What To Eat Before Half Marathon – What Carbs Are Best?

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Are you going to attend the very first half marathon in your life? And you have no idea what to eat before this half marathon. Then you’re in the right place because I’ll discuss everything you should do before race day. What to eat, what to avoid, I will discuss everything here.

There are numerous questions in your mind right now. I’ll answer all of them here;

How many carbs should I eat before a half marathon?

Running a half marathon or marathon is a big deal. You need to fuel your body to complete this event efficiently. Before running a half marathon, runners have to consider whether the carb intake is accurate or not.

Minimum 8 to 12 grams of carbohydrate per kg of your body weight or 3.6 to 5.5 grams per pound of body weight is needed before any significant half marathon or marathon. In addition, it will get your body prepared for the upcoming long-distance race.

When should I use gels for a half marathon?

Always carry your energy gel with you. A good practice is to have energy gel within 45 to 60 minutes after starting your race. A map is provided before the half marathon race. In the map, all the hydration point is located.

If you don’t feel comfortable carrying water, memorize those hydration points. And try to have your energy gel before the hydration point. That way, the water from the hydration point will be able to help you digest that energy gel.

what to eat before half marathon

What should I do the morning of a half marathon?

The race day morning is crucial. It would help if you woke at least two or three hours before your race. But before that, you need a good night’s sleep. Many runners struggle with sleep the night before race day. While it is entirely normal, you still need to stay calm and sleep early.

Bananas are considered the best friend of a runner so that you can grab one. Then, you can have your granola bars. Try to avoid foods rich in fiber so that you don’t face the issue of bowel movement.

Should you eat breakfast before a half marathon?

Yes, you should have some breakfast. Going to a race empty stomach is purely a suicide attempt. Make sure you maintain a low intake of carbs. Banana granola bars can help you do that. While you can go to a marathon with an empty stomach, it will be very uncomfortable for you to finish. So I advise you not to take that path.

what to eat before half marathon

Should I run the day before my race?

It depends on your taper plan. But it can be a good practice to have a small run before your race day. As your muscles will get loosen and be prepared for the upcoming day. You can easily do some jogging or an easy run. You are getting your legs shaken up. But it should never be at that level that your muscles get sore, and you feel tired on the actual race day. So, keep that in mind.

Do I need to eat 500 calories before a half marathon?

Before a half marathon, one should have up to 500 calories, and in that, at least 60 grams should be carbohydrate. Sixty grams can go up to 100 grams. So even if you don’t reach 500 calories, make sure you take at least 300 calories.

The night before the big race

Having a good sleep is mandatory for a good race. Most runners cant sleep. I’m not different as well. Whenever I try to take part in any significant event, whether it’s 10k, half marathon, or full marathon, I can’t close my eyes. The fear I have in myself is that I won’t wake up in the morning, and I’ll miss the race.

This fear is present in almost all runners who run to enjoy. My suggestion is to try to sleep as early as possible so that you can wake up at least 2 to 3 hours before the race day.

Consumption of water

When you’re doing a half marathon or marathon, you’ll sweat a lot. That’s why you need to make sure that you keep hydrated. On the racing ground, you can find many hydration points that you can use. A general theory is having half of your body weight in oz. Then, depending on how much you weigh, you can measure this.

what to eat before half marathon
Drinking Water

For a 150-pound runner, you need to have 75 oz of water, For a 180-pound runner, you need to have 90 oz of water, For a 225-pound runner, you need to have 112.5 oz of water.

Try to stay hydrated the day before your half marathon. And stop taking water 30 minutes to 1 hour before your race to use the facility. Then, when the race starts, you can have water from different hydration points, but don’t drink too much at that time. Just some sips, maybe. Because if you drink too much, you won’t be able to run smoothly. You’ll feel heavy inside.

Advantage of carbohydrates

what to eat before half marathon

When you’re on the half marathon ground, you need to have the energy to finish that race. Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy. Carbohydrates fuel your heart muscle, brain, kidney. Carbohydrates can be stored in your muscles, and during the race, your body can use this to fuel you. Some popular carbohydrates foods are oatmeal, brown rice, sweet potatoes, peas, different beans, etc.


Now that you know all these, I hope this helps you get prepared for your half marathon a bit more. A half marathon is a big event, and one requires excellent stamina and endurance to finish this. While all these things matter, you have to have a strong mindset. Only then you’ll be able to complete the race without any injury.

I am wishing you the best of luck with your half marathon. If you have any questions, ask in the comment section, and I’ll answer that as soon as I can. This website is all about helping you.

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