As runners, we know that staying hydrated is crucial to running well and feeling great. But figuring out how much water you need and how often to drink during your half marathon can be intimidating, which is why we provide all the information here.
Most half marathon runners should drink several small sips of water every 15 minutes. It's ideal to be drinking 4 ounces of water at this point -- aim for 2 cups (16 ounces) per hour. More may be needed on hot days and less on cold days, so it's important for runners to listen to their bodies and drink when they're thirsty to avoid becoming dehydrated or overhydrated.
Staying hydrated during a half marathon doesn't have to be complicated. Here's everything you need to know about staying hydrated for your next half marathon.
How much water should you drink for a half marathon?
Most people need to drink some fluids for a half marathon,Laut Meghann Featherstun, a registered sports nutritionist and experienced marathon runner who hosts the Fuel for the Sole podcast. The amount of water you drink depends on several factors. Featherstun says a lot of that depends on the weather during the run, how long the runner ran, and other factors that vary from person to person.
A general rule of thumb for running efforts longer than 1 hour is to drink about 4 ounces of fluids every 15 minutes.According to Jen Scott, nutritionist, running coach and marathon runner. An ounce is roughly equivalent to a sip of water.
In addition to this general guideline, the most important thing is to listen to your body when it comes to staying hydrated during your next half marathon. By listening to your body and drinking when you are thirsty, you can avoid dehydration and the negative effects it can have on your body and your running performance. You can also avoid a dangerous and potentially deadly condition calledExercise-related hyponatraemia, which is caused by drinking too much water in addition to thirst during exercise.
How often should you hydrate during a half marathon?
running coachOn your marks.Set.MarathonFounder Jane Springston recommends drinking "little and often" during a half marathon. To achieve this, take small sips of water at most water stations. Avoid gulping or drinking large amounts of water at once to avoid a fizzy feeling in the stomach when running or, worse, digestive problems. Make sure to practice hydration during your training runs, and maybe even simulate drinking times, because you never want to do anything new on race day.
some trainersWe recommend starting hydration as soon as you stop for the first time in your run. Coach Jane says that if the race day weather is mild and you're going into the race fully hydrated, it's usually okay to skip the first and last water stations. However, if the weather is hot to hot on race day (or you just feel like you need to drink early), plan to get water at the first water station.
As mentioned earlier, the most important thing you can do is listen to your body. If you feel like you need water right away during your run, drink it!
Can you run your half marathon without drinking water?
You can run a half marathon without drinking water...although in most cases it's not advisable. There are no prizes for those who drink the least fluids during a race. Remember, just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you should do it or that it will get the best of you that day.Scott sharesthat well-hydrated and well-nourished athletes outperform those who are dehydrated and low-energy.
Typically, a loss of more than 2-3% of body mass due to water loss during exercise decreases many people's aerobic capacitythis study.E Featherstunshares that 2-3% body weight loss can be a shock absorber and means that someone planning a fast half marathon (in under 2 hours) on a cold day may be able to go without water during the run. However, anyone who runs on a hotter day or runs longer than two hours - regardless of the daytime temperature - should drink water during the run.
"Measuring changes in body mass is the most accurate way to determine acute changes in your fluid balance and sweat loss," said oneEstudo de 2011 no Journal of Athletic Training. To find out how much fluid you lose while running, simply compare your body weight before and after the run.
Here are the steps you need to follow to find out your sweat rate:
Step 1:Drink the necessary fluids for your run.
Step 2:go pee
Level 3:Do not worry.
Step 4:Do a 1-hour run (you'll probably want to put your clothes back on for this). You can hydrate during your run, but monitor closely how much you're drinking (not eating).
Step 5:Weigh yourself naked again as soon as you get back from running.
Step 6:Subtract your post-run weight from your pre-run weight.
Step 7:Add back any water you drank during the run.
If you drank 8 ounces of water during your run but still lost 1 pound (16 ounces), your sweat rate is 24 ounces per hour (16 ounces + 8 ounces). That means you really should have been drinking 24 ounces of water in that hour instead of 8. If you are still confused about the calculation,TrueSportShare a great example. You should also consider the temperature - if this happens on a hot day, it's not the same as it does on a cold day.
The last number shows you whether you drank enough or too little while running. If you weigh more, you've been drinking more than you need to. If you've lost weight, you'll benefit from better hydration on future runs. If you're drinking the right amount of water, you'll weigh about the same before and after your run.
This data can guide your own individual drinking strategy to avoid dehydration as well as overhydration during the race.
Should You Carry Water for a Half Marathon?
Carrying your own water during a half marathon is a matter of personal preference and sometimes race dependent.
