How should you prepare for a half marathon?  

Running a half marathon not only requires proper training but also a proper diet. In order to run a good time for this event, runners must prepare their bodies so that they are at their peak on the day of the race. Consequently, a range of different strategies is required: changes to training, recovery and diet.

The dietary strategy for a half marathon must fulfil the runners' nutritional needs without imposing restrictions or disrupting the runners' digestion.


Preparing for your half marathon 

This phase prepares your body for a half marathon. You must monitor any fluctuation in weight, requiring a correction in the energy you expend as a result of the increase in training and the daily intake of calories. Having a balanced diet makes it easier to manage energy intake and thereby avoid changes in weight.


5 – 6 weeks before the half marathon

Be sure to eat a balanced diet and lead a healthy lifestyle.

- Do not skip a meal and eat at regular times;

- Meat, fish, eggs: 1 to 2 times a day for protein;

- Carbohydrates: at each meal to provide energy;

- Dairy products:  2 to 3 times a day to provide protein and calcium;

- Fruit and vegetables: 5 a day to provide water, vitamins and fibre;

- Fat: preferably eat vegetable-based fat while reducing the overall intake of fat;

- Sugar: reduce your consumption of sugar;

- Naturally, there is no restriction on how much water you drink.


D-7: final week

- Maintain a balanced diet;

- Ramp up the quantity of carbs in order to increase your energy reserves;

- Increase your intake of water in order to top up your water reserves;

- Reduce the quantity of fatty meat.


D-3 and D-2: final days

- Increase the carb intake once again with the help of some maltodextrin: 1 to 2 bottles a day;

- Eat less fruit and raw vegetables because the high fibre content can speed up digestion.



D-1: The day before the half marathon 

- Maintain a carb-rich diet

- Take 2 shakes of  maltodextrin

- Continue to drink throughout the day.

- Reduce your intake of raw vegetables if you have sensitive bowels



The day of the race 

The final meal must be effective, high in carbs and easy to digest (low fibre and fat content). Ideally, it must be taken 3 hours before the start in order to ensure good digestion.

Its main objective is to maximise your energy reserves.

Eat an Ultracake 3 hours before the start in order to take on a considerable amount of energy without disrupting your digestion.


During the race: 


Do not get dehydrated

Avoid hypoglycaemia and do not use up all your energy reserves

Compensate for losses in minerals and vitamins

Avoid digestive problems.


How does it work?

Most people who run half marathons start without a water bottle although it is recommended to drink regularly from the start of the race onwards!" In any case, do not wait to feel thirsty before drinking. This is where the supply points play an important role as they provide fresh water. Don't miss them out!

Several solutions for avoiding hypoglycaemia:

-       Take sports drinks (although you need to carry a bottle with you during the race),

-       Eat Energy gels: easy to consume and practical to carry. They must be consumed with water. Ideally, they should be taken before each supply point and for the final ¼ of an hour of racing.

-        Eat Ultra bars: Chewing can be difficult when racing, so take some products that are easy to chew.




- Replace the water you have lost;

- Reconstitute energy reserves.

- Replace lost minerals and vitamins

- Repair damaged muscle fibre.


How does it work?

As soon as you reach the finish line, you must drink water to compensate for the water you have lost, take on carbs to restore your energy reserves, take sodium to compensate for the sodium lost by sweating and take protein to repair your muscles. These elements can be provided in just the right proportions in the After drink.


To prevent digestive problems, you need to test the products that you will use during the race when you train. Indeed, the choice of the type of food you eat during a marathon is very personal.

Half marathon pack:

- Maltodextrin

- Ultra cake

- Energy gel

- After drink



Marie Fauchille