How to Eat To Run a Half Marathon

Running a half marathon is no joke, it requires a physical and mental state prepared for it, and nutrition is also an essential part if you want your body to be as well prepared and nourished as possible.

When we talk about a half marathon we talk about running a rounded distance of 21 kilometers (21,097km.). The people who show up to cover that distance is because they have been training previously and want to face this type of challenge.

It is a physical activity that requires a lot of effort, so burning calories is important, which is why people who train and prepare to run a half marathon are careful with their diet, controlling the nutrients and amounts they eat, if no, they would lose weight and muscle mass in the process.

Next we are going to give you the steps on how to eat to run a half marathon, so that you prepare your body both inside and out, and successfully achieve your goal.

The diet

To begin with, keep in mind that it is an exercise that requires a lot of effort and consumes a lot of calories, so the fundamental basis of the diet will be to increase the amount of calories consumed, but always in a healthy way and following precise guidelines, and of course intelligently.

The diet that we follow to prepare to run a half marathon should be between 2,500 and 2,900 calories (depending on gender, complexion, etc.) of which we will need:
between 375 and 475 grams of carbohydrates, between 60 and 85 grams of fat, and between 75 and 90 grams of protein.

The intake of five meals a day for a balanced diet is also maintained when we talk about eating to run a half marathon. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be the abundant meals with the highest calorie intake, and mid-morning and snacks will be the mini-meals that will complete the necessary nutrients, and that will also prevent us from reaching the main meal with a hunger. Voracious.


To perform the physical effort required to run a half marathon, it will be necessary to increase the amount of fuel in our body, and this is achieved by increasing the intake of complex carbohydrates, with foods such as rice, oats, pasta, corn, legumes (lentils, beans, chickpeas, etc.), whole grains, whole wheat bread, or wheat bran. These will be the nutrients responsible for providing our body with the energy it needs. Taking into account their function, it is best to eat these foods for breakfast, mid-morning and lunch. However, you could have some cereal at dinner.

Proteins are responsible for repairing and building structures in our body, so they are important in the diet, but you must bear in mind especially in this case that they must consist of proteins of vegetable origin or that they come from lean meats (low in saturated fats). ) such as chicken or turkey.

Saturated fats are highly restricted. Completely avoid industrial pastries and of course fatty foods or foods cooked with a lot of oil or fried. Always choose vegetable-based fats, such as olive oil, as well as oily fish such as salmon, sardines or tuna. In addition, the omega 3 of these fish prevents your defenses from lowering due to constant effort. And fruits like avocado.

Calcium will also be necessary in your diet, since it is responsible for preventing bone deterioration caused by the effort and wear and tear that training and running entail. This way you will strengthen your bones. Take about 1500mg/day of calcium. For example, drinking skimmed milk and yogurts, as well as fresh cheeses. (In this way you also control the contribution of fats).

Last minute tips

The last days (two or three days) before the race you should increase your carbohydrate intake. Also remember that the day you will run the half marathon, your last meal should be up to three hours before the race, so that your body has time to synthesize the nutrients and you can manage to endure the entire route. You should not overdo the food; it is enough that you are satisfied. Although, during these hours you could take some fruit with a lot of sugar, such as bananas, which will also give you energy or will be part of your energy reserves?

During the race, you will need to stay hydrated. If not, it will lower your performance and you may not be able to reach the goal. Drink a lot of water, but if you see that you are running out of energy, you may prefer to drink an energy drink or one with sugar. In addition, while you train, you also need to maintain a good level of hydration, especially by drinking at least one and a half liters of water a day.

Remember that each person is a world, so as you follow the diet you will realize which foods help you improve your performance and which ones do not, so pay attention so that you benefit from them.

In short, the keys to fueling for a half marathon are to follow a smart diet of increasing carbohydrates, reducing fat and moderate protein intake. So now you can start preparing to run your half marathon.

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