Now that you have worked out your training schedule, the next step is to establish the right way to carbo-load before your race. There is great importance behind loading up on carbs before a big race.
Read all about which foods to eat, which to avoid and other useful tips!
Great sources of carbohydrates include: tortillas, oatmeal, bread, pancakes, waffles, yogurt and juice – these options are all easy-to-digest. As many fruits are high in carbs but are also high in fiber, too much can cause stomach trouble mid-race, which is something none of us want.
Bananas are low in fiber and you can peel apples, peaches, and pears to reduce their fiber intake. More great sources to consider include white bread and baked potatoes (without the skin).
Steer clear of high-fat foods such as creamy sauces, cheese, butter, oil and foods containing too much protein. These nutrients fill you up faster than carbs and take longer to digest. Rather go with jam instead of butter, tomato sauce instead of alfredo sauce on your pasta and opt for frozen yogurt as opposed to ice cream for dessert.
How long in advance should one start carbo-loading:
It is important to start with the carbo-loading process two – three days before the big race. The glycogen will accumulate in your muscles since you're running very few miles. At this point in time, 85 – 95% of your calories should come from carbs. Weighing in on the scale after carbo-loading? Stay cool and calm, as you might notice an increase in weight. It’s normal to have gained a couple of extra kilos, but just know that you are on the right track and have carbo-loaded properly.
Finally, remember to eat often. Don’t eat massive meals but rather eat small, frequent meals, which will help avoid feeling full and bloated.
Be sure to consider carbohydrate loading before your next race, as carbo-loading is an effective way to maximise glycogen stores and race day performance.