NUTRITIONAL STRATEGIES FOR RUNNING A HALF MARATHON

NUTRITIONAL STRATEGIES FOR RUNNING A HALF MARATHON

Running a half marathon is no easy feat!
It requires strength, determination and a whole lot of high quality fuel. Thankfully, we’re on hand to help with top nutritional strategies you should implement around running a half marathon.
Nutritional Strategies for Running a Half Marathon | Fresh Fitness Food Blog

1. In the lead-up. There are numerous considerations for designing a nutritional protocol. The optimal macronutrient distribution will vary based on the volume of training, this is why there is no ‘one size fits all’ but as a rule of thumb, for endurance training the individual should aim to get 45-65 percent of daily calories from carbohydrate, 15-20 percent from protein and 20-35 percent from fat

2. Your pre-race meal. Try to ensure you have meal a good three hours before an event to give your body time to digest. Slow release (low GI) carbs are the best nourishment for your body a few hours before a race, foods such as wholegrain rice and pasta are good options. Avoid fatty foods that will lie in your stomach, and anything that you’re not used to, this is important to avoid gastrointestinal stress and discomfort.

3. Perfect your pre-training/race snacks. Need a snack right before go-time? Try to focus on smaller carbohydrate snacks that have a reasonably high glycaemic index score (GI). A food’s GI measure is relative to how quickly it is digested and broken down into glucose, so high-GI foods are absorbed faster and less strain is placed on the gut during digestion.

4. Mid-race fuel. As a general rule, you will need between 30-60g of carbs per hour, the easiest way to get this is through an energy gel or bar. Make sure to test this out in training to ensure no adverse effects to the particular brand you will use on race day.

5. After it’s all over. In the days following your half marathon, it is important to eat well, as this can have a direct effect on your body’s ability to recover and the speed at which it does so. Your nutrition strategy should be similar to pre-race with the biggest difference being portion sizes- without all the training, your caloric requirements will decrease. Adequate carbs will still be required to replenish glycogen and quality proteins to aid in muscle repair, as well as this a diet high in micronutrients (lots of veg and fruit) will boost antioxidants, as an event such as this can be taxing on immune system.