Carb Loading

8 messages
17/08/2012 at 21:12
Hi, I have my first marathon coming up in a couple of weeks and am not sure what to do with regards to carb loading as I'm not particularly experienced. I consider myself to have a decent diet, so do I carry on as normal and just eat extra portions or mainly eat a carb loaded diet the week before? How do you guys do it and what would you eat the week leading up to a marathon? My longest run was 20 miles and I felt fine on what I normally eat after that, if that helps? Cheers
cougie    pirate
18/08/2012 at 00:58
No need to spend a week stuffing pasta.
Friday night make sure you eat well and top it up a bit Saturday. That'll do.
18/08/2012 at 05:49

Have heard some very interesting stuff recently on Talk Ultra (regarding longer distances obviously, but, I think still applicable to marathon runners) about the over reliance on carbs being detrimental to endurance and that, while carbs should still be eaten, that shouldn't be at the expense of good fats and protein. I always used to make sure I ate more carbs before long runs but have recently stopped that and have not found it detrimental to my running. Apparently it's all to do with the body's ability to use fat as a fuel rather than just relying on carbs, which the body is unable to store as much of and so, when they run out, leaves you with a problem.

Worth looking into although I'm not suggesting you make any drastic dietary changes just before your marathon.

18/08/2012 at 07:09
What Cougie said. Continue with Balanced diet, then a bit extra Fri / Sat. Thats what I did for my 1st

Doing a long run to exhaust glycogen, then restricting yourself of carbs for 3 days, and then piling on the carbs last 3 days used to be an approach to maximise glycogen storage. Now tapering is seen as more important. I love my carbs and won't be following that approach!
18/08/2012 at 07:13
Ps tip number 2:

Don't go on a whale watching trip on a rough sea the day before. This was my carb unloading strategy
18/08/2012 at 09:57
top tip-Always eat jam sandwhiches when you go whale watching
18/08/2012 at 10:14

Ho ho ho nice one SR, ho ho ho

20/08/2012 at 11:51
Also-ran wrote (see)
What Cougie said. Continue with Balanced diet, then a bit extra Fri / Sat. Thats what I did for my 1st

Doing a long run to exhaust glycogen, then restricting yourself of carbs for 3 days, and then piling on the carbs last 3 days used to be an approach to maximise glycogen storage. Now tapering is seen as more important. I love my carbs and won't be following that approach!

Also ran is correct that this approach is increasingly being disproved. General advice now is to keep glycogen levels high throughout the build-up to the race, but ensure during loading phase that are getting the carbs in within 2 hours after a workout. Some advice here: http://therunningbug.co.uk/training/food-and-weight-loss/b/weblog/archive/2011/05/05/carbohydrate-loading.aspx

Edited: 20/08/2012 at 11:51

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