South Beach Diet - Help with carb loading while SBD'ing it?

02-03-2011, 08:29 PM
So I'm running a half marathon on Sunday. I need to do some carb loading before hand, but I'm not sure how much, and I'm not sure what would be best. I'm on Phase 1.5 right now.

I'm a woman, and I also read on the mayo clinic website that carb loading may not be effective for women.

1. When should I start carb loading?
2. Should I stick with SBD approved carbs? Whole wheat pasta?
3. Is it better to eat the easily digested carbs (regular pasta) to get more energy out of them?

My plan is to have an Orange Juice right before the race for the fast sugars, and have gels while I'm running.

Thoughts? This is my second half marathon but it's my first while on SBD.

02-03-2011, 09:08 PM
Good question. If the Mayo Clinic does not recommend carb loading for women, what do they recommend? I bet some beans and pasta would do the trick.

02-03-2011, 09:27 PM
Carbohydrate loading may give you more energy during an endurance event. You may feel less fatigued and see an improvement in your performance after carbohydrate loading. But carbohydrate loading isn't effective for everyone. Other factors can influence your athletic performance or interfere with the effectiveness of your carbohydrate-loading strategy, including your fitness level and the intensity level of your exercise. Even with carbohydrate loading, you still may feel muscle fatigue. You may not perform as well as you'd hoped, or you may even have to drop out of your event before finishing it.

If you're a man, a carbohydrate-loading diet can increase the levels of glycogen stored in your muscles from 25 to 100 percent of your normal amount. However, carbohydrate loading may not be as effective if you're a woman. Fewer research studies exist about carbohydrate loading in women, and they've yielded mixed results. A woman may need to consume more calories than usual during carbohydrate loading to get the same benefits as a man does. A woman's menstrual cycle also may affect the effectiveness of carbohydrate loading for reasons not yet clear.
Even if you've practiced carbohydrate loading, you still need to replenish your body's energy during the event to maintain your blood sugar levels. You can do this by periodically consuming sports drinks, gels or bars, fruit, or even a candy bar during your event at the rate of 30 to 60 grams an hour. And don't forget to eat carbohydrate-rich foods after your endurance event, too, to replenish your glycogen stores.

Per the mayo clinic's website. I've got the "during the race" plan down- but everyone I talk to about carb loading gives me a different answer. Figure you guys might have some thoughts that would be more useful.

I'm down with the whole wheat pasta idea. I've got some spicy arriabata sauce to go with it, too! :)

02-03-2011, 10:05 PM
The only carb loading you might want to consider would be the night before. At least that's what I learned over and over in my many seasons with TNT while training for races. People who suggest carb loading any more in advance don't really get the time frame of how the body processes stores of energy. I think the OJ and goos are a good idea, and do whatever you've been doing for breakfast in training before your longest runs (I usually had half a bagel plus peanut butter or something similar). And the night before I'd also say some whole wheat pasta and sauce with some easily digested protein added in (not TOO much fiber either!). Something you're familiar with. Most important is to just do what you've always been doing in training. Nothing new on race day!

02-03-2011, 10:20 PM
I'm training for a half as well. My coach told me that in his experience, 30+ years training and running that carb loading doesn't offer significant result improvements --especially in women. he recommends eating a carby breakfast - straight oats with a juice (he wants me to drink green juice) for breakfast and then to bring 2-3 packs of gels or cubes with me during the run. I've had 3 long tempo runs so far (8+ miles) and haven't carb loaded for any of them and have been fine endurance wise. I did need to take a gel the last time I ran, and I expect will need to continue as the runs get longer and faster. I really like Honey Stingers Organic Energy Chews and Clif Shots in the mocha flavor (it's waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than some of the other flavors).

good luck. you'll learn as you do more and more what works for you. what works for someone else your age/gender/etc. might not work for you.

02-04-2011, 04:05 AM
I was running a lot a couple years ago and never did that. I even ran first thing in the morning (had to get up before my husband so he could "watch" the kids while they all slept) so I never ate before I went. You should be fine with a good breakfast and the gels.

02-04-2011, 12:37 PM
Woo Hoo! Ok, I've got a plan! Thanks for the advice. :) I appreciate it.

02-04-2011, 01:21 PM
Wow, a half marathon??? Thats incredible! I cant run to save my life..I have the worst shin splits. Ive always said I wanted to be a runner... good luck!

02-04-2011, 01:56 PM
willow, i had bad shin splints too when i first started. they went away as i progressed and now i don't get them at all.

finished an 8-miler this morning in 66:09 minutes.

02-04-2011, 02:34 PM
A coach once told me to stretch out my calves if my shins hurt.

Zeff, you're a speed demon! I'm much slower- I think I'll finish my half in 3.5 hours. But! I'll finish!

02-04-2011, 05:41 PM
usc - problem is, i can't maintain that speed beyond 8 miles. like, my body just shuts down and i can't go any further. coach says that will change...i hope he knows what he is talking about. ;)

02-05-2011, 12:40 PM
I haven't done a half marathon yet :) -- but when I ran my 10k, I ate a meal with a lot of beans and whole wheat pasta the night before. The morning of, I had some yogurt, oatmeal, and a breakfast bar.

Good luck :) and way to go!

Zeffryn, nice time!!!

02-07-2011, 03:08 PM
Hey all! Just wanted to post and say that the whole wheat pasta with some multigrain toast and a small glass of orange juice worked out well!

The rest of the day was a disaster in terms of on plan eatting, but I finished my half marathon and felt energized throughout!

02-07-2011, 03:33 PM
AWESOME! Way to go!!!!!!

02-08-2011, 01:44 PM
I am blown away! You guys are running 10k and half marathons and I cant run a mile...
Good to know that the shin splints will get better. I tried starting out with the C25K but didnt do it consistantly...How do you guys do it??
I always say that Ill start when I lose weight, but it looks like I dont have to!

02-08-2011, 01:48 PM
also...what coach?

02-08-2011, 04:02 PM
I started running using C25k. I had to redo many weeks of it before I could run with any sort of speed at all. the key to the program is consistency because it all builds on itself. after C25k, I did bridge to10k, which works in the same fashion but is just longer times and distances.

When I first started running, I couldn't run for 30 seconds without being totally winded and feeling like I was going to pass out. Now, I'm running for close to 75 minutes without stopping. A BIIIIIG!!! part of that was getting past that mental block that would stop me every time. Even now, when I run, I can expect blocks at 10 minutes, 30 minutes, and 60 minutes. They aren't because my body is in pain and can't take it anymore, but because my brain tells me that i've had enough. I repeat to myself "The strong get stronger" and flick to a motivating song on my ipod and push through it. It isn't easy, but it is worth it. If you choose to listen to your brain and stop every time you want, your improvements will be minimal.

I use a marathoner from my area who has been coaching people for more than 30 years. He's awesome, understanding and has become a grandfather figure for me (he's 65 and is running ultra marathons!). There are plenty of coaching programs online - both paid and free, but I liked the accountability of having an actual person in my area. I would suggest completing C25k before you entertain any other moves. I started running in July 2010 at approximately 215 lbs. I ran my first 5k in September at 185 and am now training for a half marathon at 155-ish.

Bottom line: you CAN do this. :)