Last weekend, on the night before my half marathon, I thought occurred to me. It occurred to me as I was stuffing myself silly with pasta, meatballs and bread. The question that popped into my mind was "is all this really necessary?"
After all, it was only a half, right? I do long runs around that long where I haven't done this full on carb load routine. Something about a RACE brings full on panic. I feel like if I don't top myself off with every trace of bread that I can find, that my race will suffer. The truth is, I felt almost ill afterwards. Like I had totally overdone it. Do our bodies really need all that?
According to this article from Runner's World, carb loading can work for you, but you need to do it right. Be strategic, do it for at least a week before your race (not just the night before). In the end, yes there is science to support that it's worth it.
Bottom line, I need to broaden my approach to eating carbs before a race and not act like I'm cramming for a test (literally!). I'll try this approach when I run the Hilton Head Half Marathon in a few weeks.
I will say that even though the approach I took wasn't the best, I miraculously had one of my best half marathon finishes ever! I would credit it more to my delicious pre-race cappuccino than the bread and pasta the night before. Yay for coffee!
Hi, I'm Emily! I'm an avid runner in Arizona with a passion for travel and racing around the country!