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CARRIENIGN SparkPoints: (99,853)
Fitness Minutes: (82,988)
Posts: 493
3/25/14 8:15 P

I do a PB&J on wheat bread (more carbs than white) before and a honey stinger (a small cookie for athletes that's made to supply carbs) at about mile 8 or 9. Without the mid-race snack, I start dragging pretty hard about mile 10. With this regimen, I was sustained just right throughout the race. Experiment with your long training runs. Also, check out Runner's World magazine or their website. Lots of good info there!

ZURICHMAN SparkPoints: (1,775)
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Posts: 363
3/25/14 8:12 P

Ok so I haven't run marathons in a long time but since they have hefty sign up fees. With those fees I would be expecting something like drinks and food during the race at pre determined points on the course. I know from the cycling aspect that we went to a race one time and we made it to the 1st water stop late and they were out of water. A major 1/2 marathon should have lots of food and water and I would be contacting them to see what they are having.

Good luck on your journey

MALAMI518 SparkPoints: (121,869)
Fitness Minutes: (93,174)
Posts: 2,474
3/25/14 8:03 P

Thanks for all the feedback. Yesterday I tried jellybeans. I don't think those are for me. The bag that I had them in was too difficult to open (though that may have been the two pairs of gloves that I was wearing) which slowed me down. Also, I just didn't want to do that much chewing while I was running. I ended up eating only 6 in the 12 miles that I ran. It was too much trouble.

Today I bought an applesauce-type pouch and a GU gel. I'll try one of those next week and see how my body reacts and whether I can deal with eating that while running.

SYDNEYAMI SparkPoints: (736)
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Posts: 5
3/25/14 11:40 A

In the nutrition class I'm taking we talked about the benefits of chocolate milk as a fuel for athletes. Have you tried it? The have been several studies where endurance has increased for those who drank chocolate milk as opposed to protein shakes or meal replacements. Also, light meals that are high in carbs, like pasta with tomatoes, are really good for athletes.
Sports drinks help too :)

Edited by: SYDNEYAMI at: 3/25/2014 (11:41)
RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
3/25/14 11:16 A

Since the race is only 13 miles, and you start to lag at mile 10, is it possible to have a friend, or family member give you food at that point? Is that not allowed? Why don't they have food stations, if it is necessary?

Other than that, I would just check with the race officials to find out how many fluid stations they have, and pre-plan how many cups of water you drink at each station. Even if you have to stop and guzzle 3 cups of water because they only have 2-3 stations, those few seconds are better than being dehydrated.

I don't run far enough to need to eat yet, but I do know that I hate carrying things when I run.

VORTEX33 SparkPoints: (10,114)
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Posts: 61
3/25/14 10:52 A

I take fuel with me during half marathons "just in case" but I am slow enough that Gatorade/Powerade on the course is enough for me. At most I have used one Gu around the 8 mile mark.

ROXIGIRL SparkPoints: (88,366)
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Posts: 2,406
3/24/14 5:36 A

I usually train early in the morning around 5 am so i don not eat with anything. I do carry my water bottle with me. On the day i have my usual breakfast and always take something with me - banana & cheese sandwich. I also have some energy gel/tablet with me which i take half way through the half marathon or when i feel i need extra bust. I wouldn't rely on water stations as once i was desperate for a drink and water station was good few miles away. I think that you should listen to your body and do what works for you.

ZURICHMAN SparkPoints: (1,775)
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3/23/14 10:56 P

It has been a few years since I have been a runner and there have been major improvements since then. What I use to do is go stash water out on the course at certain miles say during a 10-20 mile training run.

Like others have posted I never nailed the trick of drinking water out of a cup on the run. What I did then was just tape a shortened straw around my neck with say kite string that way when I came to the rest stops I could grab a cup and drink out of it on the run. Hint you have to tape the string in the middle of the straw.

If it's a major 1/2 marathon they should/might post what they are having at their rest stops or you could contact the organizers and then train with that. The last thing you want is to try something new on race day.

Hope that helps

Edited by: ZURICHMAN at: 3/23/2014 (23:05)
MLAN613 Posts: 18,619
3/23/14 9:40 A

I will just chime in and say you have gotten great suggestions and you should experiment with what works for you. Some people like the gels, others candy or the applesauce pouches. I'd say figure out what works and maybe try and run in areas with restrooms close in the event something you try disagrees with you.

