After all of your hard work, the last thing you want to do is ruin your training by making bad dietary choices leading up to race day. Making sure you're carb load in the days and hours leading up to a big race is the most crucial element of your final preparation.
The average man athlete's blood, liver, and muscles can retain around 1,500 to 1,900 calories of carbohydrates. Glycogen levels might be depleted after two hours of activity. When you work out nearly every day, your body never has a chance to fully replace its glycogen stores before the following session depletes them.
How To Carb Load Like A Pro
Carbohydrate loading begins two days before the event. When you ingest the right quantity of carbs and rest these two days, your muscles will be able to build up lots of glycogen stores. In the two days coming up to race day, carb-load by eating around 10 g of carbs per kilogram body weight. Because you won't be breaking down those muscles, you won't require as much protein as normal. Don't anticipate a miracle the night before a marathon by eating a huge dish of spaghetti. This is more than likely going to upset your stomach and shock your body.
For example, I weigh 85 kg. In the week leading up to a big race, I usually eat my regular diet and lower my training load. Then, two days before the event, I'd begin eating 850 g of pasta or rice each day, with some protein. (One calorie equals one g of carbohydrate, thus 3400 calories of pasta every day!)
I would also drink plenty of water during this time period. The goal here isn't to gain muscle mass but rather to store enough energy for the upcoming workout. If you are not accustomed to consuming large amounts of food on an empty stomach, it may take several weeks to get used to it. You should feel full when you finish eating.
If you have been working out regularly, then you don't need to worry about losing any lean tissue. However, if you haven't exercised consistently over the past few months, then you must make sure that you consume adequate nutrition to prevent loss of muscle mass.
You'll notice that many athletes who compete at high altitudes train harder because they know their bodies aren't getting sufficient oxygen from air alone. They use supplemental oxygen tanks to help increase performance. But there's no reason why you shouldn't consider using such equipment too!
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Carb Load Benefits
When you exercise vigorously, your heart pumps faster and your lungs expand. As a result, your breathing rate increases. Your respiratory system needs extra oxygen to keep pace with the increased demand. So, even though you breathe through your nose while exercising, you still need to supplement your intake of oxygen.
This is where the benefits of supplemental oxygen become apparent. It allows you to perform better without having to push yourself so hard. And since you're taking in additional oxygen, you'll burn fewer calories.
It's important to remember that you cannot just run off adrenaline. Adrenaline doesn't last long once you stop riding. Instead, you want to continue burning fat until your adrenal glands produce more epinephrine.
In addition, you can improve your endurance by increasing your aerobic capacity. Aerobic fitness refers to how well your cardiovascular system works. A good way to measure your cardio level is by measuring your maximum heart rate.
Your maximum heart rate is determined by subtracting your age from 220. For instance, someone aged 30 years old would calculate his/her max HR as follows: 220 -30 190 beats per minute. That means he/she could sustain a continuous effort lasting 20 minutes at 190 bpm.
What More You Can Do
To achieve higher levels of aerobic conditioning, try interval workouts. Interval training involves alternating between periods of intense exertion followed by short recovery intervals. During the first part of the workout, you sprint for 60 seconds, walk for 90 seconds, jog for 45 seconds, repeat three times. Afterward, you do another set of all four movements.
During the second half of the workout, you alternate walking and jogging. At the end of the third round, you sprint again. By doing this type of workout five times, you've completed a total of 15 minutes of intensive exercise.
Aerobic exercises like cycling, swimming, rowing, cross country skiing, hiking, etc., are excellent ways to develop your aerobic capacity. These activities allow you to maintain a steady speed throughout the entire duration of the workout.
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