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Friday, September 16, 2011

How to Carb Load

This is what I DON'T WANT YOU TO DO!!!! LMAO!

There is alot of confusion and freedom thinking when it comes down the science behind what a carb load is and how you are supposed to do it.

Many people take the idea and they eat tons of carbs the day before a race and sometimes for several days before a big endurance run. Often they find the performance was not at all enhanced by such actions and likely more often than not they have caused G.I. Upset which includes constipation, cramping and can lead to sluggish feelings and a heavy body.

Carb Loading is intended for Endurance Running/Training. Not intended for any sort of cardio up to One Hour. If you can run in under an hour a drink and small digestible food to fuel your run should be sufficient (oatmeal, bananas, bagels, toast, peanut butter)

If you plan to run longer than an hour then it's vital to plan ahead with your carb intake the day before and during the run to sustain your energy.

The principle idea behind the carb load before a big run/race is to restore the glycogen storage in your muscles. You likely have been running and training hard. When you run your deplete your muscle sugars. The carbs you take in after your run help to restore those muscle sugars which are used to move your muscles. When you run out of glycogen your muscles are sore (even so double that with the built up of lactic acid and then BAM you hit Your WALL!)

So how can you avoid hitting your wall?

First if you are truly racing there are days of preparation that go into your diet to prepare you for race day. You know they are simple people....avoid greasy foods, avoid foods you have never ate before, avoid fatty foods. Don't go crazy with over carb loading and stick to what works for you. I also like to add that you should really try to avoid eating out in the days before a race and if you do go to a place of business in which you trust. Surely you don't want gut rot/food poisoning before such a big race that you have trained so hard for. One meal and excursion before the race is so not worth it. Wait till after and then SPLURGE if you want, lol.

Along with watching your intake you have been tapering your running. Allowing those muscle fibers to repair and rest as much as possible!

First I want to preach that when you do Carb Load- choose Nutrient-Dense Carbohydrates! (whole grains/veggies/fruits) avoid simple sugars and junk people! Plus the fiber you will find in those nutrient dense choices will help keep your digestive tract working properly and surely you don't want to be freaking out cause you have not taken a crap in a day or two because of the tummy binding simple sugar crap!

Proper carb loading can increase muscle glycogen by as much as 50-100% for greater performance.

Ok lets get down to logistics. How many Carbs Connie?
As you reduce your mileage the week before a big run you also slightly increase your carbs. Looking 'something' like this

Day 7 - run 90 min (50% carb intake...normal)
Day 5&6 - run no more than 40min (50% carb intake...normal)
DAy 4&3 - run no more than 20min (65% carb intake)
Day before race- full rest (70% carb intake)

(you don't need to run that...this is just a general giving run statement, follow your own training plan for taper!)

So how do you know what 65% looks like? Listen people if you are really serious about your nutrition and your health and spirit of your race you'll take the time to actually write out what you eat and record the carb content and make sure you are hitting your goal.

Plus if you are not trained to run endurance...then no matter if you carb load or not you will find that it likely never mattered at all if you carb-loaded. That is sometimes the harsh reality.

Carb loading does NOT help you with your pace! Carb loading will only affect your endurance. You should be able to maintain your high-intensity run longer (not faster)

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