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Carb loading before a run? | Forum

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SirDirk Original
SirDirk Jun 19

I heard that carb loading before a running event will help you have the fuel your body needs to complete the run.


First question is is this even true and if so do you carb load the day before or couple of days before?

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johnnyquick
johnnyquick Jun 24
That makes sense, since carb is fuel for your body. I think the key is how much you need, and that could depend of your weight and the event. Maybe as boxers, they have a strict control and a several professionals that advicel them what can eat and how much to be ready for the fight.
Average_Jbob Original
Average_Jbob Jun 24
I think there's a lot of benefit to the art of 'carb loading' before an event. . .but as johnnyquick points out, it's going to be a little different depending on the event.


For me, I go back and forth between doing Spartan Races (Obstacle Course / Mud Runs) and more traditional Road Races (5K, 10K, Half Marathon). . .I tend to prep for my road races the same way I prep for my Spartan Races because I find it works for me.  What I've learned from listening to SGX coaches (Spartan certified trainers) is that if you wait until the day before your event to carb load or hydrate you've waited too long.  You may get SOME benefits, but it takes longer for your body to properly store carbs up for what you're going to need.  I block out the 6 days leading up to the event as my Carb Load / Hydration Week and will cut WAY back on any kind of workouts for that week so that my muscles have a chance to fully rest up. . .I will instead LOAD UP on Pasta, Chicken, and Tuna so that I pack on the carbs in my muscle fibers for easy / quick access during the event.  I'll also make sure to drink a 2 - 1 ratio of sports drink to water during those 6 days. . .2 20 ounce Gatorade's and 1 20 ounce bottle of water (one of the empty Gatorades).  The reasoning for this is that just loading up on water will hydrate you but also begin to flush out the electrolytes you will need come race day. . .so hydrating with an electrolyte sports drink will make sure you keep those much needed electrolytes WHILE getting hydrated, but you still want some water in the mix!  A 2 - 1 ratio is what I was taught and it's worked well for me so far!


The night before my event I make sure to not eat anything that has even a moderate amount of fiber in it. . .and the morning of my Race I will eat a very light breakfast since I know I tend to operate best on a mostly empty stomach. . .and the vast majority of the energy I will need is already stored up in my muscles from the past 6 days.  I still need to take nutrients on the course with me, and I may modify this plan as I go along. . .but for now this is what I've learned and what has worked for me!  :)

SirDirk Original
SirDirk Aug 21
Topic was moved from Nutrition & Diet.