What To Eat Before a Half Marathon?

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What To Eat Before a Half Marathon?

Running a half marathon is a challenging feat. It requires hours of training, mental preparation, and, most importantly, fuel! What you eat before the race can significantly impact your performance. Eating the right foods will give you the energy to push through those last few miles and reach your goal.

Here are some tips for what to eat before a half marathon. 

Carb Loading For Maximum Energy 

In the days leading up to your race, it’s important to make sure you get enough carbohydrates in your diet. Carbs are converted into glucose which provides energy for your muscles during exercise.

Complex carbs like whole grains and starchy veggies like potatoes and squash provide sustained energy throughout the long run without causing an energy crash. Try not to eat too many simple carbs like white bread and sugary treats, as these can cause energy spikes that can be followed by crashes later in the race.  

Protein For Endurance 

Protein is an important part of any runner’s diet as it helps maintain muscle strength and endurance during the long run. Lean proteins like chicken, fish, eggs, and nuts should all be included in your pre-race meal plan. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, tofu or tempeh are excellent sources of protein that don’t contain any animal products. 

Hydration is Key  

Running a half marathon will take its toll on your body, so staying hydrated is key. Make sure you drink plenty of water leading to the race so your body has enough fluids for the big day.

Avoid drinking anything with caffeine before running, as this could cause dehydration and upset stomachs if consumed too close to the start of the race. Consider adding some electrolyte drinks as well – these will help replenish any minerals lost during sweating. 

When To Eat Before Your Race

It’s important to start your pre-race nutrition plan several days before your race day. You should aim to eat a balanced diet with plenty of carbohydrates, protein, fruits, and vegetables. Avoid eating new or unfamiliar foods during this time; stick to foods you know won’t upset your stomach so that you don’t have any issues during the race itself.

On the day of the race, make sure you give yourself enough time for digestion. Don’t eat anything within two hours of starting your run; ideally, try not to eat anything within four hours if possible.


Eating healthy meals full of complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and plenty of fluids should provide sufficient fuel for running a half marathon successfully. Stick with familiar foods that don’t upset your stomach, and make sure you carb load in the days leading up to the race for maximum energy output.