Three Day Carbo Loading Plan

If you haven’t read it yet you HAVE to read Amanda’s post about PMF or Post Marathon Funk. I’ve been mopping around for the past week and it’s so great to know that I’m not the only one that gets the blues in the weeks after a marathon!

I took a full week off after Boston and it felt so great but it is always weird to go from running 80 miles a week to nothing at all. But after 15 weeks of hard work it’s nice to lay around eating Ben & Jerry’s with my pups.

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From my Instagram

Speaking of sweets, who wouldn’t love coming home to THIS treat made by their little sister? Thanks MEL!

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Not much interesting has happened the past week so I thought I would share one more marathon related topic. The Carbo-Load … When I ran the LA Marathon last year my idea of carbo-loading was eating a bowl of pasta the night before my race. Only after I did a little bit of research on the proper way to carbo-load did I realize that my lack of proper fueling in the days before LA was the reason that I very badly hit the wall around mile 20.

This time around I laid out a plan for my carbo-loading to make sure that I hit the recommended amount of carbohydrates in the 3 days before Boston. What I found during this carboloading phase was that it is actually really hard to eat ENOUGH carbs – who would have thought? Since it took a lot of brain power for me to come up with my pre-race fueling plan I thought that I would share with you what I did to hopefully make the process easier for you!

My goal was to get more than 70% of my calories from carbs on Friday and 80% of my calories from carbs during the two days immediately before my race. I did really good on hitting my percentages and I could feel a difference in the amount of energy that my legs had during this marathon vs. LA (even if my pesky IT band didn’t let me tap into that energy!).

Here’s a glimpse at how my carbo-loading went…


Breakfast – 3/4 cup oatmeal with 1 TBSP brown sugar, 1 medium banana & 8 oz. orange juice

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Morning Snack – 1 kid’s size Honey Stinger waffle

Lunch – Turkey & spinach sandwich on whole wheat bread, 1 cup low-fat chocolate milk, 2 ounces mini pretzels

Afternoon Snack – 1 package Nature’s Valley granola bars, 16 oz. Gatorade (Arctic Chill)

Dinner – 1 baked sweet potato (cubed), 1/2 cup pinto beans, 1/2 cup white rice and 1/4 cup salsa wrapped in a flour tortilla

Total Calories: 2,270   Total Carbs: 451g   Percentage Carbs: 76%


Breakfast – Cinnamon Raisin Bagel toasted with 2 TBSP raspberry jelly, 1 medium banana & 8 oz. orange juice

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Morning Snack – 10 saltines, 1 medium apple & 8 oz. Gatorade

Lunch – 1 baked sweet potato (cubed), 1/2 cup white rice and 1/4 cup salsa wrapped in a flour tortilla

Afternoon Snack – 1/2 cup Honey Bunches of Oats (dry) & 8 oz. Gatorade

Dinner – 1 slice potato bread, 2 oz. pasta, 1/2 cup marinara sauce & 1 medium banana

Total Calories: 2,270   Total Carbs: 494g   Percentage Carbs: 84%


Breakfast – 1/2 cup oatmeal with 1 TBSP brown sugar, 1 container yoplait yogurt & 1 medium banana

Morning Snack – 1 kid’s size Honey Stinger waffle

Lunch – 1 plain bagel toasted with raspberry jelly, 8 oz. of Gatorade

Afternoon Snack – 1 package Nature’s Valley granola bars, 16 oz. Gatorade (Arctic Chill)

Dinner – 1 baked sweet potato (cubed), 1/2 cup white rice and 1/2 cup marinara sauce on top of a flour tortilla, 1 medium banana & 8 oz. of Gatorade

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This doesn’t look amazingly appetizing but it was actually my go-to this carbo-loading cycle!

Total Calories: 2,280   Total Carbs: 475g   Percentage Carbs: 82%

You can find a additional carbo-loading plan here.

Do you ever get the post marathon blues?

What is one of your favorite meals during carbo-loading time?


19 thoughts on “Three Day Carbo Loading Plan

  1. I can totally relate to the post marathon blues! I hate taking time off the week after a race, but I know its what my body needs. Thanks for sharing this carbo-loading plan- I don’t really know if I get enough carbs in the days leading up to a race, even though I try to make sure they are my main food source.

    • Its really interesting to track your eating (just for a few days) to see where your percentages generally fall. And if you don’t think you’re getting enough carbs you’ll be able to see more clearly where you can make changes!

  2. I’ve seen lots of people get post RACE blues. I haven’t seen any specific reason why it happens but it’s seems to be common. I’ve never run anything past a 5k so I’ve never experienced it myself. But Matson training begins in four weeks, see what happens lol

  3. I get the post big triathlon blues! You put so much into all of the training and prep and then you finish the race and your like shocked that its “all over”! Plus I am just so happy giddy after a race usually that its kinda sad the week after like man I won’t get that feeling for another 3-8 months! Favorite carbo loading meal: I almost always have sweet potato, brown rice and carbo loaded drinks (skratch hydration is my favorite)

    • That’s the hardest part about a marathon/long race… you can’t do another one for such a long time! If I have a bad 5K I can run one again the next weekend – but there is just so much waiting after a marathon its crazy!

  4. I ran a half this past October and immediately burst into tears crossing the finish line! I’m pretty sure my friends thought I was nuts but the whole experience culminating is emotional!

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