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7822 Views 16 Replies Latest reply: Feb 26, 2011 3:20 PM by Rick Stiles 1 2 Previous Next
WIrunningmom Rookie 5 posts since
Aug 4, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Feb 14, 2011 6:49 AM

Fairly new runner....thinking about half marathon

I still consider myself a newbie runner, even though I have been running for a little over a year now.  I started barely being able to run 1/4 of a mile and yesterday ran just over 11 miles.   I usually averaged about 4-6 miles on a run with a few 8-9 mile runs scattered in there. I run 4-6 days a week.   I have never had any issues even following my 8-9 mile runs.  Yesterday the weather really helped to motivate me and I didn't have any plans other than to run....I went out hoping maybe I could hit 10 miles and ended up doing 11.  My question is eating with these longer runs.  When I first got home, I felt good, but within an hour or so I felt weak and nauseaus.  Eating helped some, but I had never experienced this before.  What should I be eating before or after to a void this??  I usually run in the a.m. on an empty or almost empty stomach and have no issues.  Sometimes I run later in the day, but again average 5-6 miles so have never had any issues.   But yesterday, the weather was supposed to be in the upper 40's (live in WI and it has been below 0 for several weeks) and I really wanted to run in the sunshine and the heatwave so I waited till afternoon.   I am thinking about doing a half marathon, but need to know how I should be eating leading up to, right before and after these longer mileage runs so I don't feel so horrible after.



Rubick Run 5k 8/7/10  29:47

Running of the Beef 5k  8/21/10  28:56

Running Scared 5k   10/23/10   29:13

Turkey Trot 5 mi  11/25/10   49:56

  • NancyLFreeman Legend 243 posts since
    Feb 17, 2010

    Before a long run I will always have a good-sized (but not heavy) breakfast with some carbs in it.  Weatbix with milk and fruit cocktail on top is my standby.  YMMV, but I also like to have some caffeine, like a GU or a brownie (drinking coffee before a run gives me stomach cramps).  As far as eating during the run, trail mix works pretty well for me, and so do those electrolyte blocks.  Small portions, you don't want to be scarfing down cheeseburgers while running!


    If you're considering a half, you might want to drop by the 1/2 Marathon group:



    visit me at RunningUpThatHill, my blog on Wordpress!

    6/3/12 Maraton Rapa Nui 5:00:49 (PR)

    10/16/11 Istanbul Eurasia Marathon 5:10:25

    2/20/11 Lost Dutchman Marathon 5:29:50
    2/19/12 Lost Dutchman HM 2:10:08 (PR)
    11/22/12 Mesa Turkey Trot 10K 59:48 (PR)
    4/14/12 Phoenix Firefly 5K 28:41 (PR)
    12/2/12 Fiesta Bowl HM
    12/8/12 PHX Hot Chocolate 5K
    6/23/13 Bay of Fundy Marathon
    2/14 Tokyo Marathon
    11/14 Antarctic Ice Marathon
  • Art Davis Pro 112 posts since
    Jan 30, 2008

    I started running in 2007 and I am currently training for my 4th full marathon, it sounds like to me you are definetly ready for a half. Here are some suggestions:


    The night before a long run eat complex carbs (pasta)

    Hyrdrate before, during and after the run - cannot emphasize this enough

    eat a healthy breakfast, also eat a healthy snack after you run - this can help.


    I have started a blog to document my journey from an overweight, out of shape couch potato to a marathon runner. I would appreciate any and all comments, critiques, suggestions, questions and constructive criticisms as my goal is to make this a really good runner's blog.


    Getting Fit at Fifty

    Getting Fit at Fifty

  • flyzippio Pro 116 posts since
    Jan 18, 2010

    Good luck on your steps to your first Half Marathon.  I started running after 15 years off a little less than a year ago and the first race I ran was the Disney Half-Marathon in January.  I didn't have the result that I wanted, but I did finish the race with the experience in hand.  I'm just like you.  I'm still learning what to eat and when to eat certain foods for maximum benefit.  I've started using Shakeology which is a bit pricey, but I've seen immediate improvement in the office and in training.  If you're interested in learning more about Shakeology, let me know. I can get you a free sample.

  • racebug313 Amateur 25 posts since
    Oct 18, 2010

    congrats on all of your running and I think you should go for the half!  I have been steadily running for about 8 months now and am set to do a half in two weeks...  my training plan has been building mileage and just called for a 12 mile run this past weekend.  you're already there!  awesome!  as far as eating, I agree with the other posters about a good dinner the night before, and a light yet substantial breakfast before a long run.  I usually have some toast and a banana, or oatmeal and a banana.  I do also use the electrolyte blocks during my longer runs and have experimented with different types to see which works best for me.  so far the Cliffs blocks are in the lead.  Best of luck!!

    You have a choice- you can throw in the towel, or use it to wipe the sweat off your face

    Crossed the line...