Some runs are "cupless" or "self-contained," and in those scenarios you'll definitely want to take an empty bottle to fill up at gas stations, or bring your own water. Some racers trying to beat a half-marathon personal best (PR) may worry that carrying their own water will slow them down, so they rely on race water stations. Still others, like my runner best friend, want to be in control of when and where they get their water and carry water with them on every run.
RELATED:Carry your own water in a marathon: the good and the bad
Water transport options
To carry your own water for a half marathon, I recommend runners carry something hands-free. Carrying a portable bottle can be uncomfortable or awkward for an entire half marathon.
Trinkrucksack:A lightweight hydration pack would be an excellent choice for runners looking to BYOW (bring your own water). I use (and love)o TrailMix 7L Rennpaket, which is made by Nathan and costs $100. This package contains a 2 liter bladder. It's highly adjustable and so comfortable I forget I'm wearing it after a while! Plus, who doesn't love extra pockets to stash your stuff on race day?
Hydration Belt:Another great option for runners is a hydration belt, like this oneTrailMix Plus hydration band, also by Nathan. This belt comes at a great price of $50. It comes with two 10 ounce bottles. A hydration belt is a good choice for those who don't like the feel of backpacks, or for those really hot runs where you want to avoid carrying the extra layers of a hydration pack.
Flexible water bottles: Or if you have pockets in leggings or shorts, these are another great optionMatching small flexible water bottles. Jane swears by it and uses it for the half marathon – one just for the water and one for herDownwind drag fuel.
RELATED:Half Marathon Nutrition - What and when to eat while running
Should you drink at water stations?
Coach Jane shares that it works well for runners to slow down and go through the race water stations to drink their water if they don't have their own. She recommends drinking water while running at most water stations, but of course also paying attention to your body's own needs.
While it may seem like a bad idea to walk during a run, walking slowly past the aid station will help ensure you can sip your water, avoid spilling or “walk the wrong line” and avoid crashing into other runners who are also running and slowing down to get their drinks. Jane explains how she did it in her recent marathonsThis video.
Spending a few seconds every two kilometers slowing down and drinking water really has no impact on overall mileage. However, if you come up with the strategy of running and drinking water at the same time, do it! As long as you get the necessary hydration.
What about electrolytes? Do you need them for your half marathon?
Half marathon runners need to use up electrolytes during the race. Electrolytes are essential minerals such asSodium, Calcium and Potassium which are vital for your body to perform key functions. Runners often lose electrolytes through sweat and urine. Low electrolyte levels can cause muscle cramps, fatigue, nausea, and lack of energy, to name a few unpleasant side effects. That's why runners need to replenish electrolytes during high-intensity activities lasting more than an hour,according to nutritionist Scott.
Soaking an electrolyte tablet in water is a great way to get the electrolytes you need while staying hydrated. We recommendWe are sports.
However, it's important not to drink electrolyte sports drinks at the same time as your sports gels or gums. This can flood your digestive system with too much sugar all at once, causing an upset stomach and potentially disrupting your run. Be sure to consume sports gels and gummies with water only, as directed on the package, and drink your electrolyte drinks separately, several minutes apart.
When should you start pre-race hydration?
AccordinglyForm-Magazin, the best way to stay hydrated before a run or race is to drink plenty of water the day before. Drink plenty of water ten minutes before the start of the raceNOa great way to hydrate!
You can determine your hydration status by checking the color of your urine. Your body is well hydrated when the color of your urine resembles the pale yellow color of lemonade. Urine the color of apple juice or darker means you need to drink more. You can withdraw fluids if your urine is clear.
Nutritionist Jen Scott recommendsthat runners want to drink about 16 ounces (2 cups) of water 1 to 2 hours before the race. For runners who are short on time — for example, if you have a very early start time and don't get up very early — Scott recommends that runners drink about 8 ounces of water at least 30 minutes before entering the line.
How about post-race hydration?
Hydration after the run is also important. You want to make sure you're replacing the fluids and electrolytes your body sweats out while running.Form-Magazinrecommends that racers consume 16-20 ounces of sports drink immediately after a race. Chocolate milk is the top choice among runners for post-run hydration and nutrition, as discussed earlierHere. Monitor the color of your urine (remember it should be pale lemonade yellow) to make sure you're well hydrated as you begin your recovery.
If you follow our half marathon hydration tips and suggestions, you're sure to have a successful run and feel great at the finish line! Not sure how to go about nutrition for your half marathon?Continue reading!
*As an Amazon Associate, I receive a small commission on qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting my blog!
