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How to fuel your half marathon: The proper know-how

How to optimise your fueling during the half marathon

The optimal half marathon preparation 

Its no secret, that a half marathon should be well prepared. The training must be great, the conditions should be good and the raceday’s condition should be good as well. The fact that the diet and proper food must also be prepared, is often forgotten

You’ll gain valuable seconds by optimizing your fueling!

Nutrition during the preparation for the half marathon

It’s important to start looking at your nutrition as you prepare for the half marathon. This applies to the training sessions, but also to everyday life.

You should pay attention to a sufficient carbohydrate intake in everyday life. Try to include carbohydrates, proteins and fats in every meal and incorporate carbohydrate-rich snacks into your daily routine.

This way you improve your performance, as well as your mood and at the same time reduce the risk of overtraining. These effects can be expected especially with an individual carbohydrate supply, depending on training content and performance, of around 60% proportionate to the total energy metabolism. This is an amount of carbohydrate that can realistically be well achieved.

How you can make your everyday life more energetic, for example, by eating carbohydrate-rich snacks, we tell you HERE.

The right fueling during half marathon training

The fueling during the training should be adapted to the training stimulus to get the most out of the training.

Before training

Before the run, it is important to consume easily digestible and well-tolerated foods. On the other hand, you should avoid too much fat and protein.

A good pre-run snack might be bananas and dates or an oat porridge made with water. Please always try out whats best for you, especially for intensive training sessions. Well suited here of course our PORRIDGE BARS  that provide you with plenty of carbohydrates.

If you train in the afternoon, you can have rice with vegetables or pasta with sugo for lunch.

The purpose of this is to replenish your carbohydrate stores before your workout, so that you then have energy for your body to fall back on during your workout. This is especially important for intensive training and a corresponding training success.

During the training

Here it depends on whether a relaxed workout or a hard or competition-specific workout is on the schedule.  

Basically, the more intense the training session, the more carbohydrates you need.

Easy runs 

For easy runs over an hour, you should add 30-40g of carbs in the first hour and increase to about 60-80g from halfway through the session. Suitable for this purpose is our SLOW CARB . 

This provides you with slowly available carbohydrates from the carbohydrate source ISOMALTULOSIS This provides you with long-lasting energy, which is optimal for longer endurance units. 

For very long sessions, you can also add more carbohydrates in the last hour, for example with an additional GEL 40.

For easy sessions under an hour, you don’t need to add carbohydrates.

Hard trainings

For the hard sessions, the carbohydrate requirement is slightly higher. During these you should take in about 60g of carbohydrates per hour. Not only will this improve your workout performance, but you’ll also get your body used to such a high amount of carbohydrates.

If you try to consume this many carbohydrates for the first time during your half marathon, you will most likely feel sick.

For such training sessions is suitable our FAST CARB and our GELs.

The contained carbohydates in the  FAST CARB are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and are thus available to your body after a short time. In addition, the interspersed RASPBERRY POWDER provides you with plenty of antioxidants that protect your body from training stress.

Half marathon specific trainings 

You can use the training sessions at race pace to optimize your race nutrition. During such workouts you can consume up to 80g of carbohydrates per hour. 

For this you could use our POWER CARB together with our GELs. 

The POWER CARB contains a special mixture of different carbohydrates, which quickly pass into the blood and are thus available to the organism already after a short time. The high digestibility of our products allows you to use the POWER CARB to consume up to 80g of carbohydrates/hour.

Also our GELs allow you to absorb 40g of carbohydrates in a short time. These are especially practical for units where you have to train alone. It’s not always possible to take a bottle with you , but you can easily stick a gel behind your sportswear. 

After training

After your workout, it is important that you provide your body with nutrients as soon as possible. This is because the nutrients supplied are particularly well absorbed by your body in the first half hour after training.

For this reason, it is important that you provide your body with both carbohydrates and proteins. It has been proven several times in scientific studies that you significantly improve your regeneration with this simple trick. This is of course accompanied by better performance the following day, which adds up and ultimately leads to better overall performance.

We will tell you many more tips for regeneration HERE.

Optimal for this purpose is our RECOVERY SHAKE. This not only tastes delicious like cocoa, but also provides you with a good mix of carbohydrates and proteins.

To increase the amount of carbohydrates a bit, you could just mix it together with a banana or other fruit.

After particularly hard units you can also brab our RECOVERY 8 . This shake contains all essential amino acids and thus supports your muscles particularly well.

Carbo Loading

Many athletes swear by carbo-loading. Others, however, find it unhelpful. If Carbo-Loading is carried out with the necessary know-how, it can be very helpful.

How to master the art of carboloading, we explain to you HERE.

Again, of course, it’s important not to start experimenting just before the big day.

This is how your race-day nutrition should look like

Breakfast should be something that you have tried many times in training and that has worked well. Nothing new on race day!

The only important thing is that the breakfast contains plenty of carbohydrates that are well tolerated. Shortly before the start, you can still have a MANGO GEL  to fill the glycogen stores up to the top again.

The various carbohydrate sources in the mango gel ensure the best possible absorption of the 40g of carbohydrates. The energy is thus available after a short time and you can start the half marathon full of energy.

Then, once you’ve started, it’s important to take advantage of all the aid stations that are available – even the first one where you might not feel thirsty yet. Often the first stations are skipped, you should avoid that!

You should not consume huge amounts of fluids at once, but make sure you have a steady supply.

Of course, if you don’t want to rely on the aid stations, you can carry your own food. You can do this, for example, with a running vest that allows you to carry hydroflasks or a special bottle that you can hold in your hand – like our Marathon bottle. This also has the advantage that you have your own sports drinks with you. Because not every event allows you to deposit your own food at the stations. 

A suitable competition drink would be our POWER CARB – just remember to “train the gut” using this drink.

Try to take in about 60 to 80g of carbohydrates per hour in a half marathon race.

Should you do your half marathon in summer, you can rely on our POWER CARB HEAT . With its refreshing coconut water flavor and high mineral content, it is ideal for hot days and increased sweat loss.

Within the half marathon you should have only one sort of drink. Test in training what you tolerate best and then use only that one during the race.   

10km before the end you can use a gel again. Here you can use our MATCHA-GEL which will give you another caffeine kick for the last 10 kilometers.

How exactly caffeine works, you can read upHERE .

After the half marathon, it is of course important to provide your body with nutrients. So – as soon as possible – try to find a RECOVERY SHAKE or RECOVERY 8 . 

Professional athlete Thea Heim will tell you more helpful tips about preparing for a half marathon and having an additional full-time job. HERE.

Good luck!


Achten J, Halson SL, Moseley L, Rayson MP, Casey A, Jeukendrup AE. Higher dietary carbohydrate content during intensified running training results in better maintenance of performance and mood state. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2004 Apr;96(4):1331-40. 

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Robert Gorgos

Robert Gorgos

Robert is a authority when it comes to sports nutrition science. As a nutritionist, he coaches many well-known top athletes, including the professional cyclists from BORA – hansgrohe. At the same time, he is a competitive athlete himself. And: Robert has developed the sports nutrition of MoN Sports.

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