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Pre half-marathon diet
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mlewis73
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2004 3:31 pm    Post subject: Pre half-marathon diet Reply with quote

Was wondering...

Is there really any best meal for the night before a half marathon? I gave the bland standbys a try Friday night... 2 small pork chops, no seasoning, with a serving or so of spaghetti noodles without any sauce, plus veggies.

Got up at 4:30 and had a can of Boost, 2 servings of oatmeal and part of a PowerBar. Didn't eat during the run but could have used a couple gel packs to keep caloric intake up.

Run started at 8:00.

Was wondering what folks have found works best as far as diet the day before and the morning of a run. Thinking about cutting breakfast back since I plan to actually run next half-marathon instead of barely trotting and don't want to BONK but don't want to yack from eating too much.

Thanks,
Mike
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Dan
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2004 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My opinion is, there's no perfect pre-race diet. Anything that provides good calories without upsetting your digestive system will do the trick. For me, that means a very narrow range of foods. For other people, it could mean just about anything.

Dan
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2004 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can't go wrong with spaghetti and bread. I tend to just keep eating until I feel full, but never try to shove food into my mouth just for the sake of getting more and more carbs. Sometimes I can only eat 3/4 of a plate, and sometimes I eat more than 2. I just go by how I feel. I try to eat around 8 and go to bed around 11, so I don't have the opportunity to get hungry again.

In the morning I usually eat a bowl of a high carb cereal with 1% milk. I take a few pieces of bread with me to the race, but don't force myself to eat them if I'm not hungry.

Well, that's what I do. As Dan said, what works for one may not work for you.
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mlewis73
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2004 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds about like I'd figured... For me, bland is best... Though I never have gotten sick, there's nothing list tasting last night's spaghetti again the next morning. No tomato sauce or milk...

Are Gu and Powergel really of any use for runs such as half-marathons, assuming one has eaten a nourishing (but light) breakfast? I was hungry about 7 miles into the run (stomach felt empty) but never ran out of energy at the speed we were going. I believe I'd heard that 200 calories per hour of activity is a good caloric intake. Whatcha think?

Thanks,
Mike
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Dan
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2004 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The biggest advantage to energy bars and the like is they generally provide a good shot of calories while digesting quite quickly. Otherwise, you might risk running on too empty of a stomach for fear of not being ready.

Dan
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Micah Ward
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I prefer lighter meals the night before and for prerace breakfast, the blander the better. I believe Paul eats no solid foods 24 hours before a race. Again, it all falls back to what is best for you. As far as eating during the race, I have read somewhere (maybe this forum) that it will take at least 30-40 minutes to feel the boost from anything you eat. With that thought in mind you will want to eat before you feel like you need it so that you get the maximum benefit.

Get some GU or Powergel and experiment during your long training runs. In fact, you can use those runs as dress rehearsals and experiment with meals too. It is better to yack and bonk in training than racing. Wink
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Dan
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have read somewhere that it will take at least 30-40 minutes to feel the boost from anything you eat.

I've actually never heard that, not that I can remember. It makes sense it would take time for anything you eat to get through the digestive system and into the muscles, but if you think of eating something sweet after a run, there's an immediate impact when the sugar hits your tongue. I don't know if that's psychological, but it's certainly a strong and instant impact for me.

Dan
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Paul
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What Micah said about me is partially true. I do eat some the night before, but I have done races with no solid food for a full day. I do like Boost Breeze. I have tried various gels and like the Cliff Shot. Basically they are going to give you about 25 grams of carbs, plus a few electrolytes. The carbs are going to be high glycaemic glucose polymers, and you will feel them in 15 minutes. They can add a real boost to your run if you are running over 2 hours. A lot of marathons now have gel stations along with water stations. One of the problems with the gels is that they are such a dense solution that they need to be chased with some water, especially if you are getting a bit parched.

Here is an article from Oztrack on the application of low and high glycaemic carbs in your training. The ideas are condensed from a book listed at the bottom, which I feel is still the reference book on this subject.

http://www.oztrack.com/gi.htm

Hope this is of some value.
Paul
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mlewis73
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, folks. Thanks for the tips. I've found Boost Plus to be fantastic--I drink a can every day in an effort to keep my energy/weight up. The days that I skip it, I notice it. Back before the knee surgery, on days I drank the Boost in the mornings, I always had plenty of energy for fast runs. Those extra 350 calories really help--and it is nice that they're available in something that is NOT junk food and that sits well with the gut fairly quickly after being consumed.

I'll look forward to reading the information at the glycemic index link. I was wondering about some of that stuff while doing the half marathon last weekend... unfortunately, no gel paks were offered but I'd certainly have loved to have had one about 7 miles into the run.

Had wondered about eating a PowerBar during the run, but figured it'd be certain to yield an upset stomach. Gel would be much better, in my opinion.

Drank Gatorade for at least SOME caloric intake--fliuds were offered every 2 miles and I took water at the first stop, Gatorade at the next, then water, etc.

Paul, if you can stand 24 hours with no solid food then you're definitely unusual. I think my stomach would turn inside out and gobble up the rest of me if I tried that!
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Dan
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PowerBar's are great, but drink lots of water with them and allow 15 minutes or so to digest, otherwise there's a chance of cramping up badly. Not pleasant.

Dan
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Dan
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take a look at Matt Fitzgerald's new book, Racing Weight. I'm currently reading a review copy. It covers a lot of what you're interested in.

Dan
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spiralthinker
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with what some others have said here. There really is no perfect pre-marathon diet. It mainly depends on personal taste. I tend to stick with very bland foods that are sure to NOT upset my stomach. Breads and grains tend to work well for me.
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