Half Marathon Training Week 2 : Nutrition

How did everyone’s first week of training go? Don’t worry too much if you got off to a slow start, there’s still time to get on track, but the sooner the better. Keep in mind that you will have a much better experience running whichever race you are training for, if you follow a plan and train well. Click here for last weeks post on what to do to get started and download the training schedule.

Speaking of the schedule, I didn’t follow it exactly. Personally I think an 8 mile long run the first week is overkill. My 8 mile run is usually 3 or 4 weeks into training. I start off with 5 or 6 miles for my long run x 2 weeks and increase 1 or 2 miles every 2 weeks or so depending on how I feel and my schedule. Be flexible but consistent…if that makes sense. 

Okay, moving on to this weeks topic…


What should you be eating and when, can be overwhelming for new runners. It doesn’t need to be. I like to keep things simple.


30 -60 mins prior to a short (< 6 miles) run

  • coffee and a Cliff bar or half a banana. Check out this recipe for healthy muffins for pre-race nutrition.

1 – 2 hours prior to a long (≥ 6 miles) or intense run:

  • coffee and oatmeal or half a plain bagel and half banana.

I run best with less in my stomach. It’s really all about trial and error. Find what works best for you and stick with it.



Short runs don’t require anything. If it’s hot out and you don’t mind carrying water then bring water. I don’t carry water unless I run more than 6 miles (4 miles if it’s hot). Click here to see which hydration pack I carry.

  • > 6 miles: For every 45 -60 mins it is recommended to take a gel (30 grams of carbs) or something equivalent.

I prefer Cliff blocks because they are less messy but experiment with these early on so you know what you like and what works for you. It’s not a bad idea to try the brand that will be handed out at the race just in case you forget yours. (I always take at least one to save to try later during training)

nutrition during run**Always follow gels or blocks with water for best absorption…never with energy drinks or else sugar overload with wreak havoc with your intestines.**



  • < 6 miles: Bowl of cereal, Greek yogurt or a piece of wheat toast with peanut butter.

Be careful not to overeat  You may feel like you can eat a huge stack of pancakes ( and you deserve it, right?) but in reality you don’t need a huge meal. Eat something light then have a healthy balanced lunch later. 

  • > 6 miles: Wheat toast with peanut butter and banana, egg sandwich with cheese, spinach and avocado (if I have one) or a smoothie. Click here for my favorite smoothie recipe on Pinterest.

post-run nutrition

**It is recommended to eat some carbs and protein within 30 minutes after working out to fuel muscles.**

Rule of thumb for carbs is to divide your weight by 2. If you weigh 120 lbs then you need 60 grams of carbohydrates. For protein, at least 15 – 20 grams is needed. 

I hope you found this information helpful. For any questions or comments feel free to leave me a message, I would love to hear from you!

Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list or like me on Facebook so you don’t miss any posts in my 12 week half marathon training series.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Keep running my friends!




  1. Coco | 8th Jan 18

    I loved Cliff blocks until I broke my crown on one during the NYC Half! It might have gotten a bit hard in the freezing temperature, and I sucked on it for a while before chewing, but I’m afraid to use them again. That was just too painful and too expensive to risk again!

    • Denise | 11th Jan 18

      Yeah, I too would be hesitant to try them again! I would love to run NYC!

  2. Amritha A. Joseph | 12th Jan 18

    great tips! I’m slowly running more (treadmill) and hoping to build up endurance! I’ve only ever run a 5k, but hoping to run a half marathon one day! Thanks for the training tips!

    • Denise | 12th Jan 18

      There’s nothing wrong with “only” running 5k’s, they can be just as challenging as you try to improve your pace. If you ever have a question feel free to email me @ denipe01@gmail.com or message on FB at https://www.facebook.com/runheartfit/

      Thanks for reading!

  3. travelholicmusings | 12th Jan 18

    Thanks for the tips! It’s one of my new years resolutions to be fit and healthy!

    • Denise | 12th Jan 18

      Good luck with your New Year’s resolutions! Running can be a great way to stay fit. 🙂

  4. quiltytherapy | 14th Jan 18

    Thanks for sharing. I gained lots of weight with my first half marathon because I didn’t balance my diet. Need this for my upcoming training.

    • Denise | 15th Jan 18

      I hear ya! It’s so easy to want to eat everything in sight especially after a long run. On those days I try to make the healthiest choices and avoid the chips I really want. 🙂 Some days I fail at this but that’s why we run. 😉 –Denise

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