With the Plymouth half marathon only a few weeks away, and numerous Morgan’s gym members running, what better topic to tackle than that of fueling up for the big race!
Whilst the nutrition nerds are busy planning ahead with their carb-loading and pre-race breakfast, what can those of us who are running for charity or just for fun do?
Carbs at the ready
Although carb-loading is normally focused upon when running a full marathon, as it really comes into play when out ponding the road for more than 90 minutes, its realistic to say that most of us wont complete a half marathon in under that time.
The good thing with carb-loading for a 13.1 miler is that it doesn’t need to be as intense as for a full marathon. You can carb-load in the days prior to the race. We’d suggest you aim to start two to three days before a half marathon. You don’t need to increase your calories, just make sure the majority of those calories come from carbs, especially at lunch and dinner the day before race day.
The day before race day, have the main meal at midday and a smaller meal for dinner so that you have plenty of time to digest it.
Your pre-race breakfast is also very important. You want to be neither empty nor full. For great advice on how to fuel up before the race go here
Mid Race Tips
The last thing you want to do is struggle through the final miles on empty. As you might have found in training, after 75 minutes you’ll have depleted your body’s glycogen stores, with purely water and sports drinks not having an impact. Consuming carbs mid-race can help your blood sugar levels, so you don’t crash and burn.
- Fuel before you need too – Don’t allow your body to get to the stage where you feel like crap, before taking additional carbs. Your muscles wont enjoy playing catch-up and you wont be able to bounce back and finish the run feeling strong. You’ll want to start fueling around the hour mark with carb energy chews, gels or drink.
- Find the fuel for you – With so many products on the market, make sure you try and find something that you like well before race day. Flavours and tastes will be different from each supplier. Why not make a visit to your local running store and seek some guidance and advice.
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