Endurance

Nutrition For Runners | Carb Loading Strategies

 

By Laura Ciotte |

www.lauraciottept.co.uk

 
Your carb intake during the week before a long distance event can make all the difference.

Effective carb loading strategies need to use tapering and rest before the endurance event- failing to do this may have a negative effect on your performance.

Carbohydrate loading increases the glycogen stores in the muscles above their normal levels, this may allow you to exercise for longer before fatigue sets in.

A seven day carb loading strategy is useful for 90+ minute endurance events or events that involve several heats in a short period e.g. swimming galas.

Don’t just take my word for it: Hawley et al (1997) found carbohydrate loading increases time to exhaustion by about 20%. This means you can keep going for longer!


3 Carb Loading Strategies

Carb loading


#1 Classical Carb Loading Method

(Ahlborg, 1967 and Karlsson & Saltin,1971).

 
Day One: Normal training, normal diet.

Day Two: Exhaustive prolonged workout, low carb diet.

Days Three and Four: Taper training, low carb diet.

Days Five, Six and Seven: Taper training, high carb diet.

Day Eight: The big event


#2 Modified Carb Loading Method

(Sherman et al, 1981).

 
Day One: Endurance training, normal diet.

Days Two, Three and Four: Taper training, moderate carbohydrate diet.

Days Five, Six and Seven: Taper training, high carb diet.

Day Eight: The competition.


#3 Modern Carb Loading Method

(Fairchild, 2002 and Bussau, 2002).

 
Day One: Taper training, normal diet.

Days Two, Three and Four: Taper training, low carb diet.

Days Five and Six: Taper training, high carb diet

Day Seven: Warm up then 3 minutes high intensity exercise e.g. sprint, 10g carbs per kg of bodyweight.

Day Eight: The big event!


Important Points

 
Carb loading can cause a weight gain of 1-2kg as approximately 3g of water is stored with every

1g of glycogen. Think about the impact of this on your sport.

Practice carb loading beforehand and not right before the competition/big event!

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