Carb Loading the Healthy Way

18 Jan

As I train for my next two marathons – Rock N Roll New Orleans Marathon and Cox Rhode Races Marathon, I have to take nutrition into consideration.

You all know I’m a fan of Carb Friday (Or carb whatever day is two days before a long run or race).

What do you think of when you hear the words carb-load?



Or maybe this:


That’s all well and good, say before a race (both of these meals were eaten pre-race). But if you’re just carbing up to prep for a long run you don’t want to load your body up with white pasta and bread, you want to load up on healthy carbs.

I did an experiment last week on carbs and healthy foods – and here are my results.


Green Smoothie

Green smoothie – 92g carbs

Mid-Morning snack:


Triscuits and natural apple sauce – 34g carb



Half of a honey-wheat bagel with mustard, turkey, and cheese. Spinach and grape tomato salad with goat cheese – 40g carb

Mid-Afternoon Snack


Blueberry Chobani and Vanilla Almond Crunch Bear Naked Granola – 42g carb


Total Randomosity 008

Pasta of course! – 58g carb

Total carbs for the day: 266g. I did this on Thursday, in preparation for my long run on Saturday.

As you can see, you can load up on the carbs throughout the day, while still maintaining a healthy balance!

What types of healthy carbs do you fill your body with?Signature


*Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist, nor am I certified to dispense nutrition advice. This is solely my non-professional take on healthy carb loading before an intense workout.


12 Responses to “Carb Loading the Healthy Way”

  1. Tara Burner January 18, 2012 at 6:57 am #

    I havent been running because of injury but good info for me when I get started again 🙂

    • runcupcake January 18, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

      Oh no, running injury? Heal up!

  2. Nicole January 18, 2012 at 7:02 am #

    mmm I love carbs. I love any grain…especially brown rice! Have a great long run tomorrow!

  3. jobo January 18, 2012 at 10:06 am #

    So smart!! And so delish 🙂

  4. JessSutera January 18, 2012 at 10:33 am #

    Such a great approach to carb-loading the smart way. Eating for fuel and carb-loading isn’t all about the pasta, it’s about the right mix of complex and simple carbs. I love your line-up and um, it’s making me STARVING. It’s only 7:30 in Cali and I haven’t had breakfast yet after my interval run (which makes me ravenous anyway) and it feels like 10:30 in my brain/stomach so you can imagine the noises my tummy are making right now! FEEEED MEEEEE.

    • runcupcake January 18, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

      Haha this comment made me LOL

      I try to always be about the right choices in food, and I can’t live without my fruits and veggies 🙂

  5. Tina @ Best Body Fitness January 18, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    I think its so important to know the value in fueling yourself well. Running doesn’t equate to eating whatever! Your body needs the good stuff. Great post, Sam!

    • runcupcake January 18, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

      Thank you 🙂 I can’t imagine, for me anyway, loading up on pasta and bread all day!

  6. Amy January 18, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    Still learning about fueling…first time I’ve heard about fueling up two days prior to a long run. Only heard about the “big pasta dinner” the night before. I have a ten miler on the schedule for Saturday, so I’m going to try this. Do you do the same the day before too?

    • runcupcake January 19, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

      I do not do the same the day before – the day before I’ll eat light, but nutrient rich, throughout the day and of course if it’s a race have the “big pasta dinner” – just don’t overdo it, or you’ll feel sluggish for your race or long run.

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