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What to Eat Earlier than a Half Marathon | Week of and Morning Of Plans






Fueling your physique adequately by understanding what to eat earlier than a half marathon could make all of the distinction between hitting the wall midway via and ending sturdy. We’re not simply speaking about race morning, however your race week plan.

By strategically planning your meals and snacks, you may improve your endurance, enhance stamina, and stop the dreaded fatigue that may hinder your efficiency.

You do certainly want to have a look at carbohydrate loading, take note of your hydration, know when to cease consuming fiber and plan forward for any race journey. It doesn’t should be advanced, but it surely does require that you simply spend a while fascinated by it similar to you will have your coaching for the final 3-5 months!

Bear in mind, half marathon success isn’t just about placing one foot in entrance of the opposite; it’s about equipping your physique with the suitable instruments to overcome the gap. So, let’s dive in and discover ways to gas for fulfillment and obtain your private greatest in your upcoming half marathon.

Do You Must Carbohydrate Load for a Half Marathon?

Analysis reveals that carb loading for any endurance occasion over 90 minutes results in efficiency enhancements. For these working sooner than 90 minutes there are nonetheless advantages, however chances are you’ll solely want 1 day of loading.

carb load for a half marathon
Cortney is a superb RD will tons of worthwhile data!

The half marathon, a 13.1-mile (21.1 kilometers) race, falls throughout the class of endurance occasions. This distance pushes the boundaries of human capability, demanding sustained effort over an prolonged interval. Whether or not you’re a seasoned runner or tackling this distance for the primary time, comprehending the bodily calls for of the race is important for efficient pre-race vitamin.

Throughout a half marathon, your physique primarily depends on cardio vitality manufacturing, fueled primarily by carbohydrates and fat.

Carbohydrates, saved as glycogen within the muscle mass and liver, play a pivotal position in offering available vitality throughout extended train.

As you run, your muscle mass break down glycogen to supply adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the vitality foreign money of the physique. Nonetheless, the physique’s glycogen shops are restricted, and the speed of glycogen depletion varies relying on components akin to train depth, length, and particular person health ranges.

When glycogen ranges grow to be critically low, you may expertise a sudden drop in vitality ranges, muscle fatigue, and a big lower in efficiency. This phenomenon, sometimes called “hitting the wall,” generally is a vital impediment to beat throughout a half marathon.

Therefore, we wish to go in to the race with a physique that’s totally stocked after which we wish to maintain feeding it to maintain that vitality flowing!

Let’s begin by trying on the general image of the week after which extra particularly race morning.

What to Eat the Week of a Half Marathon

Let’s begin with the concept that the vast majority of runners will not be doing carb loading appropriately and certain don’t have to make a drastic shift of their weight loss program.

We don’t wish to do new issues on race day…why would you wish to make large modifications to your regular habits the week of the race?

  • Eat usually till 2-3 days earlier than the race, that’s once you begin to carb load
  • Proceed consuming fiber as much as then after which nonetheless embody some to maintain issues transfer
  • 3 days earlier than the race be certain a minimum of 50-60% of your energy come from simple to digest carbs
  • 2 days earlier than the race once more intention for a minimum of 60%
  • 1 day earlier than the race see if you will get nearer to 70-80%

I’ve seen some advocate as much as 90% of your weight loss program in these days be from carbs.

However for many runners, I discover that quantity has felt overwhelming or they’re simply craving some precise substance via protein. So be much less tied to the quantity and extra centered on relaxation, restoration and never strolling all day within the expo.

MUST READ: AVOID these seven carb loading errors >>

Observe: You probably have not practiced any form of carbohydrate loading throughout your coaching, you very properly might really feel bloated from this. Which is why like all issues, it’s nice to check out some loading earlier than your lengthy coaching runs. See how a lot totally different they really feel and determine what meals really feel greatest for you.

what to eat before a half marathon
Cortney is a superb RD will tons of worthwhile data!

What are simple to digest carbohydrates?

Straightforward to digest carbohydrates don’t imply sugar and sweets. Although they’re scrumptious, we don’t wish to enhance irritation or trigger vitality swings (but additionally don’t concern these meals!!).

  • Fruit Juice – one of many few occasions we’ll advocate it right here as a result of often we would like the fiber of a smoothie, however proper now we would like the simple carbs
  • Bagels – or I really like sourdough as a result of it usually helps to calm the abdomen because of the fermentation
  • Rice – white rice has much less fiber
  • Potatoes – go loopy with common potatoes or candy potatoes, simply watch the butter or heavy fat the day earlier than the race
  • Oatmeal – throw in some floor flax for additional anti-inflammatory goodness
  • Pancakes, waffles, benefit from the muffin you may usually overlook (high with some maple syrup!)
  • Sports activities drinks
  • Berries, bananas, cantaloupe, dried fruit

As a result of carbohydrates trigger the physique to retain water (we would like properly hydrated muscle mass for the race) it’s completely widespread to achieve weight whereas working.

