Half Marathon Race Fueling


MadscienceM

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To Begin, I am not currently doing a Whole30, but stick very close to that way of eating 95% of the time. I did my first whole 30 last oct and my second this past Jan. I have seen so many gains with this way of eating, so i try to stick to it as much as possible.

 

I ran a Half Marathon at the beginning of Sept and got a huge PR and I am hoping to keep in and around the same time for my next two halfs (one in Oct and one in Dec). Although I was able to get a huge PR, I experienced some trouble miles 11 and 12.  I think the most likely culprit was the gatorade I chugged around mile 9 and the big ice pop I ate around mile 11. During training, I would normally have a pre w/o snack and drink water. During our long runs I would only consume water and once finished, would have a post w/o snack. I don't know what came over me, but I took the gatorade and the ice pop and didn't think twice. A Year ago something like that would not have touched my performance, but I think it toally tanked some of my miles. I felt great right after consuming both of them, but then I just totally felt like I had lead legs. The feeling passed and I was able to dig and finish strong... but it was rough...

 

So I guess my question is does anyone run halfs without fueling on anything mid-race?  I am open to suggestions and once again, I am not currently doing a Whole 30, but like to stick to template for the most part.

 

I have a half coming up in 3 weeks and I am going to attempt it the way I have been doing my long runs and see if that makes a difference, but wanted to see if anyone had any thoughts...

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  • 2 weeks later...

I couldn't imagine eating a popcicle during a half marathon.  The only thing I ever took was GU.  I haven't RACED a half without fuel however I've done long runs up to 16 miles without food and only electrolytes.  I think it's just like adding miles or running without water.  You have to get acclimated to it before and you can't just decide to run 7 miles without water one day.  I learned during my first marathon that Gatorade even half strength on the course doesn't agree with me and gave me a stomach cramp.  I'm not planning on taking any food source with me for the California International Marathon in December. 

 

Look up Paleo Energy Balls.  I've used them on long runs and it didn't upset anything but I needed to tweak the seasoning for my personal taste.  You'll also want to make sure they're whole 30 but it's mostly shredded coconut, pitted dates, walnuts/pistachios/cashews, I think some almond butter or something.  It is a basic recipe and easy to make in a food processor.

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If you usually go without fuel, I'd say do that. I have chronically low blood sugar so I usually eat every 6-8 mi during longer runs. I generally follow the rule that if it ain't broke I don't fix it, and I try to fuel during training as I would in the race (though this is probably more crucial for full marathons). Make sure you eat enough starches in the few days before if you're really shooting for that PR. I also have a half next weekend and will probably sub dates for my usual 1/2 clif bar. Good luck!

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I don't fuel for half marathon runs anymore.  I used to but after my first Whole30 a couple of years ago, I got used to going longer between feedings and I liked it.  Now it's just water until after the race.  If I raced in hot weather, I would probably do electrolytes as well but I avoid the heat at all costs so that hasn't come up in a few years. ;-)

 

I'm racing a half on Sunday - the plan is plenty of starches leading up to it (so thankful white potatoes are now allowed!) and no food during. 

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