Running Nutrition and Hydration Questions


As the day of my first half marathon is getting closer and closer (11 days and counting…), I’m starting to think back to what I’ve been doing to prepare, and think about what I can be doing to better prepare in the coming days. I’ve been doing the running and the cross-training, but I need to be worrying more about the nutrition and hydration to ensure that I have the fuel to go the mileage and come out in good shape.

In past posts, you’ve probably read where I’ve talked about my “runner’s brain” and how I haven’t felt very well after a long run. I’ve been told that’s because I wasn’t hydrated enough. How much water/sports drink do I need to drink before and during my run?? Typically I’ll drink at least 8 ounces of Powerade Zero and about 8-16 ounces of water before my run, then carry a 16-ounce water bottle with me during my run and will drink at least half of it throughout my long training runs. Then I’ll drink at least another 16-ounce bottle of water immediately after my run, and yet I still feel sick.

I also have a very sensitive stomach, and, without going into graphic detail, have to be careful of what I eat the day before my runs if I want to get through the mileage without a pit stop. I don’t really know what I should be eating to fuel my long runs properly, and that worries me for my half marathon next weekend.

For energy, I’ve tried GU, but I was afraid that was part of the reason I was feeling sick, so I’ve since switched to SportBeans. I’ve only used them for one training run so far, but I didn’t see much of a difference, except maybe a little less nauseous.

So, I’m asking for all your tips and advice when it comes to proper eating and drinking for the week leading up to my half marathon and the day of my big run. PLEASE HELP!

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6 thoughts on “Running Nutrition and Hydration Questions

  1. I eat a lot of plain boring carbs since I get scared about my stomach too before races. And when I say boring, I mean slices of bread. Of course I also love bread 🙂 When I race, I take the “fruit snack” form of Gus. My favorites are Shot Blocks.

  2. I have fallen in love with products by hammer nutrition. I too have a sensitive stomach and I find that I perform well, without discomfort. The other thing I love about Hammer is that you can call them and they will help you figure out how much or more likely the case, how little you can consume and maintain peak performance. I love all the technical stuff and they certainly seem to know a lot of it. Another note: I do eat a piece of toast with pb before long runs, without a little something in my stomach everything I put in is in way too big of a hurry to get back out (if you catch my drift).

    • That’s what I’ve normally been having is a piece of whole wheat bread (or toast, depends on how much time I have) and peanut butter with water. But I know towards the end of my run I can tell I’m starving, which is why I have the banana packed in my truck. Thanks so much for the tips! (I can’t seem to find any Hammer products around me.)

  3. A lot of good complex carbs are good to eat before your race. The complex carbs will provide you with more fuel for your run. I also like to sports beans and have used them during races and they seemed to help. However I don’t really have a sensitive stomach. Drink plenty of water in the days before a race not just the day of. Your body will be more hydrated that way. Good Luck!

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