Carbs & Recovery

To carb load or not to carb load….

Some people have expressed interest in how I stuffed my face before the marathon. There are differing opinions on carb loading ranging from you must do it to carb loading does nothing. As you may have gathered from the rest of this blog I am no expert….on anything really. So this is all what seemed to work for me.

I pretty much ate how I normally would the week before the marathon with the exception of what I ate for dinner. For breakfast I always eat two eggs and fruit for breakfast. Lunch is usually a sweet potato and salad. Snacks of banana, orange, baby carrots and almonds depending on how hungry I get throughout the day.  I was a little less strict with my diet. I ate some chocolate chip cookies and worried less about what I ate for dinner- one night I had some thin crust pizza. The night before the race I ate perogies (a potato pasta thing).  I usually try to stick with veggies and some protein but kind of just ate what I wanted/ could get my hands on. I did try to drink more water throughout the week and also drank Nuun throughout the day for three days before (highly diluted) and drank some emergen-C since D was sick the week before the marathon and I was having none of that.

 Long story short- ate more potatoes, bread and baked goods than normal and drank more electrolytes.

The morning of the race I ate a protein pancake for breakfast and a banana. During the race I ate four Gus and after the race I tried to eat everything in sight…for about three days which included a burger, fries, milkshake, pasta, bagel, fruit and burritos (yes I still normally try to eat mostly vegan with the exception of eggs, but after the marathon was not having it).

Recovery- will I ever walk normally up stairs again?

After the marathon D made me walk quite a bit before I sat down to rest for awhile. I also had about a half mile (it seemed like 100 miles at the time) walk back to the car which I think helped my soreness later on. I was super tired, like can’t keep my eyes open tired. I was also sore, mostly my Achilles and hamstrings. Post marathon after stuffing my face and showering I put on compression shorts and socks and passed out for a three hour nap. I woke up and felt pretty stiff. For the last four days I have taken the dog for about a mile walk every evening. This I think has helped my feel back to normal faster than if I had tried not to move which is pretty much what I wanted to do. Each evening I have rolled on the foam roller, used the stick and done gentle stretches. This morning I biked for 40 minutes and did 30 minutes of yoga and pretty much feel back to normal. I think tomorrow I will give running a try for a few miles and see how it goes.
Long story short- keep  moving.

What do you eat before a race?
Any race recovery secrets?


  1. The training book I've read says to take 2 weeks off from running after a marathon.

    I don't do races, but before my 13 mile runs, I eat a piece of toast and peanut butter about 2 hours beforehand, and some coffee.

    As long as you have something that works, stick with it!

  2. I haven't run a full mary yet but I do like veggie pizza the night before a half. I've learned eggs the morning of a race/long run are just a bad idea. Ick. This is good info to know, what you've posted, since I will start full mary training in the fall *gulp*!

    1. I also love veggie pizza the night before a race...or any night really.

  3. LOVE the turtle! SO cute!

    This was interesting to read. Thanks for sharing! I definitely think upping the water a few days before a race really helps. I start upping it at least three days before and throw in some Nuun, too. I usually eat sushi the night before a race and toast/bagel with peanut butter and banana the morning of a race. Seems to work for me, so I'm sticking with it!

    I think moving is the key to recovery, too. As painful as it is sometimes, I like to keep walking around after the finish and avoid sitting down. Lying on the grass usually sounds so much more appealing, though!

    1. I totally thought of you when I found that turtle picture! Sushi before a race sounds dangerous, not sure why. It is so delicious and rice is full of carbs.

  4. Lately the night before every race, I eat a giant sweet potato with honey and butter (well actually ghee, but whatever) and salt. It is so delicious. Plus now I feel superstitious that if I don't eat it, my leg will fall off during a race. Seriously, I might need an intervention with all my pre-race superstitions. And my #1 favorite post-race treat is a giant burger and fries. But it has to be a good one, or I get hangry. I don't normally eat the bread and mayo, but post-marathon is a splurge time!

    1. Hey when you find something that works I stick with it. Don't want mile 22 to be the mile you find out no sweat potato= one less leg.


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