Carb loading

Any day that you cross something off the bucket list is a big day. And tomorrow, is a big day. Lucy-Lu and I will be coming to the end of our very own personal challenge and running the Mizuno Reading half marathon.

I'm planning to pop a separate post up about the day itself (I'd love to blame the lack of blog posts lately on the amount of training that's been going on, I can't). But the run-up does also deserve a mention, purely because of the amount of nutritional fore-thought that has gone into it.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I had a go at carb-depleting. Probably not something that's necessary for a 13 mile race, however, I took it on mainly for experimental purposes. The aim of the game is to eat as little carbohydrate as possible to try and get rid of as much of the body's glycogen (carb stores) as possible, particularly the glycogen in muscle. This meant sticking to a hunger-driving, headache-causing, snappy-female-making eating plan that contained 50-100g carbs.

(B) 1 x toast. (L + D) chicken / fish +/- eggs with a mountain of veg or salad. 
(Snacks) raw veg, 1 x low-sugar yog.

I had hoped that the subsequent carb-loading phase from Thursday through to Saturday would be much, much, more enjoyable. However, it hasn't been quite such a pleasant surprise. Carb-loading, by contrast with carb-depleting, requires loading up your carb intake to a whopping 9-11g carbs per kg so that you pack your now empty muscles with fresh glycogen over the course of the last few days. 

This means that when you're standard body carb stores run out (after around 90 minutes), you have plenty more ready-to-use glucose packed away; thereby reducing your risk of hitting the infamous wall.

Seems best to opt for slow-releasing and high fibre sources of carbohydrate, and whilst it's important to continue a good intake of protein, you don't really need to increase your caloric intake alongside it. 

(B) 3 x toast / 200g cereal, (L + D) 100g meat / fish, 80g veg, 600g rice or pasta / 1 x baguette, pudding.
(Snacks) 2 x toast with honey, yoghurts, crackers, fruit, sports drinks.

It's been tough! I feel like a very over-puffed cotton wool ball (gained 1.5kg!). Not least because of all the water that the body stores alongside with glycogen. Fortunately, dinner tonight and breakfast tomorrow are set to be far more moderate starchy portions, to avoid feeling like a sack of flour when it comes to race day. 

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