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Sure...eat a big plate of spaghetti just before you race.

You can not really carb load. A good steady diet is the only way to go.

and you may have to experiment at what works the night before, and the morning of , a race.
I had a friend who became a pretty good Nat'l class racer. He kept to a great, healthy diet...but always ate a Mc D's the nite before a race....swore the fat/salt content helped him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I usually start eating pasta for dinner the night before and the night before than. oatmeal for breakfast, and then a gu or enervite about a half hour before the race. i only race novice, so they last 1-1.5 hours. i don't cramp during races, and i don't need anymore carbs (gu) during the race. I also keep accelorade in my camelbak. it seems to work, but i was wondering what other racers are doing.
 

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I just make sure I have a big enough dinner the night before (rice, pasta, or a good ol' parma), and a bowl of museli three hours before the race. Don't try eating more than your body wants to, you'll just make yourself sick.

I'll have a gu before and a few during too. Seems to work pretty well for the 2-2:15 races I do.

It sounds like you've got it pretty well sorted actually, but it's always good to try small changes.
 

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the mayor said:
You can not really carb load.
i thought you could? not trying to argue, but i seriously am unsure. sort of out of the loop with all this stuff.

however, i thought there was a whole elaborate protocol for "overloading/super saturating" your muscle glycogen in advance of enduring events that is backed by studies?

it has to be timed right. i thought it went something like 3-4 days you sort of deplete your stores and then 1-2 days out you load up on carbs. the protocol is laid out much better than this and in more precise hours, etc.

i thought the idea was to deplete and then the muscle is able to take on a little extra when it is "given" back sort of like a rebound effect but this little extra doesn't last forever and so the whole thing needs to be timed accordingly to event.

sounds complicated. i just eat pasta before! hahahha

so aren't there multiple protocols out there that sort of follow what i wrote? or was i imagining all this??

:thumbsup:

mx
 

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Carb loading one night before isn't going to help much. However, doing a relatively short but hard effort about 3 days before your race, then eating good carbs (i.e. fruits, wheat pasta, etc.) afterward and upping your intake of good carbs for the remaining time before the race can help.

The reason relates to the storage of glycogen in your muscles, which is the primary source of fuel for hard effort in races.

If you like to read, I'd suggest picking up a copy of Daniel's Running Formula, a running book but it has great info on endurance events and things such as carb loading. If you really like reading, pick up a copy of The Lore of Running. It is a long book, and quite technical, but has tons of great info that is helpful for understanding performance in endurance athletic events.
 

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Gatorback said:
The reason relates to the storage of glycogen in your muscles, which is the primary source of fuel for hard effort in races.

If you like to read, I'd suggest picking up a copy of Daniel's Running Formula, a running book but it has great info on endurance events and things such as carb loading. If you really like reading, pick up a copy of The Lore of Running. It is a long book, and quite technical, but has tons of great info that is helpful for understanding performance in endurance athletic events.
Excellent advice. Jack Daniel's (really, that's his name) was the program my college track team used. Dude knows his ****.

And carbo loading is useless. Your body is only capable of storing so much glycogen; part of the reason we train so hard is to 1) increase the ability to STORE glycogen (i.e. how long we can go) and 2) increase the rate at which we can use our glycogen stores.
 

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mx_599 said:
i thought you could? not trying to argue, but i seriously am unsure. sort of out of the loop with all this stuff.
mx
No...you can't. To put it simply:
1.Your body can only store so much energy producing matter/chemicals/fluids...you can't jam extra in there.
2. Digesting food takes energy. Eat extra the night before, and you end up with less energy.
3. If you're not used to eating a big pile of food...you will be carrying a lot of it around during the race...no matter how many times you hit the crapper before.( so much for spending 300 bucks to take 12 grams off your bike, but have 1 lb of pasta in your lower digestive tract)

bottom line: eat the same thing/way you always eat. Smaller and more frequent meals work the best for most people.

Same with fluid intake. Drink steadily all the time...if you guzzle down 1 gallon of water in the morning of a race, it just dillutes your blood system and washes nutrients out of your system, as well as leaving you bloated.
 

