Marathon Training – Beyond the Miles: CARBO LOADING

I can’t believe that it’s been almost a month since my last Marathon Training – Beyond the Miles post! I guess I’ve just been spending so much time training for the marathon that this series totally slipped my mind! Ooops!

Well today I’m going to talk about a topic that is new to me and something that I really want to do well for Boston – Carbo-loading. I’ve only run one marathon in my life (and never a half) so I have little experience with the actual need to carbo-load. All I know is that I did NOT do a good job of it before the L.A. Marathon last year.

Failing to carbo-load correctly can cause you to run out of fuel – a.k.a. ENERGY before you even cross the finish line. This is literally the worst thing that can happen during a marathon, believe me, it is no fun to be that person that’s walking & being passed at mile 22.

L.A. Marathon Walk

Trudging up a “hill” at L.A.

My lack of good carbo-loading left me heavy-legged and feeling AWFUL for the last 6 miles of L.A. and it was so frustrating knowing that my body could do it but it just didn’t have any gas in the tank.

(There were still a lot of smiles afterwards, I mean I had just finished my FIRST marathon!)310321_10151556583082152_464235274_nThis year I am determined to get my carbo-loading down-pat for Boston, so I have been doing my research. I also know that it is never a good idea to try out new things in my nutrition before a race so I am going to be practicing my ability to eat mountains of carbs before my half-marathon in two-and-a-half weeks!

Here are so great carbo-loading tips!

  • During the few days before your goal race anywhere from 70-90% of your calories should come from carbs
  • Incorporate carbs into every meal and snack throughout the day to make sure that you are meeting this percentage
  • Carbo-loading helps to fill your muscles with stored glycogen – which gives you energy during long runs/races
  • Make sure to choose easily digestible carbs that agree with your stomach – my favorite go-tos are pasta, bagels and tortillas!
  • Make sure to steer clear of carbs that are high in fiber (I didn’t follow this rule before L.A. and ended up having to make two potty breaks…)
  • Don’t just eat carbs – DRINK THEM! It’ll be easier to hit the level of carbs you have to take in if you are drinking Gatorade, juice or other sugary drinks.

Some interesting carbo-loading articles…

The Evolving Art of Carbo-Loading (just focus on the no-depletion model!)

How To Carbo-Load For a Marathon

Nancy Clark on Carbohydrate-Loading

Fill ‘Er Up!

The Truth about Carbo-Loading [hint: you’re probably not doing it enough]

Check out the rest of my Marathon Training – Beyond the Miles Series!

How many marathons/half-marathons have you run?

What is your go-to carb?

Have you done a good job of carbo-loading in the past?


8 thoughts on “Marathon Training – Beyond the Miles: CARBO LOADING

  1. Go-to carb night before is penne pasta (white, i do stay away from whole grains/fiberlicious carbs), and the morning of I do a bagel. I also like tortilla chips or potato chips to make sure my sodium intake is decent as well

  2. I’ve run 8 marathons and no clue how many half marathons. Morning of I’m an Oatmeal kind of girl………Fills me up and easy of the tummy. Night before past with chicken and some broccoli. I like to snack on pretzels or even pickles to help store salt. You will do awesome!!!!!

  3. Pingback: Five Things Friday | Will Run for Boston

  4. Pingback: Three Day Carbo Loading Plan | Will Run for Boston

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