    Komen Race for the Cure 10K: 1:08

    Spartan Challenge 5K + obstacles: 33:05

    Creaky Bones 5K: 30:59

    St Pete Turkey Trot 10K- 1:07

    Gasparilla Half Marathon (1st!)- 2:42

    Coming up:

    Oct-       Chicago Marathon

  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Feb 14, 2011 9:03 AM (in response to Art Davis)
    Re: Fairly new runner....thinking about half marathon

    As Art stated the night/days before is very important.  It is very hard to tell what goes right or wrong if you don't keep a journal, I don't and sometimes don't understand a good run day from a bad one.  I believe it is the days before that makes what you have in the tank for today.  My long runs under 2:00 I don't eat anything to try to teach my body to use carbohydrate calories as slow as possible.  Before a race I try to eat about 1;30-2:00 before.


    The three most important principles of a sports nutrition strategy for distance running are to HYDRATE, FUEL and RECOVERY.


    You can do a 1/2 now without any issues.

  • Dog-lover Legend 373 posts since
    Mar 5, 2008

    Sounds to me like you are totally ready to train for and do a half marathon.  You've got a great base of training in already. (days and miles)  I agree with several of the previous posters in that you should learn more about nutrition, especially fuel control, electrolyte control as well as hydration.  There is a lot of very good information available on this site and any reputable running site.... ie Runners World, Running Planet...etc.  I believe that there really isn't a canned answer to what's right for you relative to fueling/hydration but there are some good basic recommendations to start from.  I had to trial and error several times before I found the combination that was right for me.  Probably the best piece of advice I was given was to plan on some sort of re-fueling on runs lasting over 1-11/2 hours.  This was a huge help to me while doing training for my first marathon.  Over the last four years I found the correct pre-week race meals, pre-night race meal and race day foods( both prior to and during the race) to fit my needs.  I tested, different energy bars, gu's and electrolyte replenishment options until I found the ones that didn't upset my stomach and provided the best energy balance control.  I'm no expert but I think fueling/hydration can really make or break your longer distance races.  Really worth educating  yourself on what works best for you.  Good luck and have a blast!!



    Quote from Bob Moawad  " You can't make footprints in the sands of time if you are sitting on your butt. And who wants to make buttprints in the sands of time"

    2008 - Grandma's marathon - 4:51            2011 - Get in Gear 1/2 marathon - 1:46

    2009 - Get in Gear 1/2 marathon - 1:49    2011 - Green Bay marathon - 3:51

    2009 - Grandma's marathon - 4:13            2011 - Grandma's marathon - 3:45

    2009 - Twin Cities marathon - 4:02           2011 - Minneapolis Pride 5k - 21:31

    2010 - Grandma's marathon - 3:58 ya hoo!

    2010 - Twin Cities marathhon - 3:55

  • tortorar Rookie 3 posts since
    Oct 2, 2010

    Sounds like you've already gotten a lot of advice - but I thought I'd throw my two cents in


    I am currently training for my first full marathon and have run three halves. My longest run to date is 14 miles, but now every week am typically running long runs anywhere from 10 miles and up (and several other runs and workouts during the week.) Since I started running as weight loss, I got hooked on oatmeal - low calorie, nutritious, and sits well. While some people may not get enough energy out of it I have oatmeal every morning an hour before I run. If I'm running a long run I also add a piece of toast - half with peanut butter and half with jelly. Sometimes, the night before I'll eat some carbs. I mainly stay away from heavy, greasy, high sodium foods within 2 days of a longer run (within a week for a race - I'm just superstitious lol). I haven't found any gels or gus that work for me and gatorade upsets my stomach. I'm testing them as I've heard they provide benefits throughout a marathon, but who knows, I'm only 26 but have some old school thinking apparently and am reluctant to try any since they all make me want to puke.


    After my long runs, within an hour, even if I'm not hungry I'll eat a part of a banana or some chocolate milk. It's super important to eat a little bit even if you aren't hungry.


    It takes a lot of experimentation to find what foods work and what doesn't.


    And you could totally conquer a half marathon! You are more than ready! Good luck!

  • fightingirish45 Rookie 1 posts since
    Feb 14, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Feb 14, 2011 8:46 PM (in response to tortorar)
    Re: Fairly new runner....thinking about half marathon

    Sure your ready if these penguins can run 12 mmile and claim they ran a HM you can too.. If you have to run 4 mph!

  • Basscycle Legend 236 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007

    Any time I exeperience post workout weakness and nausia, the first thing I look at is how effectivly I've hydrated. I've noticed that you've payed quite a bit of attention to your food intake, how about your water intake?

    My blog:

  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007

    You need to hydrate in the days before also, this is very important.

  • Basscycle Legend 236 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007

    I've heard and read that an ounce for every two pounds of body weight is ideal for daily intake. And, though I've yet to see any science behind the number, it seems like a pretty good rule of thumb. I learned long ago never to ask a woman her weight, I'll leave it to you to do the math.

    My blog:

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