How do you predict a half marathon for a marathon? ›
According to the numbers in our study, a more accurate formula for predicting a marathon time is your half-marathon time multiplied by 2.19.How do I predict my half marathon time? ›
The easiest way to estimate your half marathon pace is to look at your race times over shorter distances. Using certain factors, you can calculate your expected half marathon time from your 5K or 10K personal best (PB). Formula for calculating a realistic half marathon time: 5K PB x 4.667.Do I need to run 13 miles before a half marathon? ›
You Don't Have to Run 13.1 Miles in Training
To be physically prepared for the race, you can participate in long runs totaling 13 miles or more, but you don't have to. If you can run or run/walk a 10-mile distance, you should be able to safely and comfortably complete a half-marathon.
I suggest ingesting an electrolyte drink with sugar so you can keep your fuel levels topped off. Unless you're taking a GU, I think water is better on you than in you during hot days, so opt for the Gatorade at the first few aid stations. You should aim to take in 6-10 oz of fluid every 2 to 3 miles.How to run a half marathon in 1 hour 45 minutes? ›
If you want to achieve a 1 hour 45 minutes half marathon pace you will need to run at a pace of around 8:01 minutes per mile or 4:59 minutes per kilometer to come in at just under your desired time.What is a good half marathon time for a 50 year old man? ›
|Age||Average Half Marathon Finish Time||Pace Per Mile|
Finishing a half-marathon in less than two hours is a common goal for experienced half-marathon runners. Running a 1:59:59 half-marathon means maintaining an average pace of 9:09 minutes per mile, which is considered a good half-marathon time among runners.How many miles a week should I be ready for a half marathon? ›
For the Half Marathon
The typical weekly mileage for average runners training for a half marathon is 30-40 miles a week. Elite runners will have a volume closer to 100-110 miles per week.
To run a 1 hour 30 minutes half marathon pace you will need to run at a pace of around 6:52 minutes per mile or 4:16 minutes per kilometer to come in at just under your desired time.Is it OK to drink before half marathon? ›
Alcohol and Athletic Performance: The Bottom Line
So, it's safe to say you should avoid alcohol ideally 48 hours before a race, and especially the night before, in order to have better endurance, power, and energy on race day.
What should I do 2 weeks before a half marathon? ›
Your longest distance should be about two weeks before your race. In the following week, taper your training to 60% of your peak mileage. Keeping workouts shorter but still maintaining quality will help keep your legs fresh. The weekend before your race should be your final long run, between 6 to 10 miles.Should you drink before half marathon? ›
Get hydrated first
But don't over do it. All you need to do is drink water regularly throughout the day in the days leading up to the race. This might look like 2-3 litres of water on Wednesday-the evening before the race. Then drink some water when you wake up on race day, and sip water before getting to the start.
Hydration should not begin the morning of the race. Instead, you should make a conscious effort to stay well hydrated at least 48 hours before the start of your marathon.What is the best drink for a half marathon? ›
Water, diluted juice and sports drinks are all good fluid replacers. If you've been running for less than an hour, plain water is a good choice, but, if you have been running hard for longer than an hour, drinks containing sugar or maltodextrin (a slow-release carbohydrate) and sodium may speed your recovery.What is the best drink before a run? ›
Drink a cup of tea or coffee 45 minutes before a run for an energizing boost. Pure, simple, and calorie-free, water should be your go-to choice for hydration. But when you're running long and feeling drained, sports drinks are ideal.Is Sub 145 half marathon good? ›
For runners who have already ran a half marathon in under two hours, a 1:45 half marathon is a natural next step for a half marathon goal. It's a goal that requires a commitment and provides a huge sense of accomplishment.What should I do 48 hours before a half marathon? ›
- Fill up at the right time. Your biggest main meal should be two nights before the race, not the night before. ...
- Follow your routine. ...
- Get in the grams. ...
- Cut down on protein and fibre. ...
- Small but often. ...
- Don't go carb crazy. ...
- Stay hydrated. ...
- Have a good breakfast.
What pace do I need to run for a sub-two half marathon? You'll need to run an average pace of 9:09 per mile or 5:40 per kilometre.What is a beginner half marathon time men? ›
On average we estimate, beginner males, finish half marathons between 2:05 to 2:15. On the other hand on average, beginner females clock in between 2:20 and 2:30. These times are based on a relatively flat and easy course, as you add elevation and difficulty to the course the average times will increase.Can I do a half marathon without training? ›
The short answer is no; it's not a good idea to run a half marathon without training. Running 13.1 miles requires endurance and strength. These things are best developed by training beforehand. Without proper preparation, you risk injury or serious problems during the race – neither of which would be fun!