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Bravo Shot,

I've got a friend who is a PhD'd Exercise Physiologist who specializes in what you're asking. She has worked with guys from the Tour, Olympic athletes, NFL teams and the Stanford Athletic Dept.

I'd be more than happy to put you in touch with her if you are interested in getting some science based information on you question.
 

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Glycogen storage is a science just like hydration and nurtition. Glycogen storage is good for 1-2 hrs. Effective replacement is performed by your body 0-5-4hr after depleation (right after excersise). Not just pasta the night before a race. You have to train your body to store and replenish glycogen. Replace 200 cals immediatedly after excercise and follow up with 400-800 cals over the next 1-4 hrs. Not junk carbs either, good complex carbs.

Cramps - legs or stomach & bonking is a result of too much or too little of hydration, electrolytes & minerals, vitamins, fuel (food). Hydration & nutrition is a science. Know your sweat rate and take in that amount fluid/hr (meas by body weight meas before excercise, workout with hydration, meas weight after - it should be the same - if less drink more - if more drink less). Know what Na, Ka, Ca, Mg, and other vitamins/minerals are being used per hour ....replace per hour as required. K and Na are near 200-400mg/hr. Eat more natural foods and supplements.

It is a science

good luck
 

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the mayor, it's never a good idea to give out absolute fact when you clearly don't have the faintest idea what you're talking about. Carbohydrate loading is clearly possible, there is a large body of evidence supporting its ability to improve performance and detailing how to do it. Here's a the title of a recent scientific review artical that is freely available, google or otherwise it and get some factual basis to work from.

Gender Differences in Carbohydrate Metabolism and Carbohydrate Loading
 

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The following might be helpful for you. I think I would believe the Mayo Clinic and their army of expert Physicians.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/carb-loading/HQ00385
Carbohydrate loading: Can your diet boost your athletic performance?

Perhaps you're training for a marathon or triathlon. Or maybe you're a long-distance swimmer or cyclist. To improve your performance, consider carbohydrate loading before your next high-intensity endurance activity.
Carbohydrates: The body's fuel

Carbohydrates are your body's primary source of energy. Carbohydrates are found in grains, vegetables and legumes (beans and peas). They're also found in sugar and sweets, including fruit and dairy products. Each gram of carbohydrate contains 4 calories.
During digestion, your body converts carbohydrates into sugar. The sugar enters your bloodstream, where it's transferred to individual cells to provide energy. Some of the extra sugar is stored in your liver and muscles as glycogen.
Your muscles normally store only small amounts of glycogen - enough to support you during activities such as recreational biking or swimming, weightlifting, and five- or 10-kilometer runs. But depending on your level of fitness, your muscles may run out of glycogen if you exercise intensely for more than 90 to 120 minutes. In turn, your stamina and performance may suffer. This can be an issue during activities such as long-distance running, swimming and cycling, soccer and triathlons.
Storing extra energy for greater endurance

Enter carbohydrate loading, a performance-enhancing strategy. Traditionally, carbohydrate loading is done in two steps the week before a high-endurance activity:
  • Step 1. About a week before the event, reduce your carbohydrate intake to about 40 percent to 50 percent of your total calories. Increase protein and fat intake to compensate for the decrease in carbohydrates. Continue training at your normal level. This will help deplete your carbohydrate stores and make room for the loading that comes next.
  • Step 2. Three to four days before the event, increase your carbohydrate intake to 60 percent to 70 percent of your daily calories - or about 4 to 4.5 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight. Cut back on foods higher in fat to compensate for the extra carbohydrate-rich foods. Also scale back your training to avoid depleting your glycogen stores. Rest completely for a day or two before the event.
Various studies suggest that simply resting and increasing carbohydrate intake two to three days before a high-endurance activity is effective, too. But there are a few caveats.
Carbohydrate loading works best when you've been on a carbohydrate-rich diet throughout your training - and it may be more effective for men, perhaps because endocrine differences between the sexes cause men to utilize carbohydrates to a greater extent during endurance exercise.
And even if you've loaded up on carbohydrates ahead of time, you still need to replenish them during the event to maintain your blood sugar levels - especially if you've been going for more than 60 minutes. Try a piece of fruit or a sports drink.
Consider possible drawbacks

