Tag Archives: nutrition

Post Half Marathon Advice: What to do after

Congratulations you’ve finished a half marathon. Hopefully you have had a great experience not just with the physical running side but also the atmosphere which makes these events so special. Your recovery starts as soon as you get across the finish line so here is some tips on what to do post half marathon to help avoid the aches and pains over the next few days.

Zero – Five minutes post half marathon:

Don’t Stop!

You may feel exhausted, aching and needing a lie down however the best thing to do is keep moving for at least 10-15 minutes after you finish. Listen to you body but get a cool down in and keep moving even, go for a light jog or a walk. Just try not to sit down straight away, walk to the food or charity tent. Start your post race stretching and put some layers on as your body will loose heat very quickly.

Zero – twenty minutes post half marathon:

Hydrate

It’s vital to replace the fluid that you would have lost throughout your run as quickly as possible to help your body recover. For a half marathon distance try electrolyte sports drink, juice, water or the beloved runners favourite chocolate milk. You want to drink enough liquid so that your urine returns to a pale yellow, if its darker you are still dehydrated. Water is great but as you would have lost salt and mineral throughout your run try a combination.

Refueling

In the first half an hour after you finish you want to eat some small, with main component being carbohydrate with a small amount of protein and fat. Good examples are a banana, fruit either fresh or dried, Nuts, bagels/baps, cereal bar/flapjack, yogurt or chocolate.

2 hours post half marathon:

After you finish your run try to have your main meal; half of the meal should be made up of carbs preferably whole grains with an equal amount of protein. Ginger and honey have also been proven to help and reduce muscle soreness.

Thirty mins – one hour post half marathon:

Stretching and Sports Massage

It wont be the first time you’ve been told about the importance of stretching after a race but there’s a reason way. After you have done your own stretches end the to the sports massage tent and get a massage. The therapist will often be able to detect muscles that you may not have notice being tight as well as getting deeper into the muscles. They will also be able to help you with dynamic stretches, which have been proved to be more effective than static stretches.

The evening post half marathon:

By the evening you should have refuelled and start to relax. Whether your staying in a hotel or you were lucky enough to be local and are able to chill at home make sure you keep moving. Just go for a evening stroll nothing strenuous something simple like a 10 minute walk with the dog at a very leisurely pace will be more than good enough. The most important thing is you get a good night sleep cause lets face it you deserve it!!

Three – five days post half marathon:

Get another sports massage to help with any aches and pains that you may have developed post race. You can read for about the benefits of Sports Massage here.

Four days post half marathon: 

When should you start running again?
The general rule is between 4 days after go for a 2-mile light run just to keep your muscles moving. You want to reverse taper and start to slowly build up the mileage you are doing.

You can download this guide at: The A State of Health Clinic’s Website.

For other articles on Half marathon’s check out what to in the week before and on raceday.

Half Marathon: Race Day Advice

It’s race day! You’ll probably be feeling a mix of emotions nerve, excitement, fear or all of the above and more rolled into one. Here are some tips to get you to the starting line of your half marathon feeling calm and relaxed.

Early Start:

Get up early and leave plenty of time for breakfast and to get to the start. The last thing you want to do is rush to the venue. Go through your race details of where to drop your kit off and where the starting pen is. Have one last look at the half marathon course details including water stations.

Do a last-minute check of your kit bag make sure you have your shoes, clothes, race number with safety pins attached, timing chip if not already attached to your shoes, water bottle and food. Make sure your kit bag has extra layers for after the race and some dry clothes encase it’s a wet race.

Two – Four hours before the half marathon:

Eat a breakfast you’ve had before don’t try anything new, you don’t want an upset stomach. Try to eat 2?4 hrs before the starting time and aim for 1000 calories. Eat a combination of simple carbs with some protein for example bread/bagels, cereal, nut butter, low-fat yogurt, or milk. If you can’t stomach food try a fruit based smoothie.

