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Not eating before a half-marathon - anyone else manage?

(15 Posts)
Meggymoodle Fri 12-Feb-16 10:38:10

Hi there

I have a half marathon on Sunday. It's been years (literally about 8 years) since I've done one. My training is OK, the only thing that concerns me is that I can't eat before a run in the morning. I always end up with horrendous stitch which does for me by about mile 3.

I've done 12 miles without eating anything in training but am slightly concerned about running a half with nothing. Any advice?

Too late to trial anything new unfortunately as it's on Sunday!

CMOTDibbler Fri 12-Feb-16 10:46:25

If thats what you are used to, then you'll be fine. Maybe take some sweets in your pocket so you can have them as you go round? I find it passes the time as well!

Good luck and have fun smile

lastqueenofscotland Fri 12-Feb-16 10:50:06

I can never eat breakfast so often run "empty" I take a sugary drink (lucozade/Ribeana) with me instead. Not for everyone but works for me!

Good luck!

Meggymoodle Fri 12-Feb-16 10:57:06

I was thinking sweets too but I've given up sugar for Lent! Ah well, maybe I'll make an exception on Sunday. I don't want to try and sugary drink new for a race, but it's certainly something to think about for future runs.

Thank you smile

suzannecaravaggio Fri 12-Feb-16 11:03:19

I think the adage in regard to glycogen loading is ' train low, race high'

suzannecaravaggio Fri 12-Feb-16 11:11:21

Eating more the previous day should help...provided you have good glycogen storage capacity

That you will happily run twelve miles fasted suggests that you do😎👍🏃

Meggymoodle Fri 12-Feb-16 11:23:51

Maybe I'll have a large bowl of porridge before going to bed.

"Happily" might be stretching it but I didn't die!

suzannecaravaggio Fri 12-Feb-16 11:43:10

That's what I do when I run
Eat about 1500 calories, mostly carbs right before bed and then run around 12 miles fasted the next morning

suzannecaravaggio Fri 12-Feb-16 11:45:39

To optimize glycogen storage you probably need to train your body by frequently loading up and depleting

Meggymoodle Fri 12-Feb-16 11:51:06

suzanne I generally fast twice a week anyway so I might be OK on that basis. That's a big calorie intake before bed - do you eat normally the day before as well or is that most of your calories for that day.

suzannecaravaggio Fri 12-Feb-16 12:01:43

I eat around 2500 cals per day, most of it right before bed, then exercise fasted (lifting or running) the next day
Thats my daily routine (kind of 16:8 schedule)
I appreciate it's unorthodox and I don't do any racing, so feel free to disregard my advice 🙉😉

But yes if you regularly fast I imagine that would upregulate your glycogen storage capacity?

Anglaise1 Fri 12-Feb-16 16:28:48

I often run fasted - distances such as a HM without a problem. I agree if you eat plenty the day before (lunch not just evening meal) then you will be fine. Breakfast is just a top up, most of the glycogen used will come from that which is stored. If you were running a marathon I'm not sure it is quite such a good idea, although there are those who do. Make sure you drink plenty of water in the 2 preceding days too, not the morning of he race.
One thing - are you sure that your stitch is due to eating and not breathing? I thought it was more associated with not being used to breathing when running.
Good luck for Sunday in any case!

Meggymoodle Fri 12-Feb-16 22:21:55

I think I'm going to try a banana tomorrow morning and then a gentle 2 miles 2 hours later and if that works OK with no stitch, I'll try a banana 3 hours before the HM and should be OK. If it doesn't work tomorrow I'll sack it off and just run fasted.

I think I got scared with eating as it happened a couple of times but I'm not at all sure it was related as I manage to eat 2 hours prior to an afternoon or evening run with no bother so I suspect it's superstition on my part.

Thanks all. I'll report back.

Anglaise1 Sun 14-Feb-16 17:01:08

Hope the HM went well Meggy. If you get the chance to listen to the podcast of the Radio 4 Food Programme, Eat to Run 2, they talk about how running in a fasted state is very good for building endurance. A lot of top runners use this training technique.

Meggymoodle Tue 16-Feb-16 14:00:59

Oh thanks Anglaise - I'll have a listen, that's interesting.

I didn't eat in the end, was too scared it would back-fire never having done it before. I did it in 1:58 so was really pleased with that (although v frustratingly it was about 300 metres short of a full half-marathon as it had to be rerouted due to a crime scene!!) so would probably have been just over the 2 hours but still a good PB for me so happy with that.

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