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TOPIC: Half Marathon Carb Loading

 
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April 14, 2012 10:35 AM
I used an endurance calculator found online and it said to run at my target pace for my half I need to carb load pre-race 2295 (574 g) calories. It states to carb load 12-36 hours before.

My question/clarification is: the carb load guideline is for each day prior, right? Or is it saying that I should intake 574 g of carbs that time frame leading up to the race. My race is April 21st so I plan on starting the load with lunch on the 18th with a good breakfast about three hours before.

This is what is given as an explanation on the site:
Carbohydrate loading should be conducted in the days preceding a race (approximately 12-36 hours beforehand) and should be completed by approximately 12 hours before a race, in order to enable time for glycogen uptake into the muscles. The number of calories of carbohydrate indicated by the calculator for a particular target pace represents the total minimum excess, over and above normal caloric requirements, that should be consumed as carbohydrate (neither fat nor protein can be substituted for carbohydrate in carbohydrate loading) during the loading period. During that loading period, the entire diet should consist primarily of carbohydrates. The form of the carbohydrate is not critically important, though moderate- or high-glycemic-index foods consumed immediately after exercise of the target muscles (the leg muscles in runners) will be most effective in loading those muscles. The Conservative and Aggressive figures refer to the calories of carbohydrate required to sustain the corresponding speeds.

Thank you for an insight. I just want to make sure I'm interpreting this correctly. Sorry if I seem naive about this all. I am. This is my first half marathon.
  626786
April 14, 2012 11:01 AM
I believe it is saying to eat that the day before the race and stop 12 hors before the race starts.

So, if your race is on Sat morning start with supper on Thursday and stop with supper on Friday. Don't overeat on Fri night or you might feel like you have a bowling ball in your stomach during the race. Also eat several hundred calories of carbs for breakfast 2 hours before the race to top everything off.
  2927295
April 14, 2012 11:20 AM
QUOTE:

I believe it is saying to eat that the day before the race and stop 12 hors before the race starts.

So, if your race is on Sat morning start with supper on Thursday and stop with supper on Friday. Don't overeat on Fri night or you might feel like you have a bowling ball in your stomach during the race. Also eat several hundred calories of carbs for breakfast 2 hours before the race to top everything off.


^^^^^^ That.

There was actually an article on carb loading in this month's Canadian Running. It was based on a study of mid-pack marathon runners and, in a nutshell it was found that those who consumed 7g or more of carbs per kg of body weight the day preceding the race ran on average 13.4% faster than those who ate less.

Carb loading does have a downside though, every g of glycogen stored also holds 3 g of water in your muscles which could result in a temporary weight gain of up to a couple of kg.
April 14, 2012 11:25 AM
I don't carb load for anything less than a full marathon. I don't taper either. I just don't think it's necessary.
April 14, 2012 11:49 AM
QUOTE:

I don't carb load for anything less than a full marathon. I don't taper either. I just don't think it's necessary.


Being my first half I have followed a training program I found. I think I will notice carb loading. I didn't really eat excess carbs before my 12 mile training run and definitely felt "the wall" about 11 miles out.

Thanks for the input.
  626786
April 14, 2012 11:50 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I believe it is saying to eat that the day before the race and stop 12 hors before the race starts.

So, if your race is on Sat morning start with supper on Thursday and stop with supper on Friday. Don't overeat on Fri night or you might feel like you have a bowling ball in your stomach during the race. Also eat several hundred calories of carbs for breakfast 2 hours before the race to top everything off.


^^^^^^ That.

There was actually an article on carb loading in this month's Canadian Running. It was based on a study of mid-pack marathon runners and, in a nutshell it was found that those who consumed 7g or more of carbs per kg of body weight the day preceding the race ran on average 13.4% faster than those who ate less.

Carb loading does have a downside though, every g of glycogen stored also holds 3 g of water in your muscles which could result in a temporary weight gain of up to a couple of kg.


I've read articles about the weight gain too. I'm prepared for that. Thanks!
  626786
April 14, 2012 12:18 PM
My $.02 - food wise leading up to a half the biggest issue is staying away from that which will send me to the porta-potty.

Most runners aren't out there long enough to deplete their glycogen stores, hence generally no wall in half marathons. This is also the reason that people can push through and finish a half even when under-trained.
April 14, 2012 12:30 PM
I don't carb-load either. In fact, I'm a grain free endurance runner and don't use anything like gu either. On my last half I ate dates and baby food and set a pr by 10 minutes.
April 14, 2012 1:09 PM
QUOTE:

I don't carb-load either. In fact, I'm a grain free endurance runner and don't use anything like gu either. On my last half I ate dates and baby food and set a pr by 10 minutes.


My whole life is one big carb load! I'm eating Karin's share of grain and then some...
April 14, 2012 1:45 PM
Also, good luck in your first half marathon. That's a good distance to really test your fitness and mental toughness.
  2927295
April 14, 2012 4:47 PM
QUOTE:

Also, good luck in your first half marathon. That's a good distance to really test your fitness and mental toughness.


Thank you! I'm very excited.
  626786
April 14, 2012 4:48 PM
QUOTE:

My $.02 - food wise leading up to a half the biggest issue is staying away from that which will send me to the porta-potty.

Most runners aren't out there long enough to deplete their glycogen stores, hence generally no wall in half marathons. This is also the reason that people can push through and finish a half even when under-trained.


The way I have felt on some longer runs I know there is no way I would be able to do this race without training somehow. Being my first race I'll try out carb loading and see how I feel during the race and learn from that experience.
  626786
April 14, 2012 4:57 PM
I am training for my FIRST half marathon on June 2nd-but I will be skipping the carb loading myself. Today was my longest run so far in training-8 miles. I made it - it definitely is mind over matter!
  12777055
April 14, 2012 5:03 PM
bump
  9587091
April 14, 2012 5:40 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

My $.02 - food wise leading up to a half the biggest issue is staying away from that which will send me to the porta-potty.

Most runners aren't out there long enough to deplete their glycogen stores, hence generally no wall in half marathons. This is also the reason that people can push through and finish a half even when under-trained.


The way I have felt on some longer runs I know there is no way I would be able to do this race without training somehow. Being my first race I'll try out carb loading and see how I feel during the race and learn from that experience.


Good luck with the race! I wasn't implying people can run 13.1 without training. I was saying that most can finish even if their longest run was only 9 or 10 miles.
April 14, 2012 5:43 PM
I would be making sure I cut as much fibre out of my diet first before I carb load.

I carb load a bit before my HM but I don't go crazy!
April 15, 2012 10:11 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

My $.02 - food wise leading up to a half the biggest issue is staying away from that which will send me to the porta-potty.

Most runners aren't out there long enough to deplete their glycogen stores, hence generally no wall in half marathons. This is also the reason that people can push through and finish a half even when under-trained.


The way I have felt on some longer runs I know there is no way I would be able to do this race without training somehow. Being my first race I'll try out carb loading and see how I feel during the race and learn from that experience.


Good luck with the race! I wasn't implying people can run 13.1 without training. I w
as saying that most can finish even if their longest run was only 9 or 10 miles.


Ahh before I had decided to run a half about 8 miles was my longest run and that was to see if I could do it. Then I had a knee injury so I wanted to do a structured training program for the half to make sure my knee was good to go.
  626786
April 16, 2012 8:12 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I don't carb-load either. In fact, I'm a grain free endurance runner and don't use anything like gu either. On my last half I ate dates and baby food and set a pr by 10 minutes.


My whole life is one big carb load! I'm eating Karin's share of grain and then some...


You know I make the grains delicious for all the world to enjoy!

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