Alright, it’s getting serious now. Today in 1 week, it’s d-day; the marathon. At this point i’m kind of over the whole being worried, nervous, wanting-to-cry-every-time-I-think-about-it thing, and I’m just ready for it to be over. I kind of over running, and am so looking forward to having a break from cardio and getting started on my next goal which will be a gym program with more weights to build max muscle. I only have 3 runs left now: 10km today, and 2x3km next week AND THEN IM DONE. NO MORE CARDIO EVER. Jk i’ll probably go sign up for some other race like 2 days after the marathon, I know myself, but oh well. Between now and next Sunday is the best part of the whole marathon training plan: CARB LOADING aka living off sweet potatoes for a week and feeling 100% okay about it. The idea behind carb-loading is eating lots of complex-carbohydrates for days prior to an important sport event, where your body will store the glycogen in your muscles and liver which will then be utilized on race day as energy! So basically I get to eat an obscene amount of bananas for a week and then kill it during an intensive sporting activity? Yup, p much…. win win win win win.
Carbs are so often seen as the enemy. This is partly because people often associate carbs with pastries, white bread, donuts etc. So that’s pretty much true, if being healthy and fit is your goal, Fruit Loops are most definitely the enemy, but many don’t know that carbs are also the most important source of energy for your body. And more energy means you are able to get better workouts in, which leads to eating better, feeling better about yourself, so you workout more and on and on and on. What is important to note, is that there are two different types of carbohydrates, the simple (cake, cookies etc.) and complex (wholegrain, fruits, veggies), and unlike calculus, in this case complex is better. Your body can store the glycogen from complex carbohydrates where as energy is released immediately with simple carbohydrates. This storing of energy is perfect if you’re getting ready for a important sporting event ie. a race! So here are a few of my go-to favourites for pre-race carbo-loading:
Okay these babies are not just my favourite for carbo-loading, they’re pretty much my favourite at all times aways. My favourite way to have them is nice and simply roasted in the oven. I poke holes in them with a fork, crank the oven up to about 200 celsius and leave them in until soft when poked in the middle with a knife.
Another one of my favourite things in general. I usually just have 1 a day in my post-workout protein shake but carbo-loading week allows for bananas in my porridge, as a snack, in my smoothie, basically all the time. Since bananas are a high-carb yet relatively low-fibre fruit, your body will store max energy without causing any stomach troubles mid-race.
Some of my favourite grains to fill up on are rice, quinoa and oats. These are all healthy, high-carb options. I usually have oats with banana for breakfast, quinoa salad at lunch and rice with veggies and sweet potato for dinner. Energy storing is real.
So the classic pre-race food is pasta. You always see olympians eating buckets full before a competition, but since I literally don’t even remember the last time I ate pasta, and a week before the race is definitely not the time to be experimenting with new foods, I won’t be doing the same. I will however opt for some gluten-free options such as these King Soba buckwheat noodles (the night before my half-marathon I had a huge plateful with veggies and sweet potato and I plan on doing the same again this time), or alternatively rice noodles.
I usually try stay away from dates because of the high sugar content. I know, I know, it’s the “healthy” kind of sugar though isn’t it? Yeah, I guess, but when I put a single date in my food app, my sugar consumption for the day has exploded, and too much of anything isn’t good, so I try stick to lower-sugar sweetening alternatives such as bananas (12 grams of sugar/100g compared to 63 grams of sugar/100g). Buuuuut, carbo-load week means all those “healthy sugars” are a total must go YAY. Watch out boys I’m going dates on dates on dates (pun: funny? yes? no?).
Pe-reace meal plan
Breakfast: oats, spoonful apple sauce, 1/2 banana
Snack 1: Smoothie (banana, cacao, cinnamon, date, spinach, water)
Lunch: Quinoa salad with tomatoes, zucchini, beets
Snack 2: apple
Dinner: Rice with green beans + sweet potato
~42 KILOMETERS HERE I COME!!!!!!!~