To load or not to load ???

As much as carbohydrates are a naughty word in some circles, when preparing for an endurance event they are talked about quite regularly.  And quite rightly so, they are a rather important fuel source for our muscles! 

So, as I approach the final week of preparation before the Half Marathon I am thinking about whether I should be carbohydrate loading or just continuing with my regular diet.  
In the past, the carb loading rules called for a low carb diet for 3 - 4 days followed by a high carb diet for the last 3 days before the event.  Apparently now research shows that this type of carb loading is not necessary.  Following a high carbohydrate diet a day or two before the event will provide enough carbohydrate stores to fuel the athlete. 

In all honesty, I'm no elite athlete trying to crack some super fast PB ... I'm really mostly keen on finishing in one piece!  With that being said, I still feel a bit more prepared if I really watch my diet in the days leading up to the event and have a high carbohydrate meal the night before.  The most important thing for me is that I have tested these meals on a training run .. not on the day!  That way I know how it may or may not affect my body .. because we all know what it is like to feel, ummm, "uncomfortable" during a run!

We have to travel ( yep, a mini holiday!! ) down to the Gold Coast for the run, so today I have cooked up a lasagne to have towards the end of next week.  And, I've made the pasta sauce to go with the pasta on Saturday night before the run on Sunday morning.  This way, I don't have to run around like a crazy, anxious lady getting dinners ready.  I am going to calmly and casually pull my ready made meals from the freezer and heat them up!!  And this is the extent of our carbo load. 

While I'm here I'll add a few extra tips that I have picked up over the years ... they're mostly pretty basic ...  
  • avoid high fibre ( for obvious reasons .. as well as that "too full" feeling )
  • avoid high fat ( same as high fibre reasons :( )
  • jelly beans and jelly babies etc don't always give you a boost if you haven't fuelled properly before running
  • ALWAYS trial your meals in training
  • ALWAYS trial gels, jubes etc in training prior to the run ( experience = nasty )
  • have your last meal at least one and a half hours before you run ( uncomfortable otherwise )
  • drink lots .. the day before and early enough to go to the loo before you start
  • always have refuel handy after the run and make sure it's something you can actually stomach .. I love an apple and a chocolate milk! Or a Mars bar ( I know, but it tastes great!! )
I would love to hear what everyone else's race prep is going to be like!  Let me know some of your tried and tested tips.

Stay focused,  Stay strong
Fit Mum x




Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thanks Vic, I haven't thought too much about the diet side of things for this week, so your tips are very useful. I was reading an article the other day that said to have a big lunch the day before a race and then have a light snack that night. Lasagne will definitely be on the menu.

Fit Mum said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

No probs Mal! Enjoy your last week tapering! Good luck on Sunday .. can't wait to hear about your race.
Vic x

Naomi Ellis said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Great advice thank you. I have no idea what I am doing and should have read this weeks ago! Will see how I go and will just keep eating what I normally do! N x