How To Fuel A Half Marathon

13 miles or 21km; however you look at it, a Half Marathon is an endurance event that requires nutritional consideration. Where the best in the world can stop the clock at around the one hour mark; the general population is looking more at 90 minutes and upwards. And science would suggest that it’s an exercise duration above 90 minutes that results in our carbohydrate stores running out. Therefore having a plan to keep these stores topped up is really important.

From pre-race rituals to post-run recovery; lets talk through the ideal nutrition strategy to get the most out of your next half marathon.

Pre-Race Nutrition

Getting in a good meal before you race is the ideal scenario; and with most half marathons being morning events, this usually tends to be breakfast. Opting for something familiar and high in carbohydrates is advised. What’s equally important is getting your timing right for this meal. Having a larger meal around 3 hours before the start should allow your body to process this before the off. The age-old pre event meal advice of porridge or pasta still stands; if it’s not broken, don’t fix it!

If you struggle to eat, then opting for an OTE Energy Drink will help. Mix one serving of OTE Energy Drink powder with water and sip on it slowly during the final hours leading up to the race. This will provide you with a steady release of carbohydrates to fuel your muscles during the first part of the race.

For one final carbohydrate hit, we’d advise having an OTE Anytime Bar about 40-60 minutes before the race starts. This will give you a quick energy boost without causing any digestive discomfort during the race; plus prevent any hunger issues playing with your head on the start line.


How To Fuel A Half Marathon — OTE Sports


Also don’t neglect hydration. It’s important to stand on the start line fully hydrated. We suggest sipping on an OTE Hydro Tab little and often in the days & hours leading up to race. This will help you rehydrate better than just water alone.

During The Race

Consume one OTE Super Gel every 45 minutes during the race. These gels provide a quick source of carbohydrates and electrolytes to keep your energy levels up. For those that struggle with the consistency of an Energy Gel; the new OTE Energy Chews are a great alternative.

We’d also advise either carrying water or grabbing it when possible from aid stations along the course. A quick few sips as and when you can will help you prevent dehydration and help with the digestion of the carbohydrates.

For a much needed pick-me-up, opt for a 100mg caffeine Energy Gel as you final gel. This will help lower your feeling of exertion and help you dig that little bit deeper towards the finish line.

How To Fuel A Half Marathon — OTE Sports

Post Race Nutrition

Nutrition for recovery isn’t always everyone’s first consideration when crossing the line. But the quicker you can act, the better you will feel the next day; especially if you want to resume training, So within 30 minutes of finishing the race, we’d suggest having one serving of OTE Recovery Drink powder with water. Consuming this will kickstart the recovery process. This drink contains a blend of carbohydrates and protein to replenish glycogen stores and repair muscle damage.

To really optimise recovery, grab an OTE Anytime Plant-Based Protein Bar within 1-2 hours after finishing the race to further support muscle recovery and repair. This will provide your body with additional protein to aid in the rebuilding process.

And don’t neglect rehydration! Continue to drink water or Hydro Tabs throughout the rest of the day to rehydrate and flush out any remaining toxins from your system.

How To Fuel A Half Marathon — OTE Sports


Remember, it’s essential to practice your nutrition plan during training runs to ensure it works well for you on race day. Everyone’s nutritional needs are different, so experiment with different products and timing to find what works best for your body. Additionally, make sure to listen to your body during the race and adjust your nutrition and hydration accordingly. Good luck!