How and why to carbo-load?
It’s important extremely important to fuel correctly before a 26.2 or 13.1 mile run, why put all the training in and then not fuel yourself to capacity to enhance performance?
Here is what all runners need to know before entering into a race.
When you eat a bowl of pasta, most of the carbs are stored as glycogen in the muscles and liver. Glycogen is your body’s most easily-accessible form of energy, but it’s not the only source. During a half or full marathon once you have exhausted your glycogen stores you will start to burn fat, this often when you “hit the wall”. Fat takes longer for your body to convert.
The best advice is simple carbs, those like pasta, bread and ideally potatoes without the skin. The skin on fruit like apples, pears and vegetables like potatoes can reduce the speed of digestion as the skin is high in fiber and takes the body longer to break down.
How many carbs?
Your calorie intake doesn’t necessarily need to go up at this stage just the quantity and volume of carbs in your calories needs to increase.
It is recommended to eat 4g of carbs per 500g body weight per day. For example a 70kg runner, should aim to eat 560g carbs per day.
How to time your carbs
Practice carb loading prior to race day. Maybe a week in advance.
Then the night before have a carb heavy meal but not a big meal, try to eat early in the evening to allow it to digest.
Finally on the day have around 150g of carb 3 hours before the race to top those glycogen stores up maximally.
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