- Carb-load for the week leading up to a marathon, three days leading up to a half marathon. There is a lot of debate over carb-loading for shorter distances. I say, there's no harm in trying it out.
- Get your carbs from a variety of sources: grains, dairy, fruits & veggies, and legumes. Everybody thinks of pasta, but potatoes are even better on the glycemic index.
- The last 2-3 days of carb-loading, 70% of your caloric intake should be carbs. Adjust (decrease) fat intake to allow this.
- Don't worry about gaining water weight while carb-loading because it will help more than it hurts you. Keep drinking that water.
- Favorite carb-loading foods: bagels (Thomas' whole wheat), apples, granola bars, oatmeal with raisins and cinnamon, carrots, fruit juice, and my personal favorite... french fries.
- No matter what, eat something for breakfast the day of the race. I like a banana and a bowl of raisin bran cereal. Plus a half of a whole wheat bagel if the race start time is a couple hours away.
- Rest the day before the race.
- Along with great food, be sure to get great sleep the week before the race.
Do you have any experiences with carb-loading? Have you noticed a difference in your workouts as you change your eating habits? What foods have helped or hindered you in your exercising?