Gels all about the gels and that final 6.2!!!!!

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20/02/2012 at 14:18


Becoming ever increasing scared ahead of the Rome marathon, having done a couple of 20milers...... I am left asking where do you get the last 6 miles from, let alone the .2!!!!!

Tried some energy gels during the Brighton half and wondering if there are any people would recommend for a marathon and a make of belt that would suffice to hold 4/6, without them falling out within a pace?! Not wishing to break the bank on the latter!!! 

righty ho many thanks any tips on getting through the final 6 and Gels would be much appreciated!!

21/02/2012 at 12:05

I've always used SIS GO gels & I believe they do one with added caffine to get you through.  Must say when I did Brighton last year I was so gone that I forgot to take it. 

I used a belt that meant they were secure on my back but it wasn't tight & I ended up with loads of scratches though I didn't notice them on the day...  I am going to look into an arm support.  Alternative is to find out what they have on the day & practice with those.


cougie    pirate
21/02/2012 at 12:17
I like high5 - use their belt and you won't lose any. I have one every 5 miles or so.

You shouldn't need gels for a half though.

As to that last 6.2 - remember you are constantly running on tired legs in training and still you manage 20 milers.

Now if you taper your legs will be lovely and fresh and the extra bit isn't an issue.
21/02/2012 at 20:37

Thanks for the advice will follow that up.......hope this not a stupid question  BUT can they be taken on their own or best to wash down with a slurp of water?!!!

Will certainly ensure that i taper properly....tis all exciting if a little daunting!!!

22/02/2012 at 08:49

yes - you need to wash down with water.  Some of them are quite gooey - I think that's why GO are quite popular - more liquid based.

People are right - you don't need gels on a half but it's worth practicing - in-fact a lot of people use  a pre-marathon half as a practice event which is a sensible idea

22/02/2012 at 09:20
Training gets you through the first 20, grit & determination gets you through the other 6.2.
22/02/2012 at 09:31
Try High 5 Isogel - they don't need water and they're not sticky or strongly flavoured. They're more like a mouthful of very weak fruit squash drink, and I've found them much easier to take.
22/02/2012 at 10:31
I've had a look & I think SIS Go & High5 have the same effect but you need to try them out to check they don't play havoc with your stomach...!   The amount they suggest taking an hour seems over-kill to me but they would suggest that wouldn't they...
22/02/2012 at 20:41

 This is good stuff , thank you!!

I will have try some high 5 or sisgo for my long run this weekend; it was good to have a practice at the Brighton half (and a bit more... tee hee!!! did make me chortle the mis measurement!!) At least they adjusted the times accordingly...chuffed at that!!! 

will certainly take on board the grit and determination tip......head down and keep plugging then! 

23/02/2012 at 08:56

see above!

They say a marathon is split into two races - the first 20 & then the final 6...

My advice would be to save something for the final 6 - i.e. don't go out too fast & if you take on gels or sports drink you'll probably be ok...

PS tip: don't mix the gels & sports drink - your tum won't like it

23/02/2012 at 09:48
Have used lucozade sport ones in the past which are quite gloopy but recently tried shotz and think I'll switch - much easier to get down.
You should be taking gels before the last 6.2 as it takes a while for the carbs to get into your system. One every 5m is plenty ie start,5m,10,15m - one at 20m will not be much use as you will be nearly done by the time it kicks in - better to scoff a few jelly babies for a quick energy boost in the last bit.
Most important bit is to practise on your long runs, find out what works for you and stick to the plan on the day - good luck!
Oh and tapered rested, adrenalin on the day, grit and detirmination etc all true too!
24/02/2012 at 00:54
I agree with Liam. The manufacturers all recommend taking gels every half an hour. For a four hour marathon could you imagine consuming 8 gels. yuk. Never seen any of the pros take any at all.

I have used the vast majority of gels and other than taste have yet to notice any difference in performance benefits. I agree that if you are taking gels it might be wise to lay off the sports drink and simply rehydrate with water otherwise your stomach is likely to rebel.

My marathon plan for what it's worth is to take a gel at mile 6, 12, 18 and mile 22. It has seemed to work so far but I am always happy to take advice on this.

As for the last 6.2 I would recommend training up to 22 miles in your long run, it does not seem a vast amount further to add an extra 4 miles whereas if you train only to 20 when you get to 20 in the race and you work out you still have 10k to go and you calculate that even your 10k pb time added to the 20 miles is still a whole lot of running it can be crushing.
That was a mighty long sentence! Sponsored by Kronenbourg.
cougie    pirate
24/02/2012 at 06:22
I take gels every 5 miles in uk marathons. Because its easy to count in 5's.
The last gel - 25 miles I either skip or take early as it takes 15 mins or so to kick in.
In Rome - its going to be measured in km I guess so make sure you are ready for that. Even simple sums can be incredibly hard when you are racing !
24/02/2012 at 07:08
+1 for train up to 22 def helped me
24/02/2012 at 08:47

I think Keyboard_worrier's suggestion is about right about how many gels though perhaps one before you start assuming that you had your brekkie two hours earlier...

 Even simple sums can be incredibly hard when you are racing ! - I agree Cougie!!

24/02/2012 at 19:07
Never even thought of measurements being in km great point cougie!!!!will check conversions, don't want to sacrifice a jelly baby or gel for a calculator!!! Thinking of churning out a 22 miler this sun, could be a confidence booster before some tapering?!

Enjoying reading the responses made me think about stuff not even considered ESP tactics for when to take on the added energy
24/02/2012 at 20:58

i dont use gels or any sports drinks

in fact they mak me feel quite sick and queezy

i run HM's and FM's without them, solo and pushing a wheelchair

24/02/2012 at 22:17
Hi... Some useful stuff here for a novice, thanks.

Those of you saying not to have lucozade sport drink with the gels do you mean at the same time or in the same race? I.e is it ok to use water to wash the gels down and then have sport later in the run or best to steer clear of them combining at all?

I've been using gels + water in training but for London I was intending to use the gels with water and then sport at the relevant on-course stations that provide it. I guess I should just try mixing them in training and see what happens .... Whilst staying close to home presumably!?
25/02/2012 at 21:25
I used to take lucozade sport drink with me on my long runs and then 3 gels if I was doing 20 miles. During my marathon races I would take gels, as above and then water and sports drink as and when I thought appropriate so I did have gels and sports drink on the same run. In my last marathon it did make me feel queazy. Nothing drastic but after the race a felt sick for a good 4 hours before my stomach settled.

In training this time I have only been drinking water and taking gels. So far so good.
25/02/2012 at 21:35
Thanks k_w.... I think I'll stick to the gels and water too, don't really want to tempt fate.
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