Runners should eat a meal with lean protein and simple carbohydrates between two and four hours before a half marathon. Women's Running magazine recommends easy-to-digest foods such as energy bars, cereal, fruit, low-fat milk and water.
Runners should avoid foods high in fat or fiber because they take longer to digest, which may cause stomach problems during the race. Runners may also benefit from eating a large lunch instead of a heavy dinner the night before a race, giving the food time to digest. Runners can prepare their bodies for the half marathon by adding extra protein and carbohydrates, such as fruits, rice and legumes, to each meal starting a week before the race.