Eating & Pace!

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Jan 2012
3:09pm, 9 Jan 2012
First-time poster!!
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Never Been Quicker
Hi Everyone!

I'm training for a HM in 8 weeks time and ran 8 miles on Sunday at 11 min/miles. Now, I have 2 questions I'm hoping you can help with.

Firstly, when do I need to start eating before I run? I went out on Sunday morning and had half a special K bar before I left the house and felt ok - but presumably if I go much further I shuold eat something before I run? I just take water with me.

Secondly, I don't know what pace I should aim for in the half marathon. I seem to run all of my runs at about 10.30 - 11.30 min/m regardless of the distance but part of this is due to the people I run with so that sets the pace to some degree. I'm not sure if I'm running too fast on my long slow run, or whether I'm running too slow in the week. I'm going to a speed session with my club tomorrow so that might be a test!!

I haven't entered a race for over a year so I can't use any recent times, perhaps I should just do a practice 10k 'race' (on my own one evening) and see what time I can do?

Thanks in advance for your help
Jan 2012
3:21pm, 9 Jan 2012
3,853 posts
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Lyra OK
Welcome and good luck with the running!

To get an idea of what you should be aiming for in the half, perhaps you could try doing a parkrun? This is a free-to-take-part 5k. See if there's a parkrun near you: Then you can use this to work out what you should be capable of in your half. McMillan will also give you an idea of the pace you should be running at in your training.

With regard to eating before running, I think much of it comes down to finding out what works for you personally. I avoid eating for two hours before running, but if I'm really hungry a banana or something tides me over. Ahead of long runs, I'll try to eat pasta the night before to get some carbs in and that's always worked okay for me. You can use the training log to keep a note of what you ate and how you felt, that way you'll be able to prepare yourself before racing.

Oh, and if I'm doing a long run (10+ miles) I will often take water with half a Nuun tablet disolved in it. Seems to work fine for me.

Good luck with it all and let us know how you get on! :)
Jan 2012
6:28pm, 9 Jan 2012
180 posts
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Whatever you do on race day, you should have done at least once in training, preferably more. As well as breakfast before the race, consider using an energy gel or two during the race (making sure you've tried and tested them in training too!).

Good luck!
Jan 2012
8:50am, 10 Jan 2012
2 posts
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Never Been Quicker
Thanks to you both for your advice!

I can't get to a parkrun but was supposed to be away this weekend but we are now at home so I'm going to do my own time-trial and then use the McMillian calcs to work out what I'm supposed to be doing!!

You are both right, I need to sort out my eating before the race day, I'll be nervous enough!!

Jan 2012
8:51pm, 12 Jan 2012
290 posts
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If you find you don't get on with gels, a mini bag of jelly babies (the ones that are about 20p from the newsagent's) should be enough to get you round a HM. Fits in those teeny key pockets on your running tights and less risk of getting all sticky (which invariably happens when I try to open a gel on the run). :-)
Jan 2012
9:13pm, 12 Jan 2012
38,416 posts
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plodding hippo
If its your first half, dont worry too much about the time

agree, test out eating strategies, we are all different

I can run a half on nothing at all, not even brekkie
but, id suggest a decent evening meal, and maybe a bowl of cereal and a banana a good 2-3 hours before
Dont drink anything a good hour before the race(loos are always a problem)

And carry a fw jelly babies for that dead bit at 11 miles

Im sure thats more psychological than real, but its nice to know they are there

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About This Thread

Maintained by Loumin
Hi Everyone!

I'm training for a HM in 8 weeks time and ran 8 miles on Sunday at 11 min/miles. N...

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