Carb Loading Is Not An Excuse for Over Eating-Guest blogger Charlene Ragsdale

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I am happy to be a MaxFlowSports guest blogger. As a long distance endurance runner, I face many challenges. My biggest challenge is my age. I am 51. I began training for my first Half Marathon at the age of 48. Since then, I have run over 60 races from 2 miles to a Full marathon. Carb loading and more importantly, proper nutrition has been my secret weapon. I am not a natural long distance runner. I was a sprinter in school. Running beyond a mile was always foreign to me. Yet, with proper nutrition, I have been very prepared for my races and able to excel. Even beating many who are half my age.

What I would like to share with you is about good nutrition. In addition to being a runner, I am also a Certified Running Coach and Sports Nutrition. I see alarming trends of my fellow runners pigging out and eating whatever they want days leading up to the race and claiming it is "carb loading".

That couldn't be farthest from the truth. Carb loading must be done methodically. At the minimum 65% carbs:35% protein/fats. Your goal is to replenish your carb supplies and top it off for later use. This is not done the night before a big race. Why? It will take close to 48 hours for your muscles to fully absorb your carbs. In addition, spaghetti smothered in heavy sauce is not carb loading, that is over eating. Keep the sauces light or not at all. I use parmesan cheese and no sauce. I start adding more and more carbs to my diet days leading up to a race and then go very light with meats and vegetables the day before.

Don't fall prey to carb loading is simply over eating. All you are doing is filling your stomach up with unnecessary foods and no nutrition. Take care of your body pre-race and your body will take care of you during a race.

What foods do you eat for your own carb loading? Do you have a carb loading plan?

Charlene Ragsdale