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Carbs and Long-Distance Running

Carbs and Long-Distance Running

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Carbs and Long-Distance Running

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  1. Carbs and Long-Distance Running A question answered in Running and Fitnews magazine

  2. The Question I have run five marathons with a personal record 4:15. During my long training runs, I would like to use some form of carb-replacement. Yet I find the mere thought of eating something sweet, like a power bar, nauseating. I have tried everything, including sports drinks, sports bars, gels, and candy. Any suggestions?

  3. It’s Normal • In endurance training your body chemistry changes. • It can cause an aversion to foods, or specifically to sweets.

  4. Carbs are Important for Training • If you eat carbs it takes longer for you to get tired. • It is important to eat carbs before and during training sessions. • You don’t need to eat specific sports products. • Use what works for you.

  5. Before practice choose foods that provide a lower glycemic index. Low glycemic foods are less sweet and make your blood sugar rise slowly. Examples: whole wheat bagel, oatmeal, skim milk. During practice choose foods that provide a higher glycemic index, but still not too sweet. Examples: saltines, graham crackers, bananas, or white bread. If you eat a lot of dry foods make sure you drink lots of water during your workouts. Salty snacks will help replace sodium. What to eat before and during practice

  6. When to eat carbs • Start eating your carbs 1-11/2 hours into your run. Then have another snack every 30 minutes. Consume about 0.5 grams per pound of body weight every hour. If you weigh 130 pounds eat about 65 grams of carbs every hour or 30 grams every half-hour.

  7. Homemade sports drinks • Half water half juice and add one teaspoon of salt. • One tablespoon of sugar, one pinch of salt, one tablespoon of orange or lemon juice, and 7.5 ice water. • Try Nancy Clark’s New York City Marathon Cookbook.

  8. Find what works for you • Try different foods and timing of food intake. • Have a high carb meal 2-3 hours prior to the event (1 hour if you can tolerate it). • Drink plenty of water before you begin. • Begin carb replacement 20 minutes before you think your body will need it.