Favorite Running Energy Fuels For a Half Marathon

Fuel for a half marathon

When to fuel for a half marathon

I typically don’t fuel for any runs that are less than 90 minutes in duration. Your body roughly needs between 100 calories to 250 calories per hour on runs over 90 minutes. Your body can only assimilate approximately 250 calories an hour. 250 calories are roughly 2 1/2 energy gels or about 40 ounces of sports drink. I have made a list of racing fuels that I have tried on many of my races.

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GU Roctane

Why Gu Roctane? Gu Roctane comes with potassium, protein, and caffeine in a 100 calorie gel and is easily digestible with a couple of gulps of water. Studies have shown that caffeine can help you run longer with more energy when consumed in moderation during your long duration runs.

  • 35mg Caffeine, 180mg Sodium, 55mg Potassium (per fuel packet)


Honey Stinger

I like to break this into half and consume 2 smaller portions for energy.

Salted Watermelon – Clif Shot Bloks

Margarita – Clif Shot Bloks.

These two flavors are my favorite Clif Shot Bloks. When I’m training or racing a long distance I usually pop one of these in my mouth every 1/2 mile to 1 mile and just suck on them. They help prevent my mouth from becoming dry and they taste great plus each shot is about 33 calories.

Honey Stinger Gold

An alternative to GU Rocatane is Honey Stinger Gold. These have a honey base so they might be a little bit easier on the stomach. The one drawback is these do not contain caffeine.

Stomach Issues

If your stomach is having problems digesting the gels or you can’t bear the sweet taste of gels, I have provided a couple more fueling alternatives. For each of these fuels, I suggest placing them in small ziplock bags and safety pinning them to the top portion of your inner shorts. This will help prevent you from dropping them on the racecourse. The key to your snack-ables is to have an even flow of sugars/salts feeding into your system. Don’t down the whole bag all at once.

  • Pretzels (25 mini pretzels = 30 grams carbohydrate)
  • Candy: Swedish fish, gummy worms, or jelly beans
  • rice crispy treats (broken up)
  • Marshmallows.
  • Homemade Energy Bars.

When to fuel for a half marathon

Check out this post on when you should fuel for a half marathon.

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