Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Carbo Backloading

Swallow This by Gretchen Reynolds is another NYT look at endurance athletics and nutrition, and it makes me wonder if one of the editors of the health section is in the midst of training for an event. Whatever the case, keep it up, I enjoy the reading.

To again address the nutritional code-breaking surrounding endurance athletics, I bring up this article as an argument against "carbo-loading", and one for, what can be considered "carbo-back-loaded with a touch of protein." It's not an eloquently titled theory, but not everything can be as catchy as the "Big Bang".

Anyway, studies referenced by the article suggest that a body in a state of rest (at dinner the night before a race) are not as primed and ready to store glucose -from the carbohydrates- as a body in previous motion (after a run) is. It is after long endurance events, or Sunday runs as I think of them, that the body is set to repair the broken down muscles and replenish what has been lost. But it's not only about replenishment, it's about preparing for the next run. Our coaches harp on it time and time again - 30-45 minutes after a run is the window for replacement. And replacing what you've lost on a long run is key for the next run.

Two days before the marathon, I plan on having a a larger meal that I hope will sustain me for as much of the run as possible. And from the read I get from this article, it sounds like I should go on a short run beforehand. A short run is not in the same ballpark as a 3 hour workout. But I'd do it in hopes of atleast turning my muscles on to their glucose-absorbing state. It beats sitting around, I hope.

Pic courtesy of Jupiter Images

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