Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Load Up

After all the hard work you've put into training, the last thing you want to do is sabotage it by making poor food choices leading up to race day. The most important part of your final preparation before a big race is making sure you're properly fueled in the days and hours before the race start.

The average male athlete can store about 1,500 to 1,900 calories of carbs in the blood, liver and muscles combined. Two hours of exercise can deplete glycogen levels. When you train hard on a regular basis your body never gets a chance to fully replenish its glycogen stores before they are reduced again in your next workout.

Carb-loading should start two days before the race. At rest during these two days your muscles will build up plenty of glycogen stores while you consume the proper amount of carbs. What is the proper amount of carbs for the purpose of carb-loading? You should eat about 10 grams of carbs per kg of body weight daily in the two days leading up to race day.
For example, I'm 85kg. Typically I would eat my regular diet and reduce my training load in the week before a big race. Then two days before the event I would eat about 850grams of pasta or rice per day along with some protein. (
One gram of carbohydrate equals 4 calories, so that would be 3400 calories of pasta per day!). Don't go an eat a massive bowl of pasta the night before a race and expect a miracle to happen. This will just upset your stomach and shock your body. Also, you won't need as much protein at this time because you won't be breaking down your muscles.

I will also do my pre-race warmup routine (3x1min + 3x30sec) the day before the race. This coincidentally agrees with a popular method discovered by the University of Western Australia . Follow this routine along with eating properly on the bike and I can promise you will never bonk again!


Tristan said...

What a killer man. Its amazing what different foods can do prior to race day...I used to eat grilled fish, salad and white rice (thanks to Hunky dory in bay st.). As nice as it was I had nothing in the race. So opting for a stir fry with basmati and chicken/vegies the night before made a huge difference. Its interesting that will a little experiment your race can really change. BTW, what is your NORMAL diet? (Great blog too man, loving it.) Tristan

Wade Wallace said...

I'm lucky because my wife cooks me kick ass meals a few times a week. They're very healthy and usually includes some rice or pasta along with chicken or fish. If I could only control my portion sizes...