That is 2 DAYS, you aren’t gaining fats. It’s water.

It’s useful. Simply keep away from the dimensions. Embrace your half marathon vitamin plan.

eat before a marathonI dig Betty Crockers type of throwing in some chocolate chips!

What Do I Eat the Evening Earlier than a Half Marathon?

Take into consideration a light-weight meal.

That’s proper, I’m not a fan of the normal pasta dinner. Except that is what you’ve been doing with success all through coaching.

Most runners report feeling groggy and weighed down within the morning after consuming an enormous bowl of pasta and breadsticks.

You wish to arrive to the race feeling gentle, recent and never like your physique is digesting an enormous dinner after what was in all probability not your greatest night time of sleep.

A couple of choices:

  • A pair slices of pizza (once more if this has labored in coaching, it’s okay now!)
  • Salmon and potatoes (personally salmon and candy potato fries is my favourite pre-race dinner)
  • A sandwich – love sourdough to assist settle the abdomen, plus get in a bit protein and throw in some avocado
  • Rooster stir fry with white rice and lightweight on the excessive fiber veggies (or skip them totally)
  • Maintain sipping on some juice or munching on pretzels and bagels to get these carbs going

Discover the choices are low fiber, in all probability a bit decrease in fats and better in carbs. However nothing loopy.

What to Eat the Morning of a Half marathon?

Half-marathon race morning is a bit totally different than a lot of your lengthy runs. You’ll be able to’t merely eat and get going.

Quite you’ll be awake and certain shifting round for hours earlier than crossing the beginning line.

Is it Okay To not Eat Earlier than a Half Marathon?

No. I do know chances are you’ll not really feel prefer it from the carb loading or from nerves, however that is your final probability to high off that glycogen and provides your physique the perfect probability at working sturdy.

2-3 hours Pre-race

Whereas nonetheless in your resort or house, strive having oatmeal with nut butter and berries OR a bagel with 2 tbsp almond butter. One thing with a bit substance to it.

Purpose is .5 to 1 gram of carbohydrate per pound of physique weight. It may assist to have a bit protein or fats with this as famous to assist it last more. However you must have practiced fueling throughout your lengthy runs to see how meals settles in your abdomen.

  • Bagel or English Muffin with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, some sliced banana on high
  • Sourdough toast with jam and a banana
  • Waffles with maple syrup
  • Bagel, banana and sports activities drink
  • Oatmeal with honey an berries, a bit nut butter (once more understand how this sits in your abdomen)

On the Strategy to the Race Begin

In case you didn’t get in a ton for breakfast (and no 200 energy isn’t sufficient) then strive consuming a banana (I LOVE the banana wrapped in a tortilla concept above simple to move and eat on the bus, in the beginning, and many others) or a Clifbar. Once more, these are nonetheless simple to digest carbs.

**Observe: Bananas really assist to assuage the abdomen. So not solely are they an ideal carb for gas, but additionally for those who’re feeling nervous and further bonus factors for the potassium, vitamin C and different good things.

I discover that slowly munching breakfast or persevering with to sip that sports activities drink works properly for a lot of who’re coping with nerves.

Beginning Line

When your wave is able to go eat a Honey Stinger Waffle, certainly one of your favourite vitality gels, some Swedish fish, 2 graham crackers – you completely need some carbs proper then due to that large time hole.

That is going to be about 30 grams of carbohydrates.

And if you’re utilizing caffeine for race day, chances are you’ll select to make use of some right here. It should take about 45 minutes to peak in your system, so that you’ll be getting that increase at time.


All through all of this strive sipping electrolytes. You don’t wish to really feel bloated, so simply sip constantly. Bear in mind for those who begin the race dehydrated it’s going to affect your efficiency. These electrolytes with sodium are going to have you ever retaining a bit water as properly and once more, this good for beginning properly hydrated.

In spite of everything of this we’re prepared to have a look at your half marathon fueling technique! As a result of keep in mind it doesn’t cease in the beginning line for those who actually wish to have your greatest day.

As you put together to overcome the half marathon, do not forget that success on race day is just not solely decided by the hours of coaching you’ve invested but additionally by the cautious consideration you give to your pre-race vitamin. Fueling your physique with the suitable vitamins on the proper occasions might be the important thing to unlocking your full potential and reaching your race-day targets.

Timing your meals and snacks strategically, in addition to listening to hydration wants and electrolyte stability, will additional improve your efficiency and aid you keep away from widespread race-day pitfalls.

Do not forget that pre-race vitamin is just not a one-size-fits-all method. Experimentation throughout your coaching will allow you to find what works greatest in your physique, permitting you to fine-tune your vitamin plan to fit your particular person wants and preferences.

On the lookout for further marathon suggestions?

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