What should I wear for a half marathon? ›
Dress in layers so that you feel comfortable at the starting line. Go for running tights or pants if it's cool, or fleece-lined pants if it's downright cold. Depending on the temps and weather conditions, you may want to add a lightweight quarter-zip and/or a jacket that can withstand rain and wind.When should I take water in half marathon? ›
The takeaway here is to make sure to drink water throughout the day, and when you are completing your longer runs or the actual race make sure to consume water or a sports drink every hour and immediately following the race to help maintain energy levels and aid in the recovery process.What not to do when training for a half marathon? ›
- Choosing the wrong training plan. ...
- Too much too soon. ...
- Not respecting injuries. ...
- Not warming up properly. ...
- Getting it wrong with the long run. ...
- Skipping warm up races. ...
- Neglecting refuelling and hydration. ...
- Ignoring interval sessions.
Most half marathon runners should take several small sips of water about every 15 minutes. Taking in 4 ounces of water at that time is ideal – aiming for 2 cups (16 oz.) per hour.Will I lose weight running 50 miles a week? ›
Running burns about 100 calories per mile (so does walking) — though that number will be significantly higher when you start and when you have a significant amount of excess weight. To burn the equivalent of an extra pound each week solely from running, you would need to run 25–35 miles per week.Can you go from couch to half marathon in 12 weeks? ›
Absolutely. As long as you have some running ability, it's entirely possible to get ready to cover 13.1 miles in 12 weeks. 12 weeks is about right for most people; it's enough time to allow you to gradually increase your mileage without overdoing it.How long do you need from couch to half marathon? ›
If you follow the training plan consecutively with no breaks in-between, it'll take around 15 weeks to get from couch to half marathon.How to run a half marathon at 1 35? ›
If you want to get a 1 hour 35 minutes half marathon pace you will need to run at a pace of around 7:15 minutes per mile or 4:30 minutes per kilometer to come in at just under your desired time.How to run a half marathon in 3 hours? ›
If you're aiming for a 3 hour half marathon pace you will need to run at a pace of around 13:44 minutes per mile or 8:32 minutes per kilometer to come in at just under your desired time.Should I eat a lot the night before a half marathon? ›
Eat a Proper Dinner and Breakfast
Oatmeal, bread, tortillas, pancakes, waffles, bagels, and yogurt are all easy-to-digest options. Just be sure not to stuff yourself at dinner the night before a race. Carb-loading does not mean overloading. Focus on consuming 4 grams of carbohydrate for every pound of body weight.
Should I drink electrolytes day before half marathon? ›
Electrolytes are lost through sweat and this can lead to cramps and dehydration. Replacing electrolytes is essential if you want to perform at your best. Your idea to increase electrolyte intake in the days before the event is therefore a good one.
Hydrating before a race: Drink 500ml of water or sports drink (with electrolytes and/or carbohydrates) about two hours before your run so you will be well hydrated before you start. It is not ideal to drink a whole lot of water under an hour before your race, as you could end up with many bathroom breaks along the way.What exercise to do day before half-marathon? ›
Some runners may have pre-race jitters. If this is your case, try light jogging and dynamic stretching exercises to slightly increase your heart rate and warm up your body. Also try to stay off your feet the night before, so that your legs are well-rested for the run.How many days should I rest before a race? ›
Two days before a race, his experienced runners would typically do a short, easy run, finishing up with four to six strides of roughly 20 seconds at race pace. He'll have inexperienced runners, or those who run three days a week or less, take a rest day two days before a race.What should I eat the week before a half-marathon? ›
Starting a race with a full store of carbs can improve performance and endurance, so make sure to fill up on grains, starchy vegetables, and fruits the week before the race. Also, as you consume more food during the week before the race, your protein levels should also increase as your portions become larger.How much water should I drink the morning before a half marathon? ›
Drinking before, during, and after training is just as important as drinking during the rest of the day. Aim for 16 ounces (2 cups) of water at about two hours before you run. Pair this with a snack or meal. About 15 minutes before a run, drink six to eight ounces of water.How much water should I drink the night before a half marathon? ›
A proper hydration schedule should involve consuming about 16 ounces of water every 3-4 hours over the course of 48-72 hours before a race.How do I empty my bowels before running? ›
Exercise can help get things moving through the colon so if you're trying to poop before a race or run, try doing a warm-up inside. Do your drills, mobility, dynamic stretching, air squats, and lunges to stimulate your bowels while you are close to a toilet.
A recent study in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found that taking electrolytes before your run can also enhance fluid retention, thereby improving rehydration.When should I drink Gatorade before a marathon? ›
Take a bottle with gatorade/sports drink to the start with you and right before (less than 5 mins) the gun goes off drink 4-8 ounces. This is your first water stop.
