What to Eat Before a Half Marathon

Beans are a natural protein-carbohydrate combination good for almost every half-marathon ranner.

Running a half-marathon is rather an achievement; one that needs discipline, dedication and rigorous training. Offering your body with the appropriate fuel is essential for you to perform your best on race day. The foods you opt to eat on race day is extremely important, however your diet in the days prior to your race can also affect your run.

Right Fuel for Long-Distance Runner

The days prior to running a half-marathon are no time at all to restrict your calorie or carb intake. The meal you consume the morning of the race will not be enough to supply you with sufficient energy, so you will need to use some kept energy. Your body can store about 2,000 calories from carb through glycogen, which suffices to get you through the 13.1 miles of the race. To develop your glycogen stores for race day, bump up your calorie and carbohydrate intake the week prior to the marathon. Your objective needs to be to consume 55 to 60 percent of your calories from carb, or 3 to 5 grams per pound of body weight.

The Days Before the Race

Throughout the days leading up to your race, focus on consisting of a lot of intricate carbohydrates in your diet. Foods such as whole-grain breads, cereals, potatoes, pasta, rice and beans ready sources of complex carbs. For breakfast, think about oatmeal sprayed with fruit and nuts or an English muffin topped with peanut butter and a sliced banana. For lunch and supper, try a shredded beef burrito served with rice and beans, pasta tossed with grilled chicken and roasted veggies, or chicken and veggies stir-fry served on top of steamed rice. Include treats throughout the day such as yogurt topped with fruit and granola, crackers and cheese, or half of a sandwich.

Information verified by the iytmed.com team.

Race-Day Meal

Your breakfast on the day of the half-marathon ought to be high in carb, moderate in protein and relatively low in fat and fiber to prevent gastrointestinal distress during the run. Running on a full stomach can be uncomfortable, so plan to eat breakfast two to four hours before the start of your race. Ideas for a pre-race breakfast are a bagel with peanut butter and honey, raisin toast with a cooked egg and juice, cereal and milk topped with fresh fruit, or pancakes sprinkled with low-fat yogurt and fruit. Four hours prior to the race, drink 2 to 3 milliliters of water or sports drink per pound of body weight.

Additional Tips before Running a Half-marathon

Make sure to take in adequate fuel the day prior to your long run. While you are at rest, your body will have appropriate energy and time to absorb and store those nutrients you consumed, and then you’ll be able to depend on this fuel for the following day. And always remember to eat a carb-rich, low-fiber, easy-to-digest, familiar breakfast the morning of the race!

Fuel at regular intervals and before you have to. Wait up until you’re out of gas, and you won’t be able to recover from feeling hungry or weak. Your muscles will be forced to play catch-up, and you won’t have the ability to recover and finish the run feeling strong. If you’ve ever had a long term that began strong and then got slower and slower, it might be time to think about what you did during the first few miles of the long terms that you didn’t do during the last few miles. Many runners head out the door with a complete tank but, feeling terrific, they overlook to re-fuel over the next couple of miles. If you do not begin fueling within that first hour, it’s most likely that your empty-tank will catch up with you, and you’ll bonk. Not just will you hit the wall, but once your muscle glycogen stores are depleted, it can be extremely tough to adequately recuperate during your run (and you may need to walk or crawl the last couple of miles). My advice to avoid this whole mess? Aim for 30-60 grams of carb per hour (and start using your chews, gels, or sports beverages early and frequently).

Don’t hesitate of fuel. Maybe you’ve attempted an item in the past and didn’t look after it or it didn’t agree with you. If that’s the case, understand that there are always new products coming out. Attempt a variety of products and brand names. For concepts on the numerous various fuel options available, take a look at this post on energy gels and this post on options to energy gels. Don’t be afraid to try out a few various items and see what works for you. Whatever focused kind of fuel you are taking in, keep in mind to dilute it with adequate water (or else it will not be absorbed, and you will get nauseous). Finally, find out what gel/product your race will be distributing. If you can tolerate or like the brand that the race is distributing, you’ll understand that you will not need to pack your own on race day. However if their chosen brand does not work for you, you’ll have to plan ahead. In addition, you might look for out at what miles the race will be distributing item and simulate that in your training to practice for race day.


In the days leading up to your half-marathon, do not attempt any new foods for the first time. This is no time at all to risk of stomach issues connected to a new food. If you opt to consume sports beverages or bars right prior to the race, avoid fructose products, as they can cause diarrhea. At all times, remain properly hydrated.

Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle advisor I try to guide individuals in becoming more aware of living well and healthy through a series of proactive and preventive measures, disease prevention steps, recovery after illness or medical procedures.

Education: Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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