Carb-loading

Are you one of those people who gets annoyed by social media posts of food? I am!

Today I’m going to break my own rule and risk alienating my small blog audience with a quick rundown of my carb-loading ahead of tomorrow’s run in Kyoto – Japan’s former capital. With a full marathon ahead of me, I have been piling in the carbohydrates today to get my energy reserves ready for the big day tomorrow.

Carbohydrates are really important for distance runners as they fuel the body with energy. Foods such as pasta, rice, fruit and potatoes are rich sources of carbs. Of course for couch potatoes, carbs are the enemy, but the opposite is true for long distance runners.

Breakfast
Today was our children’s nursery happyokai (発表会) – literally “announcement meeting”, where the children show off on stage with all sorts of performances for their parents. They’ve been practicing for months and today was the culmination of all their hard work. It’s a bit like me with this marathon, I suppose! The happyokai meant an early-ish start as we had to be there around nine to meet the kids’ grandmother visiting for the day from Osaka.

My breakfast consisted of a peanut butter and banana toasted sandwich and a cup of coffee. Peanut butter is said to be one of the best foods for a runner because it packs a lot of calories and gives a real boost to the muscles. This is perfect for me as I have liked peanut butter ever since I was a kid. Bananas contain lots of carbohydrates as well as potassium and so are also a great food for runners. Finally the bread is also an excellent source of carbohydrates.

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Lunch
Today I’ve had two lunches: a fairly light social lunch at the family restaurant Gusto with my wife, kids and mother-in-law; and a second “bento” on the Shinkansen heading down to Kyoto. We ate fairly early (just before noon) after the happyokai.

As is usually the case when we give the kids a choice of where to eat, they say Gusto. It’s not a bad place – fairly cheap and cheerful and it keeps everyone happy. I chose steak and avocado with salad on a bed of rice – quite a balanced meal. The rice in particular contains plenty of carbs. Avocado is quite low in carbs – somewhere around 9g per 100g serving. Meat doesn’t contain carbs, though there are plenty of calories with the protein and of course the fat. Gusto doesn’t publish an exact breakdown of the nutritional information but the meal is listed as 970kcal.

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I opted for more meat and rice for the Shinkansen: Iberico pork on a bed of rice. As you can see from the label there are lots of numbers written all over it. It contains 111 grammes of carbohydrates (炭水化物), 67.9g of fat (脂質), 20.4g of protein (蛋白質) and a whopping 1152 kilocalories. The price is fairly whopping too at 1100 yen, but I feel I deserve it! This meal alone is just under half the recommended daily amount of calorific intake for an adult male.

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Dinner
Sitting on the Shinkansen as I write, I plan to eat a dinner of ramen noodles in Kyoto some time between 7 and 8pm.

Addendum: Here’s the photo of the noodles – complete with the touristic gimmick nori seaweed on top:

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Other snacks
Today is Valentine’s Day and my lovely wife and daughter made me some nice biscuits to munch on for my trip. So I will be partaking of these in between meals.

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I also have a few muffins (again excellent carb sources) to choose from in between should I get peckish. These muffins from Bagel & Bagel are devilish. I probably won’t eat all three of these before tomorrow’s run but they should restore me nicely after I finish the race tomorrow!

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3 thoughts on “Carb-loading

    1. Saw your post on tapering. I tapered down quite dramatically this week. Felt really strong today.

      Judging by the heat you are running in, you will find Tokyo quite cold. But for a marathon, I’ve always thought cold is a good thing.

      Good luck for your race next week. Quite envious of you that you get to run Tokyo AND Paris!

      Like

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