First, let me post this video of Amy Hastings (go Brooks!) doing a hard marathon workout with Kim Smith. It looks tough – but something I’d like to try. It’s not too different than my typical tempo work; just different interval length and recovery (I’d do 4×2 miles, for instance). It is interesting that they do these on a track. Guess that allows you to be really consistent from interval to interval. Also note: pace is 5:12/mile. Amy’s current marathon PR is 2:27:03, which is 5:36. I’m assuming her goal marathon time is quicker than that – which would make these tempo workouts about 20 seconds faster per mile than goal MP. Nice to see that my pace goals are similar to theirs :).
Anyway, 3 days to go marks the start of my carb-loading diet. Yeah, my absolute favorite part of the taper!
I’ve always done the 6 day depletion/load diet, but this cycle I opted just for the carb-loading portion of the diet. Studies are varied – I think the general consensus is that the depletion/loading method fools your body into storing just a little more glycogen (it over compensates when you start carb-loading because you’ve starved it of carbs). It’s worked like a charm for me earlier (Twin Cities ’10, Grandma’s ’11 for my OTQ).
But – what I found at Grandma’s this year is that the full cycle left me feeling heavy and flat. I also don’t think it worked as well for the Trials earlier in the year. That puzzles me a bit – each time I’ve done it, it’s become less and less effective. I know there are hundreds of factors and diet is just a small one – but what I do know is that my body reacted weird (i.e. very infrequent bathroom stops). I know that my appetite and body have changed a little, even in the last year, becoming pickier and reacting to things more severely – so perhaps that’s partially it. Whatever the case, I think a less severe of a carbo-load regimine will suit me better.
One last note, though: one benefit of the depletion stage is that it becomes a fun mental part of the prep. It’s something you can focus on when you can’t really focus or change much else. It also helps to limit the quantity of food you’re eating, since you’re shying away from any “mixed” food. It’s an easy way to cut back portions/meals.
Enough about that :). What the carb phase means is that I have an excuse to just eat carbohydrates all day! I have an excuse not to choose a bagel with jam over chicken breast! Yippee!! I have looked forward to my meals a ton today: Oatmeal (my favorite food!), bagels with jam, fruit, plain pasta! Yumm 🙂 The only thing I miss is egg whites; I typically eat them plain (salt and pepper) or in a wrap, and make them pretty much every day. I love how simple they taste. Okay, Nichole, stop thinking about them…
I’ll finish packing tonight (what am I forgetting??), and then fly out around 3pm tomorrow. Let’s hope I can get in; LGA’s runways were damaged in the flooding!