Carbo loading

Not all marathon runners use carbo-loading as part of their race preparations, but a very large number find it useful.

Carbo-loading involves eating a large amount of carbohydrate, starting about three days before a race.

The objective of carbo-loading is to ensure that your body has as much glycogen as possible. Glycogen is the ready energy source that you will be using in the marathon.

When the glycogen runs out your body will start to try to convert fat into energy – a less efficient process than burning glycogen that will cause your performance to drop like a stone.

It is this fear of glycogen running out – and the wall – that makes carbo-loading so common a practice.

Carbo-loading also requires plenty of water to allow the carbohydrates to be properly converted in to glycogen.

It’s important not to stuff yourself too.

More about carbo-loading

The Evolving Art of Carbo Loading

Great short article which explains the origins of carbo-loading, it’s pitfalls and how it has evolved into a useful part of pre race nutrition.