Well, for what I'm pretty sure is the first time in my life, I'm wrong. I think I hear an angel crying.
I'm someone who likes to know the numbers behind what I'm eating. I track everything I eat on SparkPeople for about a week each month, just to see where I am with caloric (and protein/fat/carb) intake. Of those three macronutrients, I am always on the low side on carbs - my calories aren't low; I just tend to eat more fat and protein than I do carbs.
Looking back on the last week of meals I tracked, I averaged about 100-125 grams of carbs a day. So imagine my surprise when I read in Runner's World that the average runner carbohydrate loading for a race should be eating 4 grams of carbs for every pound of body weight.
Let's break out the trusty calculator... four times one hundredmumblemumble.... carry the one.. square root of pi... equals..
Holy crap. But that's just the day before the race, right?
Uhh, no. According to the nerds at RW, we should be getting 85-95% of our calories from carbs for 2-3 days before the race.
I was just about to order myself a sheetcake when I read the kicker: We should NOT be eating significantly more calories than usual, just not getting a lot of of calories from protein and fat. Goodbye peanut butter....
Another potential bummer - for every gram of stored carbohydrates, our bodies store three extra grams of water. Great for hydration, not great if you don't like seeing high numbers on the scale... the Runner's World article said get ready to see about four extra el-bees on that little digital bastard.
I've got to be honest - that carb goal seems impossibly high, and I'm really going to have to alter how I eat to even come close to hitting it, but I'm going to try.
I am running the Wisconsin Half Marathon on Saturday, and I'm going to stuff my face with bread on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I'll keep you posted.
I'm really curious to hear your thoughts on this:
Do you track your food intake?
Have you ever or would you try to hit a specific carbohydrate goal before a race, or is the traditional pasta dinner good enough for you?