30 Good Things Before 30: #21 – Clif Shot Bloks

It’s Sunday. And I’m in marathon training mode.

You know what that means, don’t you?

It’s LSD day. (You know you’re a runner if you automatically translated that to long slow distance run and didn’t assume I was on some kind of psychedelic voyage.)

I’m in Week 2 of training and I wandered around all day yesterday thinking I had to run 10 km today. When I finally checked my plan this afternoon, however, I realized I was actually supposed to get an 8-miler on the books.

This was disappointing news.

Not that an 8-miler is that much longer or more difficult than a 10k. It’s just that I was up early yesterday and on the road for a family get-together and that I ran 4 very hilly miles on unforgiving concrete last evening and that I drank way too many coffees and not nearly enough water this morning and that I could barely keep my eyes open on the drive back home today.

But, so far, I’m at 100% adherence to my training plan and I didn’t want to break that streak so I suited up, laced up, and got ready to hit the treadmill (trying to do a couple of my weekly runs indoors to give my joints a break as they get used to this increased mileage).

30-good-things-before-30It was around this time, several hours post-brunch, that I realized I was kinda hungry. But having barely mustered the energy to tackle the run, I couldn’t stop to make something to eat.

Along came #21 on my list of 30 Good Things Before 30 to the rescue:

Clif Shot Bloks

I was forced to begin toying with eating during runs when I embarked on my marathon training last winter. I’d received a couple of energy gels in swag bags at previous races so I started experimenting with them.

This did not go well.

I’m a texture girl. Consistency is important. No matter what flavour gel I tried, each one threatened to come back up every time I gulped it down. I just couldn’t get past the slimy goo sliding down my throat.

I don’t know why. It’s a mental block. But I knew I couldn’t be the only runner to feel that way.

For my first marathon, I was going at it alone. Google was my coach. So I turned to Coach Google for alternatives.

There I discovered there was a whole world of candy-like alternatives that could fuel my miles. I picked up a variety of options and quickly became hooked on these:

My two favourite flavours of Clif Shot Bloks

My two favourite flavours of Clif Shot Bloks: Citrus and Strawberry

Clif Shot Bloks are like gummy bears for endurance athletes. Each package contains six 33-calorie cubes that have a great chewy-but-not-too-chewy consistency with a sweet-but-not-too-sweet flavour. They’re my go-to on all my long training runs and on race day.

My mind also occasionally turns to my stash of Clif Shot Bloks longingly when I’m craving a sweet treat. They’re that good!

A Mountain Berry Clif Shot Blok

A Mountain Berry Clif Shot Blok

Today, I started popping a couple of Bloks two miles into my long run when my legs were already feeling like dead-weight. In minutes, they felt revived.

That’s why I love these things.

If gels gross you out but you need some good long distance fuel, check out Clif Shot Bloks. Also, I should mention that I have not received any kind of compensation from Clif Bar for this post. I just live off these things during marathon training–and occasionally when I just want a treat…

Do energy gels gross you out?

What are your favourite fuelling products for long runs?

What’s your tried-and-true strategy for consuming calories on long runs?

13 thoughts on “30 Good Things Before 30: #21 – Clif Shot Bloks

  1. Fallon @ Slacker Runner says:

    I don’t like gu’s but I have managed to choke down a few when I had to. It was mostly the sugary sweetness that got to me. Which is odd because I used to run with candy corn as my mid-run fuel, easy to chew/swallow. Now I don’t really run with anything, sometimes a few nuts. I need to figure out a new option.

    • mostlyhealthyliving says:

      Candy corn as fuel? That’s a new one for me! Whatever works though. 🙂 I’m interested in trying out those Sports Beans by Jelly Belly (www.sportbeans.com/). Anything that makes my fuel more like candy and less like goo is wonderful in my books!

  2. allisonfiorini says:

    I love shot blocks but sadly I can’t use them in a long run. They just don’t agree with me – but I do eat them as the occasional sweet treat! I love the texture of them. I do go for gels during a race – but I know a lot of people who can’t stomach them. I like the GU brand!

  3. runsonsyrup says:

    Gels absolutely gross me out. I have to use the ones that mimic what the flavor is supposed to be — caramel and peanut butter are my “go to’s.” I’ve tried the shot blocks, but struggle with chewing that much gummy when I run. I agree, though, they are tasty!

    • mostlyhealthyliving says:

      A peanut butter flavour one feels like it could work because I love peanut butter and it’s kinda gooey anyway naturally so maybe the texture wouldn’t freak me out? I don’t know. I predict there will be a lot of experimentation as I train this summer!

  4. dgobs says:

    I’m a big fan of Honey Stinger chews… they’re a little smaller than the Shot Bloks and each packet has maybe 8-10 chews. They’re very sticky since they’re made with honey, but they’ve worked well for me, getting me through my first half marathon and agreeing with me the whole way! 🙂

    • mostlyhealthyliving says:

      I’ve heard of these and would definitely be interested in giving them a try. Any fav flavours? Also just how sticky are we talking about? I tried Sharkies once but only once because they got stuck in my teeth so bad I expended way more energy chewing them than I had to spare! 🙂

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