Muscle_Kitchen

The 60 second guide to Half Marathon nutrition


Nutrition for a half marathon isn’t just about eating a big bowl of pasta the night before the race, proper nutrition starts weeks (if not months) before the big race.
Nutrition for a half marathon isn’t just about eating a big bowl of pasta the night before the race, proper nutrition starts weeks (if not months) before the big race.

Now: Eat a clean diet, practice carb-loading

  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Diet should be 60% carbohydrate, 25% protein and 15% fat.

To practise carb-loading: Two or three days prior to your longest run, start eating more carbs (about 80% of your diet) and less fat and protein. You’ll get an idea of what foods agree and disagree with your stomach, as well as whether this helps to improve your performance.

1 Week before: Make a race plan

  • Pack plenty of snacks, like sports bars, oatcakes and glucose sachets.
  • Taper down your training, let your body recover from weeks of training.

2/3 Days Before: Switch to high-carb diet

  • 80% of your diet should now be carbohydrates.
  • Split food into five or six meals and snacks across the day.

Night before: Don’t stuff yourself

  • Dinner should be relatively small but carb-heavy.
  • Eat earlier so you have lots of time to digest your dinner.

Race morning: Have breakfast

  • Three hours before the start of the race, eat 150g of carbohydrate, a bagel and yoghurt or porridge.
  • Remember to stay hydrated.

During race: Water and glucose sachets

  • Staying hydrated and keeping your blood sugar levels up are paramount to performance.
  • Pick up water before you need it.
  • Have a glucose sachet at 5 and 10 miles.

After race: Rest, re-hydrate, re-fuel, repair
You will be feeling tired, but to avoid any excess muscle soreness and stiffness

  • Take on water straight away.
  • Stretch.
  • Grab something to eat about 30 minutes after you finish the race, carbohydrate heavy to replenish stores and protein to repair muscles.

Paul Davies
Muscle Kitchen