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Old 10-11-2010, 11:19 AM   #1
Brian Stone
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Join Date: Feb 2009
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Default Prep for an endurance event

When preparing to run a half marathon recently, I came across a ton of advice of the usual kind - eat plenty of pasta / carb load 24-48 hours before. However, I wondered about this when I was thinking it over. My understanding is that the goal of eating plenty is to ensure that glycogen and sugar stores are all maximized so that I'm in a well-fed state and storing as much ready energy as possible going into the event.

With that in mind and assuming this is correct, shouldn't I be just as well off regardless of types of macros eaten provided that I eat plenty of food and get sufficient rest? I have no reason to avoid carbs and that isn't my intent, but at the same time it didn't seem to make sense to me to go out of my way to carb load provided I'd be otherwise inclined to eat plenty of food and get plenty of rest during this period.

Thoughts?
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Old 10-12-2010, 12:25 PM   #2
Jarod Barker
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How do you usually eat? I mean, it goes without saying to be well fed and rested before a competition of any kind. If your typical diet is sustaining you well when you're training, then there's really no reason to stray far from it for competition. Maybe a little extra food and water, but I wouldn't drastically change anything, especially if you haven't tested it in training. For example, let's say you were doing low/no carb and then trying to take advantage of supercompensation and carb loading every so often. I would do it multiple times during training to test it and make sure it works for you. You could end up with a case of runs during your run, and that never ends well.
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:22 AM   #3
Darryl Shaw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Stone View Post
When preparing to run a half marathon recently, I came across a ton of advice of the usual kind - eat plenty of pasta / carb load 24-48 hours before. However, I wondered about this when I was thinking it over. My understanding is that the goal of eating plenty is to ensure that glycogen and sugar stores are all maximized so that I'm in a well-fed state and storing as much ready energy as possible going into the event.

With that in mind and assuming this is correct, shouldn't I be just as well off regardless of types of macros eaten provided that I eat plenty of food and get sufficient rest? I have no reason to avoid carbs and that isn't my intent, but at the same time it didn't seem to make sense to me to go out of my way to carb load provided I'd be otherwise inclined to eat plenty of food and get plenty of rest during this period.

Thoughts?
The availability of carbohydrate determines how long an athlete is able to exercise at intensities >50-65% VO2 max so by carb loading to maximize glycogen stores instead of following your regular diet you can improve performance by delaying the onset of fatigue.

AIS Sport Nutrition Factsheet: Carbohydrate Loading.

Runner's World 60-Second Guide: Carb-Loading.
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Old 10-13-2010, 08:02 AM   #4
Brian Stone
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Darryl that is exactly what I was looking for - thank you.

Chad - good advice. That was generally along the lines of why I was hesitant to modify my diet for the recommended carb loading. It fortunately didn't turn out to be a problem.
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Old 10-14-2010, 07:35 PM   #5
Jarod Barker
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If you're interested in some tinkering and taking advantage of the benefits of glycogen, you can try cyclic low carb (CLC). You eat basically a ketogenic diet and then carb up every so often. I know an MMA guy who claims it works for him, but I didn't feel like it made much difference for me personally. Worth trying though. It definitely works, I just felt like it was more work than I wanted for a small improvement in my numbers. I think it took a whopping 10 seconds off my 500 yard swim, which is significant since I swim it typically within a 2-3 second margin, but 10 seconds still isn't much for having to eat no carb most of the days.
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