Asking for my Roller Derby female client who works out 2 times a week for 2 hours and has games each weekend…. Her question is – “Do you carb load before an event? If so, what’s your strategy as far as timing and/or types of carbs (examples of foods)?
How much time before an endurance event would you suggest eating it?
Also, my events are typically in the afternoon/evening so I need suggestions for a good breakfast/lunch as well.
There is a lot of disagreement on carbo loading. First, it hasn’t been shown to be effective in aerobic exercise or events lasting less than 90 minutes. So, unless you are putting out a serious effort for more than an hour and a half, it is just excess calories. In well trained individuals the body’s stores of glycogen are usually pretty good at providing the necessary energy for shorter events. In less well trained individuals this isn’t going to be the issue anyway.
For longer events carbo loading could make up to a 3% difference in performance. That would be for a well trained athlete. So let’s say this well trained athlete who carbo loaded properly runs a blazing 2 hour and 40 minute marathon. That is 160 minute event that without the carbo loading might have taken 165 minutes. In less well trained indivduals this would be even less of a difference. So all of that extra food intake is not going to make much of a difference. Ask yourself, is it worth the time, expense and effort/calories?
I advocate learning to eat properly for all of your training and treat events like just a top end effort training session. As a matter of fact that is a great way to treat your training if you enter events regularly. After a few events you should be able to start to see patterns in how various differences in eating and training are affecting performance. Then you fine tune things a bit and repeat the process. Remember that recovery is the most important factor in training, so be very focused on manipulating your recovery variables.
I can explain a bit more if you want. Go to my website www.hawaiifitnessacademy.com . Check it out a bit and send me an email if you have some specific questions. I am willing to help a little without compensation. I teach fitness professionals for a living. You can research this on your own as well. My CECs are just better at maximizing your time to cost benefit ratio. And you should be able to write off a continuing education vacation if you come to Hawaii.