So while doing research on Preparing for a marathon, the one thing that is consistent is carbs, carbs and more carbs. The other thing is that you shouldn’t be trying to lose weight while training for a marathon. Well, I’m on the wrong side of both. One, I’m on a lowish carb diet. Trying to keep my carbs at about 100g. And I’m actively trying to lose weight.
Here is what I have so far. We get our energy from 2 different sources. Glycogen and fat.
Glycogen is stored in limited amounts in the liver and in muscles. Fat is stored in unlimited amounts everywhere. (Trust me I am a living testament)
Glycogen is easily accessible especially for intense exercises e.g. running a marathon and so is the ideal source of energy.
Fat on the other hand is harder to turn into energy and so the body first uses up your glycogen before turning to fat. Conventional wisdom therefore says that we should consume carbohydrates before races to top up our glycogen stores and give you more energy.
The ideal situation is to have your body turn to burning fat after the stored glycogen is depleted. This fat needs to go. That’s why low carb diets work. With lower glycogen from sugars in your body, your body turns to stored fat for energy. The problem with people who go too low is that this is unsustainable. They crave carbs, fall back to old habits and gain the weight back. I don’t want to make the same mistake. I just want to eliminate things that I can live without. Sugars and any white product, rice, bread etc.
The rest j can have in limited amounts.
I don’t have a problem with a few carbs before the race. My problem comes in when I have to consistently eat carbs to fuel my runs. Whenever I eat a lot of carbs, my weight loss stalls, even if I’m eating at a caloric deficit. My primary goal is to lose weight and so I need to be able to run long distances on minimum carbs.
I’ve read a few blogs on people who are successfully running long distances on a low carb diet. I’m hoping to become one of them.
My plan is to try running a week on low carb and a week on a higher carb diet and see how it affects my runs and my Weight loss.
Starting tomorrow, I’ll be on a low carb diet with the bulk of my carbs in the morning before my runs. After seven days, I’ll switch it to a higher carb diet and see if my weight continues to drop.
It’s all an experiment.
Today I had my 6mile/ 9.6K easy run. My stupid ipod froze halfway through my run and I had to restart a new run.ugh.
Tomorrow I get in my long run. The goal is 20K. Wish me luck.