72 Hours to go……It’s time to start carbo-loading!
I love carbs!! And the goal behind carb loading is to help our body store glycogen, that is the energy that our body uses to run, derived from carbs. The more glycogen we can store, the more energy is available to us on race day. Carbo-loading is accomplished by increasing carbohydrate consumption to as much as 70% to 80% of total caloric intake and simultaneously decreasing exercise duration and intensity (tapering). By increasing the amount of carbohydrates intake while decreasing the amount of exercise we do, it forces our muscles to store more glycogen. Let’s do it then!
I will load with grains, vegetables and legumes, and are also found in sweets including fruits and dairy products. Pasta, breads, rice, potatoes, cereals, fruits. My diet should look like this: 60-70% carbohydrates; 15-20% fat; 10-15% protein.
One day before the Marathon: I will eliminate any high fiber foods and foods that cause gas, such as beans, broccoli, bran cereals, etc. I will stick with low-residue foods and eat only enough to satisfy my basal metabolism. No alcohol and reduce caffeine to the bare minimum.
The morning of the Marathon: I will have a bland and high in carbohydrates and easy to digest breakfast. I must have some coffee, just one cup though. I will drink a large glass of water 1-2 hours before the start and have nothing more to drink until the starting gun. That will start me off well-hydrated but will give me enough time to eliminate any extra.
To keep track of the carbs I am taking in I will look on the food label for the amount ofcarbohydrates per serving. And for the foods that don’t have food labels I found online a great chart that lists the amount of carbohydrates, proteins, fat, calories, and fiber in many popular foods.
During that time I won’t forget to drink lots of water to start my “pre-hydration” as well!