As many of you know, I ride my bike. A lot. And I’m always trying to find ways to cycle faster, finish stronger or just endure a longer ride at a more consistent speed. I’m actually training for my first “century ride.”
During the past several months, I’ve been experimenting, and I’ve determined (also through a comprehensive review of the scientific literature) that consuming three to five grams of carbohydrates per day per pound of body weight about a week before a race is the magic formula. It allows me to store enough glycogen and perform at my best.
For example, if you’re a 160 lb. male cyclist, you need between 480 to 800 grams of carbohydrates a day for one week prior to competition. That goes for my friends who are runners, many of whom are getting ready to partake in the NYC Marathon on November 2nd.
Keep in mind, carbohydrates come from vegetables, fruit, milk and other dairy products, in addition to bread, pasta and rice. So select high-quality, nutrient dense food sources for the maximum benefit.
Granted, if you’re like me, you’ll put on a pound or two the week prior to race day, but don’t worry. You’ll lose that weight – and then some – during the race.