Advice needed for fueling a Half Marathon?

I am doing a half marathon (walking) next weekend and I am looking for some advice on how to manage my nutrtion
for the event.
The walk doesn't start until 11.30pm so depending how long it takes me to actually cross the start line I'll be finishing around 3.30 - 4am based on my training time of 3hours 20 minutes.
my HRM put my calorie burn at 14-1500 calories.

I don't like peanut butter and I am allergic to bannas.

I was going to take some dried fruit and maybe some other nuts.

But do I go for a big breakfast or a bigger lunch or bigger breakfast the day after as it crosses two days?

should I split the exercise calories across the two days in my diary as its going look very odd.

thanks for any suggestions


  • flausa
    flausa Posts: 534 Member
    You should probably start fueling the day before, not the day of the half. It's more important that your body has sufficient fuel for the walk to help you complete than it is for worrying about how your diary looks. Pasta up the day before, and have good sensible meals the day of the walk. I'd also advise having a nice meal in the early evening and not just waiting until the late evening meal that you'll be served (which if it was like ours, was not particularly nice). This really is one time not to worry about the calorie count per se, but the quality of what you are eating and having a mixture of quick and slow release. You might want to have some sort of sugary jelly sweets with you while you are walking for an energy burst. Gummy bears were really helpful at mile 10 at 2:30 in the morning!
  • rebeccalippett
    rebeccalippett Posts: 21 Member
    Hi Tiggermummy!

    First of all, congratulations on attempting a half marathon! It's no mean feat, even for the walkers and I would therefore give the same advice to someone who was running it will take you longer to walk it than the runners, so you will still need to make sure your body is adequately fuelled for the task ahead.

    Firstly, don't train for the couple of days prior to the marathon. Your muscles will need as much energy as possible and if you start off with tired achey muscles and hurty feet you won't get very far! So rest up. I would suggest you eat a carbohydrate heavy meal the night before - wholemeal pasta is good - this will allow your body to store lots glycogen to your muscles. If you are racing at 11.30 then I wouldn't suggest eating anything after 9.30am. Don't have a big heavy breakfast that will sit in your stomach - have a light breakfast that will give you lots of energy. Something like porridge is good as it gives slow release energy for hours after you've eaten.

    The dried fruit and nuts sound good to snack on on your way round. You can also buy energy drinks and energy bars from sports shops that you can keep on you to munch on the way round - or a choccy bar is good. It will give you the instant energy kick that you need when you start to flag.

    When you get home from the race eat something carby to restore glycogen levels in the muscles. A big brown bread sandwich with lots of protein such as ham or chicken and salad in it would be a good shout.

    Lastly, and most importantly, have someone on hand to run you a bath and rub your feet!

    Good luck!
  • Some ppl suggest that you start stocking up your glycogen stores with complex carbs a few days before the event, not just the night before. You can do some sort of whole grain pasta or brown rice. If it were me, I would eat a large breakfast and then a normal to large lunch the day of. For the Diary if it makes you feel more comfortable to split the calories then do it.... With the amount that you'll be burning though I would not worry about the Diary for the day of or the day after the race.
    Personally, the morning of a race about an hour before I head to the event(so 1.5hrs before start time) - I always have a banana (in your case skip the banana obviously) and either whole wheat oatmeal (which I make from the quaker rolled oats with dried cranberries, a little splenda, milk, and cinnamon) or some whole wheat waffles(important to get whole wheat because you don't want refined or simple carbs that break down easily like white bread before the race) with peanut butter (try almond or hazelnut butter if you don't like PB). Whatever you choose to eat I would try it out first to make sure it's not going to give you stomach issues on the go. I also use those Gatoraide Primer packs just before a race if it's a long one. During I pack some GU or Powerbar Gel - Cliffbar makes a gel as well or shot blocks. I usually calculate one gel pack or three shot blocks for every hour of the race.
  • rebeccalippett
    rebeccalippett Posts: 21 Member
    Sorry! Just realised, the race starts at 11.30 PM!! Wowzer! Good luck with that! Sorry - my advice was geared towards an 11.30 AM start!! Doh!

    So yes, as the others have said, eat plenty that day... start off big and taper your meals so they get lighter as the day goes on.

    Good luck!