i’ve carbo-loaded before. a three-day focus on building up my carbohydrates stores in advance of marathons has worked well for me – and truth be told i like gobbling down all of those muffins, breads, pastas and sports drinks. it’s kind of a treat.
but this is a first.
after having read several articles about this recently highlighted approach to distance event competition preparation (some in favour – like here, here and here – and some not so much – like here and here), i decided to give it a go in advance of the waterloo marathon on apr. 26.
given that i’m a hack at everything i do, i thought that it would be best to consult somebody who is (a) experienced in fat-loading, (b) a high-level athlete and (c) well-studied in sport sciences. so without a second thought i reached out to my friend stan ong for advice.
gracious as ever, stan was quick to say that he was glad that i’d asked, and then probed just a bit to find out how to best craft a fat-loading plan that would meet my specific needs (including finding out what a typical meal would look like for me, my current weight and foods that i won’t/can’t eat). factoring in all of this info, stan came back with an outline of a daily menu that i could riff off of and use to map out the week’s grocery store trip.
if you’ve followed along with my blogventures then you know that i can’t leave well enough alone – i like to tinker. the beauty with this outline that stan’s provided is that it has some flex to it – he even makes concessions for the occasional ‘carb craving’, allowing for a piece of toast or fruit here and there. with that in mind, i was keen to launch into this new dimension of race readying.
i’m now a day and a half into it, and so far i’ve noticed a few things:
- stan provided advanced warning that fats don’t provide that ‘full up’ feeling like carbs do – and i admit to feeling noticeably hungrier after each meal yesterday and today.
- so far it looks like fats lead to less weight gain than carbs – maybe because carbs trigger greater water retention.
- it’s already painful to stare at the loaves of bread and bags of potatoes on my kitchen countertop.
but i will see this thing through – and trust that there will be a pay-off come race day in terms of efficiently metabolizing fat as fuel, and staving off the vaunted ‘wall’.
fat fingers crossed!