Half Marathom Advice!!

Hello Guys & Girls,

Just a little advice please, I ran a Half marathon on Sunday, didn't do as well as expected in the second half off it. May be it was the enenergy sis orange you mix yourself in two small bottle on my running belt. What I wont to know is, how far into the half marathon should be boost your energy with Gel etc? Then how often you should you top it up?

Next question I have a 10k this Saturday is it wise or not to run this week or rest all week from my half marathon, I have my normal strength & condition one to one class Wed & Thu, just wondering if a run is a good idea or not?



  • I don't use gels or similar for half marathons. Just carb load for a couple of days prior.

    I would get a couple of easy runs in this week.
  • Thank you J1M, when you say carn load for a couple day what would be the ideal stuff to carb load for these  couple days? How far a distance would you say run this week? May be one this evening and one Friday or is that to close!

  • My opinion would be have some gel or whatever you fancy at around 7 miles, have a good breakfast. However a lot of people including me manage without.

    Your 10k... do a few short slow jogs, your not going to get any fitter in a week. If you are sore still from HM hold off until later in the week and if still sore dont bother, 10k will be easy for you!

  • In the last week before a 1/2 I would probably go for an hours run on the Sunday a week before then 10 x 400m at 10k pace with 2 min recoverys on the Tuesday, 30 mins gentle jog on the Wednesday if the race was Saturday or Thursday if the race was Sunday and that would be it.

    2 days complete rest before race day. During which I would eat more than usual of carbs so I eat sweet potatoes, brown pasta, wholemeal toast that kind of thing. Also I make sue I always have a glass of water around and I am sipping plenty.

    On race day it depends on what time the race is but I will probably have 3 wee rabid and some penut butter on toast and coffee before I set of in the car and 500 mils of water and a banana about 45 mins before the start.

    I'm no expert but that works for me.

    Good luck.

    On race day depending on the time of th
  • Sorry just re- read the question.

    If you feel good run the 10k if not don't.

    I offen run races as more of a training run, if you ran in half last week then a 10k should be no problem, you don't have to go for a pb.

    I would get a gentle run in today to clear any lactic build up, say 30 mins easy, And same on Thursday morning.
  • Each company will have some guidance about when or how often to take on nutrition. I use GU, and I take it on after 45-50 minutes, as per the instruction. You should be able to get around a half marathon without, but I use them to help me to sustain my speed, and to get energy without eating into my reserves so that I can recover quicker. Importantly, take it before you start feeling like you need it, so that it has a chance to absorb into your system.

    Practice in training and find out what works for you - you shouldn't try something for the first time on race day, experiment and then wonder why it didn't work.

  • I never take on board any kind of energy (drinks or gels) for anything up to and including a half. I just eat a fairly normal (but easily digestible) breakfast - cereals/toast/porridge or something along those lines. I then just make sure I am pretty well hydrated (but not needing the loo) before the start.  If you were going to be on your feet for hours and hours then you may need something, but generally energy usage doesn't vary much with speed, just your weight.

    10k should be fine. As regards running this week, I usually find it helpful to get some gentle runs in to get the blood flowing round the legs, but generally just take it easy this week.

  • As exiled claret, a decent breakfast and making sure I am well hydrated is all I do for a half. I don't carb load for that distance, and on the course a bit of water is enough. Once past the finish line I look for a good 'feed' - well earned and helps with recovery. 

  • You shouldn't need energy food in a half.

    How many long runs did you do and what distance did you do ?

    Running is definitely a good idea. How are your legs ? How much running do you do ?
  • Mr BoatMr Boat ✭✭✭

    Was thinking the same, cougie. Dying in the second half could be due to under training/not being prepared.

    J1M: Don't think you really need to carb load for a HM.

  • Hi Cougie & Mr Boat,

    About 8 weeks prior to I was running 4 times a week as follows, Monday 5 to 8k, Tuesday 10 to 12k Wednesday strength & conditioning, Thursday 15 to 17k, Friday Strength & Conditioning and them Sunday a long run up 20.5k is as far as I got. Just seemed to down speed rapid at 12k, legs felt heavy and I felt really tired.

    I'm only 5ft tall 8.5stone, run regular and have done for 2.5 years now. Eat health ish. I have normal pasta & not brown. I do eat granary bread or wholemeal bread. Probs could not be eating enough carbs! But not sure what amount to eat of what & when !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

    A big thank you to you all for the advice image



  • Mr Boat,

    I've always Made sure I eat extra carbs leading up to a half.

    Works for me, I have read that anything over 90 mins benefits from carb loading.

  • Maybe you went off too quick. What were your splits? What speed did you do your long slow Sunday runs at? Have you done other halfs? What were your times for them?
  • Hi I did a half marathon in March this year the Wilmslow in 2hrs 5ms, My long runs on a Sunday at a pace 6.10k. My half on Sunday was around 5.05 - 5.30 for the first 12k then went down after that. Should I be running my long Sunday runs a bit quicker rather than at a comfortable pace that's easy on my breathing & legs? image

  • Quick calculation, needs verification image You're doing your Sunday run too fast and you went off far too quickly in the race. 5:30 would have given you a 1:55 ish. Finish time.
  • What time did you finish in? Use that time as your new benchmark for training paces.

    I'm guessing you did the first 10k at around your 10k pace and just died like any normal person would.
  • Hi TimR,

    My race finish time was 2hrs 12ms 47 sec.

    When i run 20.5k at it takes me 2hrs 5ms or just a little under 2hrs 4ms. So my long runs I'm doing on a Sunday I'm running these to fast?.


  • It's all a bit chicken and egg when it comes to half marathons. You need a race time to base your training on. You also need to get a feeling for whether you could have gone faster for that race.

    Based on your finish time of 2:05 your training pace is at the fast end for a long slow run. But having said that your 2:05 was in March and you have trained since then. I tend to race once a month and push a bit faster in each race which gives me an idea on training paces and improvements.

    If you started the race at 5:05 pace then you were effectively looking to get 1:45 which I think was probably a tad optimisticimage

    I would give it a couple of weeks then see if you can do a 2:00 21k on a Sunday as a time trial. Just setting out to knock a huge chunk of time of your last race time doesn't really work. Adjust your training paces to suit and do another trial a month later, aiming for 2mins quicker and so on.
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