Just completed the Stroud half

Previous PB (2017) 1:31:48
im 43 years old

When I train I just fall out of bed and run. But for the race I tried to get everything perfect in the hope of going under 1:30

I was on track until 11 miles but know I started off way too fast (first mile 6:24)

However the last 5 miles were a terrible struggle as I wobbled home in 1:31:10 to various congratulations and a PB but ultimately disappointing 

ive never felt so tired except for the last miles of a marathon 

I know I went off too fast but I had 2 gels which made me feel sick throughout 

I never train with gels 

do they matter? Can I substitute a gel for not feeling ill throughout the race! 

I understand to get under 1:30 I can’t cut corners but didn’t feel any benefit from the gels (although I appreciate I don’t know how id have done without them)

any tips for finally breaking the 1:30 greatfully received!


  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭
    Hi Robert. First off....I can't help you with sub 1:30 ! I've only managed 1:40, and that was some years ago, and I'm 30 yrs your senior. However, there are a few things going on here. Four weeks ago I ran a 16' in training, and my comments were: 'last few miles felt like the end of 26, not 16'. Have to accept that that's the way things go sometimes, and you don't always know why. Insufficient taper? Too much attempted in training? But I guess the obvious 'error' (?) is that you were trying out something on race day that you had not included in your training runs, i.e. Gels. Personally, I have never found the need to use gels, even in marathons, and I've done quite a few. The only time I did experiment, I tried out a couple on training runs before a marathon which stated clearly what type were being supplied. Again, a personal opinion, The whole gel issue is far too sophisticated, and the benefits are over-stated. But that is for you to experiment with,,,but not on race day. I'm sure that there will be other comments from those who disagree, and from those who are in your league. Nevertheless, congrats. on a new PB.
  • I'm not much under 2 hours myself, so you're on your own there. On the gel front, though, I don't think you need them for a half, unless you're going to take more than two hours (which you're well under). Just make sure you've had enough carbs the day before.
    I use gels for marathons and long training runs as I'm on my feet for at least 3 hours, but even I don't use them for halves.
  • I've used gels and had mixed reactions with them. In one race I honestly felt that it helped me get through the last 3 miles with a bit of a boost and able to step up the pace. But then in another they had me feeling absolutely awful and sick to the point where I seriously considered having to give up and seek medical help. 

    I think now, especially for a half, I'd just take liquid if I felt I needed it and may have a jelly baby. 
  • Thanks very much for your helpful comments. Think I’ll go without next time and see what happens. Thanks. 
Sign In or Register to comment.