The Half Marathon Nutrition Guide 

When preparing for a half marathon (like the Great Manchester Run Half Marathon or the Great North Run), or any endurance event for that matter your nutrition is just as important if not more important than your training. Your body has to be efficiently fuelled; otherwise, all the efforts expended during training preparations will be rendered worthless, as your body won't have the energy to facilitate your highest level of performance. 

During your training, you should strive to maintain a wholesome a nourishing diet to effectively fuel your training, concentrating on being well hydrated and stocked up on glycogen (carbohydrates). It's recommended keeping to a 50:30:20 ratio of 50% carbs, 30% protein and 20% fats. However, it is important to ensure that these macronutrients are still healthy choices, i.e., complex carbohydrates, protein from lean cuts of meat or oily fish and plenty of monounsaturated fats from food like avocado, olive oil and peanut butter to provide extra energy from fats as well as carbohydrates, allowing your body to recover more efficiently. However, it should be noted that nutrition must be altered as your draw nearer to the event. 

First things first, the carb-load, it is essential to consume high volumes of carbohydrates before an endurance event as it is these carbohydrates that will supply you with the energy required to get through the race. Your carb-load should start two or three days before the event, this prevents carb-fatigue, which is essentially when you overload your body with carbs, therefore slowing it down. The carb- load should be a gradual process of slowly increasing your carbohydrate intake day by day and reducing your running distance when training beforehand, the compound effect of these two acts will result in greater energy conservation. And then, finally, you’ll be ready to take on the challenge of a half marathon, however, there is still time even mid-race to take on extra nutrients, so be sure to be stocked with fuel to keep you going throughout the race, such as energy gels, or even just adding electrolytes to the water you’re drinking can make a big difference when it comes to facilitating a second wind. 

Carb Loading

And then, at long last, you will have crossed the finish line, you have completed your half marathon, congratulations! But now, don’t dwell bragging to your friends, family and fellow racers for too long, it’s time to fuel your body for recovery, of course, take on plenty of water, ideally with electrolytes and find something high in carbs and sugar to give your body a boost, I’m sure you won’t need any help in finding and enjoying something of that description post-race. After this, take a few hours to relax and allow your body ample rest time before heading out for a treat meal of your choosing, you deserve it! 

For more information on nutrition and diet planning, follow the link below: