I've ran marathons, but next month I'm running my first half. Just curious on when everyone generally fuels with carbs (GU,blocks,etc) during their half? Do you just go by how you feel, or do you kinda have a specific mile or two in mind when you generally refuel? I obsess about this every time.....
A little of both. I pop a gel right before the race and about the 1/2 way point (100 cals. each). I have an extra in case I feel like I need it near the end. I also use Hammer Heed (about 150 cals. worth) sports drink instead of plain water. I don't take extra water or gatorade at water stops or I'll have to make a restroom stop. I'm probably a little heavy on calories but that's how I normally eat when not racing. I've only run 2, so my experience is very limited but I so far, so good. That said, everybody is different so you're probably better off basing more on your full marathon experience than my half.
I usually just drink the kool-ade (i.e. sports drink) that is available at the water stations.
I also pop one just before the race, and then have another about halfway. That kinda depends on where water is available - last time I ate a Gu Roctane around mile 6.7, but there was no water until mile 7. D'oh! Kinda gnarly to be running with a mouthful of engineered sweets!
I don't think you have to for a 1/2, but I do at most around the 7 mile mark. I do a small cup of cool-aid as Len stated at most water stops. I have never (so far) had the issues I get with marathons, I need to work on the correct fueling for them.
I consume an espresso flavored GU about every 50 min. during a marathon,and Powerade when offered, but since my goal for the half is 2 hours, I just wondered where that put my refueling/ I've only taken one GU on my long runs, but wondered about a second and where to put it. Told you I obsess!
At best you probably have only about 2,000 calories of carbs fuel on reserve. So in theory for 2 hours you should be okay. I would take 1 at 5 and 1 around 8.5 or 9 to give your body some time to absord the energy. Good luck.
One about 15-30 minutes or so before the race and then another around mile 5-6. I carry an extra just in case, but havent used it. By the time I realized that I could have used it, it was too late.
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I take half a gel about 15 minutes prior to the race,,,,,the other half
around the 6 mile mark and if I feel the need I always carry an extra
but rarely use it......
20 halfs and counting Most recent Feb 2011 Half PB 1:59:02 - Aug 8/10
3 Fulls PB 4:26:49 - May 8/11
I would not use a gel for a 1/2 marathon. I would have some jelly beans about 30 minutes before racing, but nothing else other than the water/gatorade on the course for me. Good luck.
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Marathon - 3:24:47 10/17/10 Columbus Marathon
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Wow, no fuel other than fluids? I commend you guys! geeze. I think I'm so worried about fizzing out, and it's probably a mindset by now to grab a gel an hour in, "just in case". It's either that, or maybe it takes me that long to work up courage to choke down the disgusting gel....why do I eat it then? because I currently do not want to sacrifice a long run by trying something new. The gel I eat now works for me, as in no stomach upset,etc. It's just the heinous taste, so I suffer though the minute of um...displeasure. A gel before the start...that's a thought, never tried that before, interesting. I'm usually well pumped on caffeine from my precious morning coffee, but a gel would probably be the better option of course. But I gotta have my coffee, and alot of it. I really appreciate the helpful responses, thanks!
I take a fuel belt on my half marathons to ensure the gatorade i have is going to be compatable with my stomach, i dont' take chances. I take a few gels with me on the run, typically at mile 7 or 8. I also take in all the water at the the water stations.
I have seen far too often many half marathoners falling apart around mile mile 10/11 because they are dehydrated or cramping really bad. Preparing before the race is just as important as during the race to ensure your hard work and effort will get you to the end.
If your event starts in the morning (most do), you only need to replenish glycogen stores burned during sleep. That is usually a couple hundred calories. Food should be taken 2-3 hours prior to start, which could put you at 4am. Alternatively, take a gel 10 minutes before start with some water. Take it easy on the coffee too far ahead of the race as it is a diuretic and you want to stay hydrated prior to start. Caffeine does not have the same effect while you are running however, For most events up to an hour, no fueling is necessary. If you are a competitive runner (1 -1.5 hrs for a half) you probably are good with sips of water at aid stations. For the rest of us, a gel after the first hour or use of a sports drink (I use HEED as well) will get you to 2+ hours. I usually take two hits of a gel packet a mile or two apart (or at consecutive aid stations with water), and then another about 1:45 -2 hours in (depending on how long I expect to be running). Remember you can't replace what you are burning as your body only can absorb 200-250 calories an hour and you are burning much more than that. Ran a half this past weekend with my wife and we finished under 2:30 (her PR) and that system worked for us.
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