Carb loading

harvey575 Posts: 3
edited September 2012 in Health, fitness & training
Hi guys looking for some advice, I'm currently on a low carb diet for 1 month trying to loose a few pounds for a 50k ride next month, going all out riding and running. 2 weeks in and my average speeds are consistent and times running getting faster but i do feel weak. My question is how long do i need to give myself to get some carbs back in for the 50k ride? Are we talking days? weeks? I don't think, as I feel atm, I could do any good in my 50k ride. Its not a race but I'm looking at beating my time from last years ride.



  • fueling correctly for your ride is always more important than lowering your fuel levels for weight loss purposes. carbo loading tends to be a day occasionally two before the event however from the sounds of things mabye you should just got upto a more normal level for a week or so in advance to get those energy levels up then you can mabye load a bit but for 50k i wouldnt worry too much inless your planning of going mental quick!
  • For a 50k event, there is no need to Carb load two days before, its overkill IMO. If you were doing a 24hr event, or a long marathon then carb load two days before.

    The week leading up to the event, taper what you normal do in the week so youre not using too much energy and becoming fatigued before.

    The main thing you want is LOW GI Carbs, I.e brown pasta, brown rice, potatoes, oats etc. It will slowly trickle out of you and give you a good constant feed of glycogens.

    The evening before get a good carb rich meal in you but dont go mental and stuffing shed loads of Pasta in you ala 'Pasta parties' in the form of 24hr enduro. get some protein in you as well and hyrdate too.

    The morning of the event, get some more carbs in you, but not too much, I always eat 2hr before a race and always have porridge with some honey on a nice portion and a coffee. If the race is less the 2hr from my breakfast though (i.e due to an early start etc) I will have a smaller bowl of porridge and a 800ml bottle of a carb rich sports drink.

    You should have enough LOW GI Carbs in you then that will slowly trickle. Leading up to the event always make sure you're well hydrated sipping water or an energy drink. Then in the event I always work on consuming 1g of every kilo of body weight per hour in Gels and Drink and if its long on the road or MTB I always try and get a bar of some sort down me. You can use jelly babies too and haribo. During the event you want HIGH GI, I.e something thats going to get into you quickly so your body doesnt have to wait to break it down and feed you glycogen.

  • Thanks chaps some sound advice there.

  • I would take a read of this article,0 before attempting anything...
  • Good advice above, especially from MartinGT.

    As people have said above, back off (not stop) your training about a week before the event/day. In that week I would probably switch back to eating a normal healthy diet at about the same time.

    Ignore the Carbs vs Vegtables & High Protein Meat vs Something Else - just eat a healthy balanced diet - you are not an ultra endurance athlete and/or are not competing in the Olympics.

    On the go, I would probably take some snacks and eat about once per hour. Unless you are really pushing hard, cereal bars will be fine or whatever takes your fancy. The 1g/kg/hr rule also seems to work for me.
    Proper 'cycling energy bars' are good... the main advantage with these is that they are generally a little bit softer/moist, so easier to eat.

    I have tried carbo loading the night before a few times before some events, and the end result is that you can sometimes feel bloated in the morning.
    So a normal meal the night before, maybe a little more than usual, but not excessive. A bowl of porridge in the morning seems to do the trick, just leave enough time to digest it before the ride.