Half Marathon Pre-Race Nutrition Plan

Created by Jen Miramontes, founder of Cancer Champions. Jen has run 80 marathons, dozens of half marathons, and has been a competitive runner for most of her life.

Half-Marathon Diet: Carb-Loading – 2 to 3 days before the race

For one to three days before the half-marathon, your goal is to store as much glycogen, or energy, in your muscles as possible. As your body’s primary source of fuel, quality carbohydrates should be the focus of your meals.

When carb-loading in your half-marathon diet, eat approximately 4.5 grams of carbs for each pound of body weight. Healthy carb choices include grains such as whole grain bread, pasta, and brown rice, as well as fruits, vegetables, and beans.

Simply put, we need to focus on including plenty of complex carbohydrates in your diet. Complex carbohydrates help provide the energy you need to perform. Try to incorporate a few of these foods into your daily diet:

  • Whole-grain bread
  • Whole-grain pasta
  • Brown rice
  • Potatoes
  • Legumes (beans, peas, lentils)

Two days before the race try these suggestions:

What to Eat the Day Before Your Half Marathon

Like the morning of your half marathon (more on that below), you don’t want to experiment. Generally, you want to follow the routine you’ve already established in the weeks leading up to your race.

Stick to your usual menu the day before your race. Generally, try to eat meals that are balanced in protein, fat and carbohydrates (you can go slightly lower for the fats). And while you want to follow your usual routine, a simple, go-to day of eating can include:

Since the race is in the morning, you may want to avoid high fiber foods (like cruciferous vegetables), as they can be tough to digest and may make it harder to sleep the night before the event. Plus, they may mess with your typical morning bathroom schedule.

Another good tip: Steer clear of greasy foods and alcohol the day and (especially) evening before a half marathon. These can cause unwanted digestion issues you’ll definitely want to avoid mid-run.

What to Eat the Morning of a Half Marathon

Your breakfast before a half marathon should be light in carbohydrates, moderate in protein and low in fat and fiber to prevent tummy issues during the run. Running on a full stomach can be uncomfortable, so plan to eat breakfast two or more hours before the start of the race.

Don’t try any new foods for the first time; this is no time to run the risk of stomach problems. If you choose to consume sports drinks or protein bars right before the race, avoid anything with fructose, as it can cause diarrhea.

You can test a few of these breakfast combinations this week to see which foods sit best in your stomach.

At all times, stay adequately hydrated. Four hours prior to the race, drink 2 to 3 milliliters of water or sports drink per pound of body weight.

 

* Although fats and proteins also provide energy for physical activity, they are not broken down quickly enough to fuel high-intensity exercise. Consider carbohydrates, such as bread, cereal, fruits or vegetables, for breakfast before a half-marathon so your body will have a steady source of energy when running.

 

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Maya Miramontes

Volunteer and Site Coordinator

Maya participated in her first A Change of Pace event at the age of 3 months. From there she followed her siblings in participating in a multitude of events from runs to kids’ triathlons. While growing up with parents who ran a sports marketing firm, she had no choice but to attend most events her entire youth life. Now as an adult, she has returned (by her own choice) and now serves as the volunteer and site coordinator. In addition, she has also been instrumental in the 2024 design and transitioning of our new website. We are fortunate to have her tackle one of the more critical areas that are considered the backbone of any event, volunteers. Maya resides in Davis and In her spare time she spends time as a dog trainer while simultaneously assisting other local nonprofit organizations such as the Yolo County SPCA and Cancer Champions.

Alec Miramontes

Event Oversight and Volunteer Management

Alec, a graduate of the University of Oregon, oversees course and volunteer management on event day. He also helps coordinate infrastructure set up and tear down, equipment management and assists with race timing.

Dave Miramontes

Executive Director

Dave brings an impressive 36 years of event production, marketing, advertising, and graphic design experience to the team. Dave has not only been a decorated athlete, but he also understands how good teamwork can lead to a successful outcome. Having 4 active kids has allowed him to stay involved in youth sports as well as being active within the community. As the Executive Director of A Change of Pace, he still enjoys his role as the logistics coordinator for all Foundation and outside client events. In addition, he oversees course design & safety, city & police relations, graphic design, advertising, marketing, and creative concepts. Dave resides in Davis with his wife Jen and has 4 very cool kids, all of which has worked at A Change of Pace at one point or another.

Jeannine Henderson

Treasurer, Assistant Race Director & Head Timer

Jeannine not only oversees the day-to-day operations; she handles one of the most critical elements within the organization; the registration and timing department. Aside from overseeing the computerized timing department and client/participant relations, she handles our social media and website changes and medal/award design. Her guidance and organizational skills have become a huge value to the organization as she provides much of the input on special projects such as the Tour De Fit.

Jennifer Miramontes

Board Member

Jennifer has over twenty years of experience in the marketing field, including positions as the Marketing Director for Chevys Fresh Mex restaurants and Real Mex restaurants. Jennifer also has extensive experience developing community programs geared towards children, having served on the Board of Directors for the Davis Schools Foundation as well as the Patwin PTA. Jennifer has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Pepperdine University, and is also a certified personal trainer. A runner herself, Jennifer has completed numerous triathlons and over 50 marathons, including top age-group finishes in high profile events such as the Boston Marathon and the Rock N Roll Marathon. Jennifer owns FIT House in Davis and enjoys inspiring her clients to reach their fitness goals.