MALAMI518 SparkPoints: (121,869)
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3/19/14 4:29 P

Thanks for all the input! I think I like the idea of the jelly beans and will give those a try on my next long run to see if my body likes them, too. I'll go out and look at hydration belts to see what I think.

So far, the longest race that I've done is a 13K. There was one water stop which was plenty for me, but it was the beginning of November and not warm. As much as I've hated the cold this winter, I think I'm going to need to adjust my routine once it gets warmer. I haven't really run in the heat yet.

JREIDY SparkPoints: (52,511)
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3/19/14 4:14 P

Where was that picture taken? I'm a ski patroller, and I carry that stuff with me on the slopes.

JREIDY SparkPoints: (52,511)
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Posts: 284
3/19/14 4:12 P

Good grief! That's six or seven shots of glucose in two hours! Besides driving your pancreas into overdrive, it's a wonder you don't have to stop at every rest room along the course.

One before the race and then one per hour is more than enough.

MNCYCLIST SparkPoints: (137,268)
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3/19/14 3:42 P

I eat a Clif or Powerbar or Gu gel every two miles and a cup of water at each station. This has always done me well. During training, I usually just hit the gels and don't worry about the water and that's worked well, too, but on a warmer day I will stash some water here and there on teh course.

NANLEYKW SparkPoints: (76,244)
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3/19/14 3:25 P

I wear a hydration belt, because as Zorbs said, I like to drink when *I* want to drink, not when I happen upon an aid station. Also, no matter how much I practice "the pinch," I just can't drink from a cup while I run without choking, so the bottles on the belt work better for me.

I also take a Gu at 8 miles, whether it's a race or just a long run. I've run further than that without it and not necessarily noticed any ill effects, but I'd rather ward off any depletion of resources before it actually happens, especially in a race.

-CORAL- SparkPoints: (40,297)
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3/19/14 1:58 P

I bring Gu in my pockets or just take gu from the water/fuel stations. I just use the water at the water stations. I've only done relatively cold-weather half marathons though. If I was going to do one in warmer weather, I would carry water in a fuel belt. I also like to have one of those 5-hour energy things about halfway through.

3/19/14 1:20 P

I second what MOTIVATED@LAST says. In my experience, hydration is more critical than fueling during a half-marathon.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,443
3/19/14 9:03 A

The body has about 2000 calories in usable reserves, and you probably burn 130-150 calories per mile of running. Extra fuel is almost certainly required for a marathon, but not required for a 10K.

A half marathon however is the kind of distance where you could be running down, but not necessarily exhausting your reserves. It may not always be necessary, but it is probaby a wise move to refuel on the way to ensure you have enough gas left in the tank to finish strong. The simplest way would be say, 4 oz of jelly beans or the like - about 400-500 calories worth. Consume them throughout the half, rather than leaving refueling to close to the end.


ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (194,454)
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3/19/14 8:56 A

I carry water for races because I like to drink on MY terms, not when the water stations are.

MALAMI518 SparkPoints: (121,869)
Fitness Minutes: (93,174)
Posts: 2,474
3/19/14 8:33 A

I have signed up for my first half marathon in May, and I need to start experimenting with fuel on my longer runs. I have run just over 13 miles a few times this winter. I haven't wanted to carry anything with me (other than my phone and keys), so I haven't taken water or any kind of food with me. I usually eat a regular breakfast about 7:45 am and then an apple about 15 minutes before I run between noon and 1:00 pm. So far, I've managed fine. I do notice a drop-off in energy around the 10-12 mile marks, but that could just be the distance. I haven't been running all that long, and I'm really slow.

My race will be earlier in the morning, so I need to start practicing more under those conditions, and I want to experiment a bit with food/water. I welcome any suggestions, though I know that I will need to find what works best for me because everyone is different.

Is it ok not to use any kind of fuel during a half marathon? Or do you have any recommendations of things for me to test out? Gatorade makes me queasy during the best of times, so I know that I'll want to avoid that. Also, I'll probably need to add water as it gets warmer outside. Do you have any way that you like to carry water? How about during the race itself? Do you carry water or are the water stops good enough?

Thanks for any information that you want to share! I am excited and nervous, and I know that May will be here before I know it.

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