Sunday, October 2, 2011

Carboload or not? This is the question!

A friend wrote the following in our local running email discussion list:
> I have been doing some heavy eating the past few months and the extra
> weight has really helped me lower my time. I have done a lot of research
> and the extra weight converted to muscle is a huge factor in increasing
> speed. I have a little cold and lost a few pounds thus week but am hoping
> to put the pounds back on today and tomorrow by excessive carbo- loading.

My reply:
Ha, ha, ha! I cannot tell if you are serious or not. Because what you are saying can go both ways. I agree and I disagree at the same time.

Yes, being heavy and extra carbo-loaded will make you race stronger, especially shorter distances. Been there, done that.

But at the same time, I felt like crap most of the time, my clothes wouldn't fit, I'd get hot and sweat easily, I'd take naps, not sleep well at night, bonked often in training runs and would not enjoy training too much, but I'd run a fast race.

After dropping 10 lbs going low-carb, I have more energy during the day, my clothes fit, I enjoy running more, and run stronger the second half of a race. But my racing times are bit slower, I admit it. I trust this will change soon though, as a result of training and adjusting to a low-carb nutrition. I set my PRs in half, full marathon, and Buckeye 50K when I was my lowest weight ever.

And since I am more interested in very long races (I signed up for Burning River) I am not sure if I need more weight and more speed or less weight and more endurance.

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