Glycemic Index and The Day Before The Race

Last Saturday, when I was resting and prepping for the next day's race, and intentionally eating extra starch in order to fuel my glycogen stores, it occurred to me that how I felt then, again, ON PURPOSE, must be how so many people feel when their blood sugar is peaking and crashing throughout the day!

To clarify, when I have a big race coming up, during the week or even two weeks prior to the event, training volume gets reduced, so, naturally, I'm less hungry, so I eat less until… the day or two before the event.  

The last thing I'd want to do is show up empty for a race, so that's where what some might refer to as 'carbo loading' comes in.  Unfortunately, so many athletes do this the wrong way.  Some use the methods popular in the 1970s whereby they cut carbs (to create extreme depletion) for several days and then nearly binge on processed grains in an attempt to saturate their muscles with glycogen.  This is an easy recipe for disaster on race day.  Just imagine how you'd feel if you ate several cups of pasta and bread rolls for dinner, and then a bagel with oatmeal for breakfast, and then  headed out for an intense bout of exercise!

Similiar to one of the goals in recovering from long endurance sessions, we want to drive the impetus to eat again sooner than later when getting ready for an event that could last longer than ten hours.

How does this translate for me?  Easy- I just add a little bit of baked yam or banana or pineapple or even some dried fruit to my meals.  We're talking SMALL amounts, never a gorge-fest.

Aside from this VERY specific situation, there is no other time when I'd advise anyone to eat starch during several of their meals during the day or try to get their blood sugar to be elevated.

I suspect this post is going to generate quite a few questions…so bring 'em on!