running guide

Half Marathon Nutrition Plan

Nutrition is often overlooked for a half marathon. You will have put a lot into training, so why not put some effort into a basic half marathon nutrition plan that could make your next half the best ever?


Carbohydrate is your high energy fuel. Depleting your reserves will mean that your performance drops towards the end of a longer event. It's likely that you will have felt this for yourself. To make your event more enjoyable or if you're pushing for a PB, you should ensure that you start a race with a full fuel tank by carbo-loading and consume carbohydrate as you run to top up your carbohydrate stores.

Running coach Nick Anderson from Running With Us says:

“I often used to run 64-65 minute half marathons and would take a couple of mouthfuls of gel at about 40 minutes to help with the final push, especially caffeine gels. For a runner who is out on course for longer, gels will definitely make their run more enjoyable”

Follow our half marathon nutrition plan to finish strong and with a smile on your face.

Race Day Breakfast

Half Marathon Nutrition Plan

Breakfast should be light and high in carbs. There are a number of options for a 'good' breakfast. Porridge, peanut butter toast and pancakes are popular choices that give you carbs without being too heavy. Drink 500ml of Energy Drink for additional carbs and to stay hydrated. Take an Energy Bar to eat on the way to the start.

10 to 15 minutes before the start

Consume 200ml of water if possible to start the hydration process. Take one Energy Gel Caffeine OR Energy Gel Aqua Caffeine sachet. These two products have virtually the same formulation and carbohydrate content. The difference is that Energy Gel Aqua Caffeine is bigger and slightly heavier, as it contains additional water. This makes it’s consistency more like a drink than a gel and it’s easier to get-down.

During the race

Sub 1:15 runners:
Take one Energy Gel Caffeine or Energy Gel Aqua Caffeine sachet around the 45-minute mark.

Sub 1:45 runners:
Take one Energy Gel Caffeine or Energy Gel Aqua Caffeine sachet around the 45-minute mark and another at 75 minutes.

2 hour plus runners:
After 40 minutes, start taking Energy Gel Caffeine or Energy Gel Aqua Caffeine sachet and then take another sachet every 30 minutes throughout.


A moderate dose of Caffeine stimulates the body’s nervous system, making you more alert, increasing concentration and reducing the feeling of effort. This improves your run performance.


Your fluid needs will vary depending on how warm the weather is on race day and how much you sweat. Take on water or the on-course drink regularly, especially if you are running for more than 90 minutes. Drink as much as you comfortably can.

At the finish

Drink 400ml of HIGH5 Recovery Drink as soon as you finish. Eat a balanced meal one to two hours later.

Ready to go further? Enhance your marathon training with The ultimate marathon nutrition strategy for comprehensive nutrition insights.

HIGH5 Run Pack

Marathon Nutrition PackThe HIGH5 Run Pack contains the nutrition essentials to support your next run or race with a combination of our most popular Energy, Hydration and Recovery products for runners. Get yours here.

Good luck!

Caffeine Note
If you have any medical condition including high blood pressure, if you are pregnant, breast feeding or under 18 years of age, do not use caffeine If you are sensitive to caffeine and suffer any side effect, such as a higher than expected heart rate, discontinue use immediately. If you do not wish to use caffeine for any reason, simply follow our half marathon nutrition guidelines using gel without caffeine.

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