September 01, 2015

As you know, I ran a half marathon this summer. I ran on it on August 2nd, and I started training on June 1. It's definitely my biggest running achievement so far. It's kind of like doing an internship if the half is the internship and the full marathon is the job. If you do a half marathon and know that's your limits - just stick to 10 milers, 5Ks, 10Ks, and halves. If you think to yourself "I could do that twice", then get ready to train for a full marathon. I had that thought at the end, so looks like I have my work cut out for me. 

Of course, I picked up some tips while I was in training to share with my fellow runners. I'd love to share them with you guys through a few posts. First, I'd like to share with you guys how I ate!

Half marathons are way different than 5Ks, not just in distance, but also in fueling. Instead of making sure you carb up the night before and have your energy before the race, you have to be on a hydration and nutrition plan. 

During training: Training for a half marathon can be 2-3 months long. Staying on a totally strict diet can drive anyone crazy for that long. Let yourself have your "cheat meals" and a few alcoholic beverages, if you drink, every once and a while. You WILL run it off. I alway say I'm  in a constant state of hunger, and that's because I'm a runner. You may feel a little ravenous, but that's because you're burning way more than calories than usual. One thing I learned in exercise nutrition class is that if you don't give yourself back the amino acids you lost in training, your performance will not be as good the next day. The golden rule with exercise is carbohydrates before the workout, protein after. 

Food on a training day (options):
Pre-run: Banana | Luna bar | Belvita | Peanut butter on whole wheat bread
Post-run ( big breakfast): Egg white scramble w veggies and 2 pieces of whole grain toast | greek yogurt with peanut butter on whole grain toast | Veggies, chicken, and quinoa or whole grain pasta | meat, veggies, and mozzarella on whole grain bread
Lunch/ snack: Veggie chips | grapes | apple | cottage cheese | 
dinner: Chicken, rice, quinoa or whole grain pasta, goat cheese, veggies | whole grain pizza crust with veggies and chicken | salmon and veggies
post-dinner snack: "nice cream" | frozen yogurt | veggie chips | boom chicka pop

The night before: CARB UP! This is your pasta party. Have a pasta dish with veggies and chicken or fish. Veggies are carbs, too! Bread is also good to have too!

The morning of: I personally had a bagel with cream cheese. Some people say dairy before a race is a no-go, but I'm always fine with it. If you want to spread peanut butter on your bagel, go for it! I had this about 3 hours before my race. I drank two bottles of water before my race, too. Hydration before is more important than during. A half hour before my race, I had some energy beans.

During: In my flipbelt , I kept a pack of energy jelly beans, and a pack of energy chews. They also had gatorade, water, and BOOM! energy gels at every water stop, which was every 2 miles. I had my first boost at 7 miles. I had an energy chew. Then, at 9 miles, I had some energy gel. Around mile 11, I had some more chews. These really helped me during the last four miles.

What are your favorite foods to fuel up with?

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