Monday, January 23, 2006

Cliff Shot Blocks - My Review

So many people asked about the Cliff Shot Blocks in the comments of the last entry that I thought it was worth a separate entry.

The following is only **MY** opinion -

I have always been a fan of Cliff Shots, GU and other gel supplements in "running" events. I have a hard time "chewing" when I am on a run. It seems like I am trying to do too many things at once. Having said that, my biggest complaint about Gels is how messy they can be. I can't even tell you how many empty gel packets get stuck in the back of my cycling jerserys and in my running pack. What a mess!

So when I saw the Cliff Shot BLOCKS in the local bike shop (LBS), I thought twice before I decided to buy them.

So I picked up a pack of Strawberry and raspberry Cliff Shot Blocks. Hoping that the cleanliness factor would outweigh the "chewing" factor. The guys at the LBS (local bike shop) advised that I not even attempt the Lemon-Lime because they said the smell made them gag when they were stocking the shelves.

• I liked the Strawberry flavor. It was sweet with no obvious aftertaste and you can't say that about the Strawberry Sonic Clif Shots.

• The block itself reminded me of the "fruit jelly" candies that my Grandmother always had in her candy jars. They are chewy but didn't stick to your teeth. That is an improvement over the Sharkies and Jelly Belly Sports Beans that I have tried in the past.

• I took 3 blocks at the 50 minute point of my long run with a couple of gulps of water and it seemed to have the same impact as if I had a gel. 20 minutes later, I was still doing well, no BONKS in sight.

Overall Assessment: Cliff Shot BLOCKS will become a part of my training routine ... but probably for the bike and not for my long runs. I just don't llike chewing while I am running!! On the bike, I can chew all day long and the blocks will easily fit in my bento box.

Lingering Concern: What happens to these BLOCKS when the temps heat up? Am I going to have "hot jello jigglers" sticking to each other and my hands?

Now has anybody tried the Cliff Nectar Bars? The Cinnamon Pecan and Cranberry, Apricot, and Almond flavors sound right up my alley!


Cliff said...

Thanks for the review Holly.

Me and my friend love Clif bars already (love to the extent of buying them in cases).

I use Clif shots occasionally for my long distance training. I am planning to use them consistently as well. I guess I will have to give these Clif Blocks a try too.

nancytoby said...

I tried them at the WDW Expo and I like that they're not as dense as jelly candies, not as hard to chew. About how many blocks equals a gel, do you think?

Oh, wait, I see they sell them on the REI site. About 3 blocks = 1 gel. That's good - most gels are too big for me to gag down all at once!!

nancytoby said...

Oh yeah, I wanted to mention if you like fruity bars you should try Larabars if you haven't yet - - they have wonderful apple pie and cherry pie flavors, all natural. On sale in REI and Trader Joe stores.

Dawn - Pink Chick said...

Thanks Holly as I gear up for longer runs towards the marathon I will be checking these out.

Flo said...

Holly, I've been using these since last October. I carried them on all my long runs here in Hawaii and they never got really icky. Even after 4 hours in my fanny pack in 90F weather they were fine. I love these things and got my entire running group using them.

I take them a little differently because my stomach gets funky on long runs. I will take 1 45 minutes into my run and then 1 every 1/2 hour. This works really well for me. The first time I took all 3 I spent the next hour trying to keep them down.

bunnygirl said...

I've been eating the Nectar bars for awhile. They're all pretty good, but the Cranberry ones are a little more tart than I like most days. I like the Lemon Almond ones best, then the Chocolate ones.

Bolder said...

i have Cliff Block envy... i can't find them in Boulder... now, i want them even more!