs and electrolytes.

Racing with just water, depending on the day and weather can set you up for an imbalance in electrolytes. Be cautious. You can also supplement with natural ingredients too – coconut water, pitted dates, sea salt in your water or even taking electrolyte tablets. Practice this in your training and keep a log. You'll find what works best for you.

This question is an excerpt from our Live Q&A with Coach Jenny Hadfield. You can replay the live chat event here. Be sure to subscribe to this blog to be notified of future posts on when the next live chat is scheduled! The training plans mentioned in the live chat are available here. If you sign up for a free account on WalkJogRun.net, you will be able to track your training and add workouts in your training diary. The next live chat is being planned for early March.