How a Paleo Endurance Athlete (ME!) Preps Nutritionally for Race Day


I saw your post about the race over the weekend. If you don't eat bagels, pasta etc., how do you carbo load for your races?  Or do you carbo load at all?

Thank you for asking this VERY common question!

I do eat more starch the day before (or two days before for Ironman) a race, but NOT in the typical sense of the whole 'carbo-load' idea in which athletes often gorge on pasta, rice or any sort of starch they can find, eat more than their fare share in one sitting, and often end up with GI distress before and/or during the race.

Here is what my day looked like on Friday last week, since the 1/2 Ironman was on Saturday.

Breakfast: Sauteed broccoli & spinach with garlic and oil, soft boiled egg, fresh, local fish- Walu (all of the previous foods are typical fare for breakfast), and (here's the extra starch) some roasted Japanese Purple Sweet Potatoes in oil

Snack: Banana (again- normally I wouldn't have a banana as a snack, except before or after a workout, due to the its high GI ranking), sliced lean turkey, wild lettuce leaves, avocado

Lunch: Mixed green salad, avocado, grilled chicken, a small side of roasted purple sweet potatoes

Snack: Fresh mango, a few macadamias, more sliced turkey, steamed, chilled asparagus

Dinner: (ALWAYS have the same pre-race day dinner)- roasted chicken, salad, more sweet potatoes (or yams, when I'm home in CA), sauteed garlic spinach.

As you can see, I add small portions of starches throughout the day.  Nothing dramatic; just enough to top off the glycogen level in my muscles and be race ready!