Carb Loading is No Joke

Hello and Happy Tuesday! I’m feeling a little better today, but still have about 3 tons of mucus to flush outta my nose ifyaknowwhatimean. Sorry, that was gross. But it’s grosser for me. some e card sick(source)

90% of the time I cannot decide on what to have for breakfast (mostly because I love ALL breakfast foods). I think I should just declare this meal my official breakfast and eat it until the end of time (it’s coming Dec ‘12 you know).IMG_0175 (800x533)

I wanted PB toast and an egg sandwich so I made one of the each – open face style! Best of both worlds foods.IMG_0179 (800x533)

Last night I spent some quality time with my new Runner’s World. Apparently, carb loading isn’t just fun – it’s science! There is a great article about carb loading sufficiently to help avoid hitting the wall. IMG_0168 (600x800)

The article is called “Fill ‘Er Up” by Dimity McDowell. There was a carb load of info, but here are some of the most helpful bits…

Since you’ll be eating a lot of carbs – fill up on low fiber ones. This kinda goes against most healthy eaters beliefs, but throw the high fiber grains out the window to avoid stomach issues and filling up too fast.

Start carb-loading 2-3 days before the race. It’s not just one pre-race dinner that will fill your tank.

EAT ALL CARBS! Okay, not exactly. But, the article said to switch your diet to 85 to 95% carbs. <- I was surprised at those numbers.

Surprised, but willing Winking smilecarb loading

I joke that I love running for the carb loading, but I do feel a little better that there is legitimate science behind it. IMG_7778 (800x533)

So, I gotta grab a snack before I head to work. It’s science.carb load cinnamon roll

Question: What’s your carb-loading meal or snack of choice?


  1. says

    My favorite go to carb-loading meal the night before a long run is a gigantic bean and rice burrito! I load ‘er up with rice, black beans, veggies, salsa, and guacamole. Specifically a Chipotle burrito if possible. I discovered this worked best for me by accident but it really loads me up with carbs and veggie goodness and so I stick with it. Why mess with a sure thing (especially if that sure thing is a burrito!)?

  2. says

    I don’t really “carb load”. What I do is maintain my eating style (that I normally keep while running 50-60 miles a week) even with the reduced mileage of taper. Bam, carb loaded and ready to run. No special meals or higher thinking required.

  3. says

    Oh, and fiber is the devil. I avoid it like that annoying wedding guest that wants to show you pictures of their funny looking kid.

  4. says

    In the last year I’ve virtually eliminated the low fiber carbs from my diet, but I know it’s necessary to incorporate more so that I can get the best performance out of my runs. Marathon training is getting intense and I find myself running out of gas and now I think I’m just not eating enough of them. Thanks for the magazine reference. I’ll need this to start prepping my pre-race plan!

  5. says

    I do the same thing with my breakfast sometimes too! I can’t decide if I want salty or sweet so I make both, eggs on one side with cheese and pb on the other.

  6. says

    Sounds like its time for a Neti pot!

    I stick with the old classic – pasta with marinara. Super easy to make or find if I’m out at a restaurant and super easy on the stomach. Also have the option for bread on the side for more carb loading goodness.

  7. says

    I like cereal for my carb loading. Any excuse to eat four bowls is good in my book.
    Also, I tested out the theory that candy corn makes for good pre race fuel and it worked. I ran a really great half marathon on Sunday all thanks to the handfuls of candy corn I ate on the days leading up to the race.

  8. says

    I’m in the midst of my first ever round of marathon training, and this carb news is the best thing I’ve ever read! I knew I should be having a lot of carbs, but 85% is even better (I also need to work on cutting out the high-fiber stuff). I’m going to go with cereal during the week of my race, and the old reliable pasta the night before.

  9. says

    See, this is another reason why I love runners. They understand that carbs are essential for energy and revel in it!
    I personally can’t get away from rice as my carb of choice. White, black, brown, short grain, long grain, wild… I love them all!

