Carb loading and running

I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying, “Eat a mountain of pasta the night before a race!” Even to this day, I have people ask me if I’m going to eat pasta before the big race I’m training for. I’m here to break apart this old, nauseating thought that we somehow need pasta to run…

Carb loading and running was originally published on Self Evolve

I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying, “Eat a mountain of pasta the night before a race!” Even to this day, I have people ask me if I’m going to eat pasta before the big race I’m training for. I’m here to break apart this old, nauseating thought that we somehow need pasta to run far.

Carbohydrate loading can help you. What is carbo loading? It’s a strategy involving changes to training and nutrition that can maximize muscle glycogen (carbohydrate) stores prior to endurance competition. Athletes believe that by loading the muscles with glycogen, they can prevent hitting the “wall” and hopefully allow them to run at their desired pace for longer. It has the potential to improve performance by 2-3%, if done properly. The issue is, a plate of pasta isn’t carbo-loading. Follow these simple steps to properly carbo-load:

  1. Don’t skip the carb depletion phase. 7 days prior to the event do a long or strenuous workout which will deplete your body of glucose. For the next 3 days maintain a lower carb diet of 35 to 50% of total calories. For the final 2 days prior to the race switch to 75% of calories from carbohydrates, while dramatically decreasing overall work volume (the other 25% is largely protein).
  2. Avoid simple carbs! Don’t eat junk food, and avoid sugar. Ideal carbo-loading foods: potatoes, fruits, vegetables, whole grains. If you have trouble with high fiber/runners trots, look for options like sourdough bread with honey or sweet potatoes.
  3. Don’t carbo load for short distance races. 5K or 10K? Too short! Carbo loading is only needed if you’ll be running OVER 90 minutes. I would even argue that it’s not necessary for a half-marathon but should be done for a full.
  4. Don’t load for too long, only do it for about 2 days prior to the race. The rest of the time before the race? Not loading! Don’t load up for a week, that is just un-necessary.
  5. Don’t freak out over the weight gain. Carbs make you retain water, which is needed for race day! Don’t even worry about that number on the scale, unless you’re ignoring step #2 and eating cookies.
  6. Don’t skip your last load due to nerves. You want that race morning fuel! You must give your muscles that last boost of glucose to help prevent energy lulls, mood swings, and fatigue. Aim to 1-3 grams of high quality carbs, low fat and low fiber – oatmeal with banana or yogurt with fruit if you can stomach it.
  7. Don’t eat that pasta dinner! One large meal of carbs is NOT carbo-loading and for many people it has the opposite effect of what they desire.

Of course, at the end of the day, everyone is different. You have to find what works best for you. Personally, I haven’t carbo-loaded before. But, I have also never ran a full marathon before. I usually eat before every race though. On the morning of a half marathon I eat fruit, drink lots of water, and drink some coffee. The week leading up to the half? I just focus on eating healthy: lots of veggies, fruits, healthy proteins and fats. Now that I’m training for the full marathon, I will be sure to pay more attention to what I’m putting into my body.

Food is fuel. And fuel is energy. Do you carbo-load? What do you eat before running? Or do you run on an empty stomach? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Carb loading and running was originally published on Self Evolve

How to taper

Are you training for a half or full marathon? If so, is it your first? Have you heard of tapering? Do you know what taper means? If not, continue reading as this can and will change your life! #welcometothetaper I’m currently training for my first full marathon, but I’ve ran two half-marathons. The first one…

How to taper was originally published on Self Evolve

Are you training for a half or full marathon? If so, is it your first? Have you heard of tapering? Do you know what taper means? If not, continue reading as this can and will change your life! #welcometothetaper I’m currently training for my first full marathon, but I’ve ran two half-marathons. The first one…

How to taper was originally published on Self Evolve

The Importance of Fit

All runners should know the importance of a proper shoe fitting. Unfortunately, beginning and seasoned runners alike make many common mistakes when picking out new running shoes. Some runners just pick a shoe based on brand or how it looks. They think if they look cool enough they’ll run better (illusion). Giving into peer pressure…

The Importance of Fit was originally published on Self Evolve

All runners should know the importance of a proper shoe fitting. Unfortunately, beginning and seasoned runners alike make many common mistakes when picking out new running shoes. Some runners just pick a shoe based on brand or how it looks. They think if they look cool enough they’ll run better. Giving into peer pressure or…

The Importance of Fit was originally published on Self Evolve

Global Running Day

Tomorrow is Global Running Day. This holiday started out as a national US holiday in 2009 but went global in 2016. The idea behind it is to show that fitness is fun. There’s also a Million Kid Run which is about inspiring kids to embrace running as a way to get healthy and fit. The goal…

Global Running Day was originally published on Self Evolve

Breaking 2: Superhuman Speed

Last weekend Nike attempted to break 2 hours for the world record of fastest Marathon time. They took the world’s fastest runners (Eliud Kipchoge, Zersenay Tadese, and Lelisa Desisa) and had them run at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza in Milan, Italy. Many years of planning went into this pursuit of breaking the 2014 world record of 2:02:57 for fastest…

Breaking 2: Superhuman Speed was originally published on Self Evolve

Last weekend Nike attempted to break 2 hours for the world record of fastest Marathon time. They took the world’s fastest runners (Eliud Kipchoge, Zersenay Tadese, and Lelisa Desisa) and had them run at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza in Milan, Italy. Many years of planning went into this pursuit of breaking the 2014 world record of 2:02:57 for fastest marathon (Dennis Kimetto). No detail was left out, including flying in a hand-picked group of 11 Kenyan and Ethiopian runners for the sole purpose of setting the pace and blocking the wind for the chosen three runners.

breaking-2-final-nike-_the_pack_all_togetehr

 

Over the past few years, these three runners trained to run 26.2 miles at a superhuman pace of just under four minutes and 35 seconds per mile. This raises questions regarding testing the limits of the human heart and can be seen as a Holy Grail barrier. While the record of fastest marathon has been getting closer to 2 hours over the last ten plus years, 2 minutes and 57 seconds is 2.4 percent away from the barrier of 2 hours. Which is quite a barrier to overcome. But last weekend, Eliud got close. He came in at 2:00:25, 26 seconds over the goal time of 1:59:59. Despite not quite making the goal, the fact that Eliud took 2 minutes and 32 seconds off the world record is amazing. While not 2.4 percent, 2.16 percent is still a huge jump. Of course, this is only one of the first attempts at sub-2 hour marathon, and there are other attempts being planned for the near future.

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What are your thoughts on this pursuit? Are these runners really superhuman? I look forward to seeing what other records we can break, not just in running but in other avenues as well. What’s your favorite sport to watch? Did anyone watch this attempt and think that these runners make running that fast look natural? These men were born to run, there’s no doubt about that.

 

Breaking 2: Superhuman Speed was originally published on Self Evolve