5 essential tips on Carbo Loading
At TeamAllOut one of our biggest challenges is to prepare our athletes for their big A race. Training is the foundation for a good race, but nutrition acts as the “cherry on the top of the cake”. You can't win a race with a good nutrition strategy if you have not been training right. But you can definitely improve your race results and overall performance with a good nutrition plan. Again the most important part in nutrition is to do average good throughout the season, but it's in the last week you can drop it all if you go wrong which is why a well planned carbo loading strategy is necessary.
1. Test your carbo loading strategy in training
Every athlete is different, So aiming for 8-11g/carbohydrates/kg is extremely individual. Therefore you should not do anything before a race that you have not tried in practice. I usually do it with my athletes at the end of a recovery week where we then plan a big ride. This way we try to mimic the raceday and carb loading as close to reality. Key point is to Focus on Familiar Foods
2. Do not start carbo loading with a week to go
You do not need to do carbo loading for several days before your big race. Studies show that you do not need more than 3 days and probably less due to the fact that you are not training as much as you normally do. Likewise remember that carbo loading should aim for events lasting more than 90 minutes. So forget about it for your next 10k, but think about it when doing your half marathons or ironmans.
3.Focus on high glycaemic index carbohydrates
Be sure to go for easy digestible carbohydrates (high glycaemic index) on your last day up to your race. Forget to eat a lot of wholegrain and go for the whiter choice. You want your body to focus 100% on utilizing the carbs and keep them coming throughout your system these days. But likewise remember to limit the amount of fat in your carbs. Eg. creamy Ice cream is not a favorite due to the high fat content. It will take up space in your stomach away form the carbos,
4. Remember to get carbs from multiple sources
When you do go crazy with carbs do yourself a favor and eat a bit varied. Remember that you can get your carbs from fruits and juices as well as white bread and pasta. This way you can hopefully get your number of carbs without getting too much air and other problems in your system due to only white bread and pasta.
5. Check your supplementations
Many athletes only think of carbs when they are preparing for a great race. But what about your micronutrients and your supplementations? We always recommend taking a multivitamin these days. In that way you would be able to compensate from
Likewise we advise our regularly caffin consuming athletes to forget about the caffeine for approx. a week before their race. This way we optimize your body's response to the performance enhancing effects of caffeine. Probably the most studied and confirmed ergogenic aid.
Contact us to get an individualized talk and plan on your next race strategy. So you know what to ingest and when.