Carbohydrate loading isn't right for every endurance athlete. Side effects may include:
  • Weight gain. Expect to gain 2 to 4 pounds during the week you're carbohydrate loading. Much of this weight is extra water - but if it hampers your performance, you're probably better off skipping the extra carbs.
  • Digestive discomfort. You may need to avoid or limit some high-fiber foods one or two days before your event. Beans, bran and broccoli can cause gassy cramps, bloating and loose stools when you're loading up on carbohydrates.
  • Blood sugar changes. Carbohydrate loading can affect your blood sugar levels. It's a good idea to consult your doctor or a registered dietitian before you start carbohydrate loading, especially if you have diabetes.
Meet your goals

Carbohydrate loading may be an effective way to get that extra edge you need to compete. Or you may find that a hearty pasta dinner the night before your event is all you need. To discover what works and what doesn't, experiment with carbohydrate loading as part of your training. If you're uncertain about your specific carbohydrate needs, consult your doctor or a registered dietitian.
 

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Rest completely for a day or two before the event./QUOTE]

That statement right there is enough to call the Mayo Clinic's info into serious doubt. That info is almost certainly geared to people who are not trained athletes. Exercise physiologists, coaches, and athletes almost uniformly advise against resting the day before or a full two days before an event. That is a perfect way to come in feeling really rusty and sluggish.
 

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DrAndy said:
the mayor, it's never a good idea to give out absolute fact when you clearly don't have the faintest idea what you're talking about. Carbohydrate loading is clearly possible, there is a large body of evidence supporting its ability to improve performance and detailing how to do it. Here's a the title of a recent scientific review artical that is freely available, google or otherwise it and get some factual basis to work from.

Gender Differences in Carbohydrate Metabolism and Carbohydrate Loading
see, i thought i was going crazy! thought i read this kind of info before...

mx
 

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Gatorback said:
Rest completely for a day or two before the event./QUOTE]

That statement right there is enough to call the Mayo Clinic's info into serious doubt. That info is almost certainly geared to people who are not trained athletes. Exercise physiologists, coaches, and athletes almost uniformly advise against resting the day before or a full two days before an event. That is a perfect way to come in feeling really rusty and sluggish.
Seriously? I always would take the Saturday before a race day as a rest day....sort of. The only thing I would do on Saturday is go out on the bike and do about 5-10 reps of 15-30 second sprints. I never felt sluggish on race day after doing that.
 

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I'm sure you warm up before doing those sprints, and cool down, right? That is not a rest day. In fact, it sounds like a great short workout the day before the race so long as you are used to doing that type of workout and it is not too taxing on you. That short workout is very different from the "rest completely for a day or two" advice on the Mayo Clinic website.
 

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If on a workout day you burn 5K+ calories then only burning 2.5-3.0Kish would seem like a rest day to me. Everything is relative, and yet as it pertains to the discussion the Mayo clinic does tell you how to pre load carbs which debunks the previous posts which state that you can't preload them.

I merely pointed out one suggested method of carb loading.

To me when I carb load I basically take the amount of calories I expend the day before an event and the expected amount that will be used during the event and use the median as the number of WHOLE GRAIN complex carbohydrate caloric (which are rich in B Vitamins) to eat 36 hour before the race, give or take a few hundred calories in either direction.
 

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Gatorback said:
I'm sure you warm up before doing those sprints, and cool down, right? That is not a rest day. In fact, it sounds like a great short workout the day before the race so long as you are used to doing that type of workout and it is not too taxing on you. That short workout is very different from the "rest completely for a day or two" advice on the Mayo Clinic website.
No warmup or cool down really. The efforts are not hard enough to warrant that, they are basically just to keep my legs loose for the next day.
 
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