Carb loading is epic proportions for a marathon, like it should be.
As I have stated before, carb loading is something I have been working on this year by focusing on how to correctly carbload. In the olden days, I would just eat a lot of pasta the night before, which caused me to feel a bit sluggish the next morning.
After consulting Mark's Daily Apple and Runner's World, I realized I need to carb load earlier than 2 days before because it can take 12-24 hours for the carbs to be "ready to use". All you need for carb loading is an extra serving or two of carbs at each meals for 4-5 days before the event. I also learned in the Tinkerbell Race Guide that carbs eaten need to be consumed about 12 hours before race start time. I also read an article that you need to aim for 600 carbs the day before the race! eek! so many! I do not think I can reach that high but I will try my best!
Carb loading can take any form: vegetables, root vegetables, potatoes, rice, quinoa, couscous, bread, pasta, tortillas, etc.
Main points I focused on:
- Drink a lot of tea and water all week to stay hydrated
- Eat a clean diet all week-no fast food, no processed food.
- Sleep! Getting at least 8 hours of sleep is a good way to make sure you are rested heading Into the point
- Bananas! It turns my leg cramps were probably caused by a lack of potassium so I decided to test it out but consuming a lot of bananas.
- For me, try and avoid as much gluten as possible. I'm still having issues with gluten so I need to continue to carb load naturally. Ever since I have done this, I feel that my running has gotten better!
Added a banana, orange, and a cookie to regular food.
I was at a women's conference so I had an amazing lunch (salad, chicken, quinoa, sautéed veggies) but also cookies and desserts and wine! Such a good day!
Pasta for dinner
I had grad student interviews this day so I had 2 breakfast pastries and coffee for breakfast.
Lunch was wrap (great BBQ chicken wrap) and potato salad, cookie, apple and tea.
Added 2 bananas,and chips as a snack as well as everything at the expo.
For dinner, baked potato (with chili-amazing!) with homemade Gatorade.
Had a bagel and latte for breakfast
Cheesesteaks and fries for lunch
Pasta for dinner
I also had 3 total bananas for the day (i definitely think that's a record for me)
I also had 3 glasses of homemade Gatorade and lots of water.
Breakfast-a piece and a half of bread with peanut butter and 2 bananas.
Lunch and dinner-a lot of Indian food! So good
Disneyland! Gumbo and then fries and beignets and also a tostada salad
Overall, my loading was sufficient. I felt prepared but not too full. And including the insane amount of bananas I ate, I never experienced leg cramping. Potassium for the win!
Something I want to try is using oatmeal as a carb load before races. I'm going to test it out with long runs over the summer and see how it does. Even though I'm eating organic and all natural bread I would still like to move away from it (and traveling with oatmeal is easier!)
What are your favorite carb loading strategies before a race?