  10. says

    I am running my first marathon next month and have also unfortunately found out that carbs make me blow up, mostly because I have eliminated nearly all processed foods from my diet. I stick with good sources of protein, fruits and veggies, but a couple of days before a long run or race, I’ll indulge in either cinnamon raisin or pretzel bread with melted peanut butter on it…then I feel all bloated the next day and eat my normal fruits, veggies and protein the day before the race. I know this goes against nearly what all running advice gives, but it works for me!

  11. says

    Is that a trick question? ALL carbs! :)
    Love cheesy bread if I want something savory, and chocolate chip cookies (homemade by yours truly) if I want something sweet.
    Funny side note: My husband texted me the other day with: “S.O.S. we have no sweets in the house, what do I do? :(

    It was the cutest most pathetic thing ever! Poor guy…I made him some cookies like a good wifey should…I even helped him eat a few :)

  12. says

    So funny, I read this article yesterday at the gym and I’ve seen several other bloggers writing about the subject today (I also wrote about it today!) I thought it was really helpful because I never do the right thing when it comes to pre-race carbs. The last two marathons, I’ve had pizza the night before but I’m not sure that worked for me. I’m gonna go with brown rice every day for like at least three days before…and try to keep things nice and plain the night before. I’m interested to see how my new strategy helps me on race day.

  13. says

    Just found your blog and twitter feed, lovin’ it! :) 3 months ago I started working with a nutritionist and she’s been getting me off the grains. Plenty of carbs, and lots of good fats and protein, but specificly little to no grains. I was super scared my training would suffer. Not at all! My pre-race dinner for anything endurance is filet mignon, potatoes, veggies, and a salad. I tried pasta twice and it didn’t settle well with my tummy either time.

    Although, I’m embarking on my first marathon (prev. I’ve done halfs, sprint, and olympic tris), so maybe those rules will change.

    While others may covet the cinnamon roll, I covet the awesome looking bread you’re about to bite into… :)

  14. says

    funny but i randomly blogged about carboloading today too, havent read the runnersworld, i just wrote the post a couple weeks ago and was too lazy to write a new post today.

  15. says

    I really like to make fried brown rice the night before a race. I think carb loading can be marginally helpful, but since the body can only bank so much glycogen I am not sure that it makes a huge difference. I think being well hydrated, rested and getting in some electrolytes is the real key(for me at least). I also rarely run full marathons…

  16. Aleks says

    dang, now i really want a cinnamon roll. the funny thing is that i lived in dubai for over 2 years, and there was a cinnabon in every mall (and the city is mostly malls anyway). i got it… once. i think i was too scared of carbs… but arabs are obsessed with it, no wonder the population is getting more and more obese and diabetic (keep in mind they don’t run marathons like you do!). but i think there is an ikea somewhere in dublin, so i might go on a mission (and get a ton of random crap i never think i needed in the process).

  17. says

    Cinnamon rolls for sure (I have one on my desk right now!) and the occasional giant plate of pasta with loads of sauce and Parmesan on top. Yum! I do love the carb loading side of running, such a great bonus!

  18. says

    Not sure how I feel about carb loading just because I don’t want that bloat feeling before a race. Although, I love me some carbs all the time. I love that picture of the big piece of bread – I wish plain white bread was full of antioxidants and vitamins b/c I’d be happy to it all the time!

  19. says

    Carbs? Potatoes come as the best answer for me. Baked potatoes. Brown Rice. Fruit. Processed carbs like breads and things are okay, but I really do feal better when I’m getting “quality” carbs

  20. says

    I read that same Runner’s World last night and happily went out & bought bagels today. I love that it’s carb loading time!!

    I also read in there that week 2 of taper you will often feel very unsure of yourself & possibly doubt your training – remind you of anyone last week?? *points at self* :)

  21. Becs in Britain says

    Did you know watermelon is packed full of vitamin C? How on earth did you get a cold in the first place?! 😉 I think you seriously need to eat more watermelon in order to cure yourself! x

  22. says

    Thanks, now I need a cinnamon bun.
    I usually have pizza or pasta before a long run (and after!). I had pizza before my 5ks as well since it sits well in my stomach. I would have had pizza even if I wasn’t racing, I just really like pizza.

  23. Runnermom21 says

    Read RW article and was inspired. Read foodtrainin website and it said carbo load is BS and old. Trainin for a full 26.2 and not sure of info.

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