Trail26 half marathon success

Lessons learnt…
Training for the marathon last year I realised the difference good nutrition makes both in preparation and during racing, in the Devon marathon I decided to just carry gels (there was no compulsory kit) and take on water at the feed stations – it was a big mistake – I started to cramp at about 18 miles and I found I couldn’t face any more gels, I ran out of energy and it was only the lead I had accumulated in the first half of the race that kept me in third place. Having spent time talking to the team at Mountain Fuel I have realised there is a great deal more to getting nutrition right and with their support and guidance I hope I can continue to improve.
Gareth Stepehens prize presentationThis year has started well for me and I finished third at the Buff trail half marathon Wales in January and recently at Grizedale in the Montane trail 13 I finished first. This year my aim is to consolidate my running, keep building my fitness with a long term goal to enter an Ultra distance event.
Gareth stephens grizedale half marathonAfter my win at Grizedale which was on hard fire tracks I was expecting sore legs the following day but I drank the Recovery Fuel with milk straight away after the race and it was delicious. Before bed I had the Night Fuel, still chuffed with the win on the Monday I went for a short run (normally a rest day). I took it easy as I was now expecting the sore legs to make an appearance on Tuesday! But no, on Tuesday again I felt ok and did another easy pace run with no problems. Wednesday I felt fine and followed my long run with another Recovery Fuel and by the Thursday I was back training properly. This is a total contrast to my recovery following the half at Coed y Brenin where I had to take it easy all week and felt really beaten up!
On Saturday after I did a park run (about 6 weeks ago I ran 17:04). I used the Breakfast Fuel and sipped the Xtreme Energy Fuel beforehand. I ran 16:37 and finished 1st (of 415) with a ten second gap to second. I’ve only just started adding some speed work so hopefully I can bring this down, the course record is 15:41 so a long way to go to that one!
Morning Fuel Banana FlapjacksWhat I love about Mountain Fuel is the products taste good, sits well on the stomach and actually makes training and race preparation easy as I know I’ll have the energy to perform without a crash and also I can feel so much better afterwards so can get back into training quicker. The lads at Mountain Fuel are also very approachable and have a great attitude to nutrition encouraging good food too so it’s not all about trying to get you to buy lots of products.

I am passionate about running off road and the places it takes me, I am proud to be a member of Team Mountain Fuel and I can’t wait to get back to Cumbria to race again in May at the Howgills half marathon. Please come and say hello on the day but maybe not when we’re out of breath up the hills though!