When do you start carb loading for a race?
I had a sports dietician tell me at a race expo once that you want to consume the majority of your carbs two days before any long endurance event. So if your race is on a Sunday, you would consume your larger meals on Friday, then start Saturday with a carb-heavy breakfast and taper your meals from there, ending with a light dinner. If you start two days prior, the glycogen will stay in your muscles until you exercise, and the smaller meal the night before prevents stomach issues on race morning.
In my opinion, it’s up to the individual competitor to discover what works for him/her (which usually results in a LOT of trial of error until the right balance is struck). I typically start to go heavier on the carbs two days prior, but I’m also not one to shy away the day before either. My favorite pre-race meal is pizza (I’m pretty sure I’ve had pizza before all of my marathons and major triathlons) that’s light on the cheese. I’ll also favor white bread, which is low in fiber and easier to digest (trust me, you do NOT want a belly full of fiber going into race day!). I’ll stay away from greens and veggies as much as possible (again, fiber is not your friend on race day) and go light on the dairy. Basically my diet becomes bread, bread, and more bread. Oh, and maybe a cupcake thrown in for kicks.
I started my carb loading this morning with a waffle themed breakfast.
These were the last of my stash of homemade pumpkin waffles I had frozen last month. I toasted them this morning before slathering them with almond butter, pumpkin butter, flax seed, and walnuts.
On the side I had a juicy pear.
It’s going to be a busy Friday, hopefully that means it will fly by.
Have a great day everyone!