Never in my life would I have thought I’d seriously say, “I’m carb loading.” But here we are, one week out and I’m totally carb loading.
The idea behind carb loading is to stuff your muscles full of glycogen reserves – one compound that is used for muscle fuel – so that you can run longer. Once these reserves deplete – typically around 2 hours of working out if you’re not fueling – your body will enter a glycogen depleted state and begin to burn fat reserves. This transition can be known as hitting the wall or bonking because a lot runners aren’t used to this transition and falter.
You can train your body to thrive in this depleted state while working out, and there have been more and more studies that suggest long distance runners benefit a lot from it. (I’m realizing now that the Tarahumara in Chris McDougall’s, Born To Run were most likely in this state always.) Had I known about this sort of training lifestyle earlier in my training, mayyybe I’d have gone for it…next time.
For now, I’m focusing on gradually increasing my carb intake over the next week.
Race day breakfast will be two GoMacro Bars, a banana and some green tea. During the race I will carry Chia Bars, a Superfood Protein Bar, a Vega Endurance Gel, and rely on the aid stations for hydration, taking a sip of water or gatorade every other mile.
I will spend this week winding my body down, and amping my mind up. But no matter what happens out there, I know that each step I take is simply my body preparing to take another.
With much love to all any runners, athletes and wellness enthusiasts out there, may your pace be steady and your eyes ever ahead.