Two Hours – Thirty minutes before the half marathon:

Have a pre-event massage 2 hr ? 30 mins before the race. The massage should be light and up-tempo to aid the runner in getting their muscles warm and ready for the race. The theory is to increase the blood going to the muscles. It also has been suggested to improve focus and relax before the race. The practitioner can also help with some dynamic stretches. It should not be used instead of a good warm up and stretches but to complement it. If you want some more information about how sports massage can benefit you check out my blog post on Sport Massage.

Up to one hour before the half marathon:

Keep your fluid intake up and drink 500?700 ml up to the hour before and then no more than 200ml 30 mins before. While you need to make sure you’re properly hydrated before you start, you don’t want to over hydrate or have to stop and take a pit stop mid half marathon.

Thirty – forty-five minutes before the half marathon:

Have a good warm up and stretch. Never stretch cold muscles always go for a light 5-minute jog before hand. Do the same warm-up you are used to and get into your normal pre-race/run routine. For more tips on advice on warming up check out my  guide to the importance of warming up.

Up to thirty minutes before the half marathon:

Drink around 200ml this will be your last main fluid intake till the start of the race.

Twenty to thirty minutes before the half marathon:

Go to the start early, hand in your kit bag and have an old track suit or old foil blanket, to stay warm at the start but something you can just get rid off. Get to the pen 20-30 mins before the start so you know you don’t have to rush or add any extra anxiety.

Two minutes before the half marathon:

Leave it to the last few minutes to take your old kit off.
Most importantly enjoy the race!!
You can download this guide at: The A State of Health Clinic’s Website.
For other articles on Half marathons check out: What to do the week before, what to do after a half marathon

Half Marathon Advice: What to do in the week before the race

So you’ve signed up for a half marathon! Whether you have competed before or it’s your first half and taking on the challenge. Here are some of my tips of what to do in the week before the race:

1 week before the Race:

Use today as a full dress rehearsal, get up and have the same breakfast you plan to have on the day. This way you can test out everything and have some more confidence going into the race. Try to go for your run at the same time as you plan to do the race. Remember stay hydrated through the day and maintain through this week.

6 days before:

Either take today off or do a light cross training session. You could try the main meal your planning to have the night/lunch before your race. Make sure you get a good night sleep.

5 days before:

Do you last main training session before the race today and practice your routine including your diet, clothing. Try doing the run again at you’re planned  race pace.

4 days before:

Go for a fartlek or short high intensity interval work out to keep your legs moving and to get your heart racing. Fartlek means speed play in Swedish its just a term for interval training or run/walk training.

3 days before:

If you have a rest day planned for the day before and are not traveling aim for a light session no longer than 30 minutes. Start monitoring your fluid intake and make sure your staying hydrated. Make sure you get a good night sleep. Start to increase your carb percentage to 65?70%, but try to avoid beans and other food that may upset your stomach.

Get a good night sleep!!

3-5 days before

Get a sports massage preferably after an easy training session. Depending on how often you normally get a massage depends on how close you can leave it to the event. If you get them regularly you can have one closer to race day. You can find out more at the benefits of Sports Massage on my blog post.

Two days before:

If you have to travel to your race this would be the ideal day, go to pick your bib and other race day essentials including your food and drinks you may want on the day. Start increasing the percentage of carbs in your diet to around 70%. Avoid beans and other food that may cause bloating. If you’re not traveling to the race go for  a short walk or a light cross training session.

The day before:

Go for a very short run first thing to keep your legs moving no more than 20 mins! May attention to your diet with your main meals being breakfast and lunch to give your body enough to digest. Aim to eat easy to digest carbs like pasta with protein and not too much fibre or fat. Drink 2 glasses of water with dinner and then go for a short walk. Get everything laid out and packed for the morning so everything is ready. Set your alarm and try to get a good night sleep.
You can download this guide at: The A State of Health Clinic’s Website.

For more articles on Half Marathon running check out my race day and post half marathon guides.