First 1/2 Marathon... what to eat....

I am running my first 1/2 marathon on June 1st... I've only ever ran one race before this and it was a 5K, once, like 15 years ago... so it's kind of a big deal to me and I really want to do it in a fairly good time. I am now up to about 10-12 miles for my long run on the weekends and finding myself having to really talk myself into continuing on once I get to about mile 9 because I start feeling fairly worn down and energyless. Is this normal???
I'd like a little boost if I can. My mom says she takes GU. I tried a Clif strawberry+caffeine gel shot today and only ran 5 miles and was sick the ENTIRE time! I don't know how different that is from GU but, I am not sure if I can talk myself into trying anything like it again. At this point, I eat a banana before I run and that seems to be the only thing that I dare to eat. I often find myself getting a crampy stomach off and on through my runs.... so maybe I have a sensitive stomach, maybe that's normal??

Just curious, what do you runners out there eat/drink before your long runs ? Any advice to me???

Replies

  • ValerieMomof2
    ValerieMomof2 Posts: 530 Member
    I also ran into problems around mile 9 with fatigue and just wanting to be stop so I tried GU as well and it worked wonders for me. I took it around mile 6 and had an initial stomach upset but then did fine. You may want to experiment with different flavors or brands and see. As far as what to eat or do, on race day, simply do what you always have. This is not the day to experiment with anything . I personally can't eat or drink before a run. I ate a half bagel at 4:30 in the AM before my 1/2 and that was only so I could take ibuprofen. I focused more the few days before eating well and NOT eating at a deficit so that I had plenty of fuel!
    Good luck with your training!
  • amann1976
    amann1976 Posts: 742 Member
    pasta pasta and more pasta
  • ContraryMaryMary
    ContraryMaryMary Posts: 1,639 Member
    Oddly enough, you have to train for your racing supplements too. Every training race I do over 10 miles I'll take a Leppin squeezy, two if the run is longer. Basically, one every 40 minutes. Try a few different types, some can give you a tummy ache, especially if you're not used to them. Always follow up with a mouthful or two of water as it'll be easier on your tummy and better for your teeth. The will make a big difference to your performance on race day, and will help your body recover faster from long runs.
  • redredy9
    redredy9 Posts: 706 Member
    You should never do something on race day that you haven't taken during training so if you decide to try gu - then make sure you try it on a long run BEFORE your half.

    I personally like shot BLOKS - they are gummies and taste better (to me at least) than gu which I have a hard time forcing down.
  • debraran1
    debraran1 Posts: 520 Member
    When I did a few in the past, I had pasta the night before, a banana or bagel in the am and then had maybe a gel or snack cliff type bar toward the second half. Some people don't eat at all, you have to experiment...drinking is important though.
  • Deedsie
    Deedsie Posts: 348 Member
    I found that the caffeine was really upsetting my stomach while running which is crazy because it doesn't bother me at all when no running. I have swished gatorade and spit it out (supposedly the same benefit as swallowing) and I like honey stingers and jelly belly jelly beans for running.

    Try a few different things and fuel around mile 6-8. Also, always drink water after fueling.
  • misssiri
    misssiri Posts: 335 Member
    You need to practice your fuel in your training runs. GUs are pretty gross but they do the trick. I had two in my first half. The other thing you can do is consider eating food, like pack orange slices or dates with peanut butter stuffed in them. Something with not a lot of chewing. I've heard from another running friend he only does packets of honey. I am going to try that on my next long run.
  • alli_baba
    alli_baba Posts: 232 Member
    I found that the caffeine was really upsetting my stomach while running which is crazy because it doesn't bother me at all when no running. I have swished gatorade and spit it out (supposedly the same benefit as swallowing) and I like honey stingers and jelly belly jelly beans for running.

    Try a few different things and fuel around mile 6-8. Also, always drink water after fueling.

    I like honey stinger chews, too (favorite is pink lemonade). They are the only thing that I have found that don't give me an upset stomach. I think you have to experiment to find what is right for you.
  • DennyHodge
    DennyHodge Posts: 56 Member
    Figure it out now during your long runs. Pasta leading up does nothing for me, I prefer pizza. As far as morning of the run, something light, maybe a bagel (plain), or a banana (postassium).

    The during the run refueling is all dependent on gastro. So many people have issues with different gels and things like that. Whatever you go with, take it about 45 minutes into the run. Don't wait until mile 9 where it's too late and you are crashing due to glycogen depletion. You have to get it in prior to that. 45 minutes should work good for you.

    Fluids are huge too. At the aid stations the cups are usually small, and running while drinking you will be lucky to get 2 or 3 ounces down. It's better to actually slow down or stop and make sure you get as much hydration (water or gatorade) as possible.
  • RunnerElizabeth
    RunnerElizabeth Posts: 1,091 Member
    I found that the caffeine was really upsetting my stomach while running which is crazy because it doesn't bother me at all when no running. I have swished gatorade and spit it out (supposedly the same benefit as swallowing) and I like honey stingers and jelly belly jelly beans for running.

    Try a few different things and fuel around mile 6-8. Also, always drink water after fueling.

    I like honey stinger chews, too (favorite is pink lemonade). They are the only thing that I have found that don't give me an upset stomach. I think you have to experiment to find what is right for you.

    I totally agree with this. Pink lemonade honey stinger is the best. I generally have it at mile 6 on my long runs. As far as eating the night before your race, I have been eating the same before a half as I would before a long run. Stick with what works.
  • RonitaL89
    RonitaL89 Posts: 4 Member
    If you have pasta I would recommend the night before the race, and don't eat more than you normally would. I have really liked Peanut butter and honey on toast or a little greek yogurt and 1/2 banana about an hr before the race, and then gu or shot blok just before the race and a little about an hour into the race. I never eat the full thing at once though, just a bite of the shot blok or jelly beans are great, too. I agree with the others on here, experiment with fuel during your training and don't have anything that you haven't tried and liked before. (I did that once when someone recommended something that came in the swag bag, bad idea)
  • MamaRandall
    MamaRandall Posts: 243 Member
    Thank you everyone for all your help!!!! Will be trying these!