What should I do 3 days before a marathon? ›
Three days before the race, run just two to three miles easy. Then, two days before the race, don't run at all. On the day before the race, jog two miles to take the edge off your pent-up energy so you'll sleep better that night.Is Gatorade good for half marathon? ›
Drink gatorade (or any sports drink that doesn't include protein) and/or water frequently to assure you are hydrated (clear urine is a good sign). You should stay well-hydrated throughout the morning before the race. At some point prior to the race stop drinking so you can empty your bladder before the start.What drinks should runners avoid? ›
If you are planning to go for a long run, avoid the consumption of energy drinks. Most energy drinks are loaded with sugars and some even contain caffeine, which can create an urgency to urinate. Excessive caffeine consumption also causes the heart rate to pump up and augments the runner's stress levels.Which drink gives instant energy for running? ›
XLR8 Isotonic Re-hydration Formula is the answer. It will help you with instant energy boost for a winning performance.What should you not drink before running? ›
Anything With Sorbitol. While sports drinks can be a good choice for replacing electrolytes, especially for long runs, you want to avoid anything with the low-calorie sugar replacement sorbitol. “Sorbitol, when consumed in high quantities, is known to have a laxative effect,” says Cantor.How many weeks does it take to go from a half marathon to a marathon? ›
Most marathon training programs are 16 to 20 weeks in duration to allow for the build-up in long-run mileage as well as life's little detours that tend to happen along the way.When should I move from half marathon to marathon? ›
Because you are already in half-marathon shape, you'll just need 2-4 months to get ready for 26.2. Here are some tweaks you'll need to make to your half-marathon training to get marathon ready. For the half, you needed to get ready for 13.1.How do you pace a half marathon strategy? ›
(The first three segments of the race should be around a 6 or 7.) If you're focusing solely on pace, Gaudette suggests starting with 10 seconds per mile faster than your goal pace for the first mile of this segment. If that feels good, try 15 the next, and then the last mile give whatever you have left, he says.How do you divide a marathon? ›
The 10/10/10 approach to the marathon calls for splitting the race into three separate sections: the first 10 miles, the second 10 miles, and the final 10K.How many days before half marathon should I stop running? ›
Different race distances usually require different tapering lengths, so for a half marathon 1 – 2 weeks before the event is usually enough time to give you the rest you need before the big day! You want to make sure all your best running is put into the race day and not training leading up to the event.
Can I run a half marathon 3 weeks before a marathon? ›
Many marathoners schedule a half marathon tune-up race three to five weeks before a marathon. It can be a valuable tool to help you estimate your marathon finish time and gauge how well your fitness has progressed since the beginning of your training.How many miles should I run a week for a half marathon? ›
For the Half Marathon
The typical weekly mileage for average runners training for a half marathon is 30-40 miles a week. Elite runners will have a volume closer to 100-110 miles per week.
Start the race at a pace which is slower than your goal half marathon pace (5 to 10 seconds per mile). This is important from a physical perspective, but also psychologically.How many times should you stop a half marathon? ›
Fuel Your Body
Certified half marathons are required to have at least six water stops along the course so don't worry about running out – there will be plenty to go around!
Start eating small meals every 2-3 hours, but after lunch, cut out red meat, fried foods, dairy products, fats, nuts, and roughage. You should only be consuming light, digestible foods like energy bars, bread, and small sandwiches. Keep drinking water and electrolyte beverages and avoid salty and high fiber foods.How do you mentally push through a half marathon? ›
- Visualize Your Training. ...
- Break Down the Distance. ...
- Pick Up the Pace. ...
- Focus on Someone Else. ...
- Find a Distraction. ...
- Build Your Support Network. ...
- Look to the Crowds. ...
- Know Why You're There.
Running a 1:59:59 half-marathon means maintaining an average pace of 9:09 minutes per mile, which is considered a good half-marathon time among runners. Highly competitive runners aim for harder targets, like a 1 hour and 30-minute half-marathon (6:51 minutes per mile pace or faster).How should I eat before a marathon? ›
Choose easy carbohydrate options at each meal:
- Grains such as rice, oatmeal, quinoa, pasta.
- Baked and roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes.
- Juice/sports drinks.
There's no better workout for marathoners than the long run. It's the most specific to the race itself, meaning it most resembles the marathon and contributes most to your level of preparedness. For these reasons, runners should complete a long run every week (with an optional cut-back long run every 3-4 weeks).How can I increase my marathon speed? ›
- Include interval training in your running program.
- Practice your race pace.
- Nail down your nutrition and hydration.
- Include strength training in your program.
- Respect your rest days.
- Follow a training plan.