Category Archives: Nutrition

High Carb or High Fat

This article by TrainingPeaks highlights my thoughts on the subject: “We don’t need to choose one OR the other. We can have BOTH and this will allow us to develop our fat metabolism as well as carbohydrate metabolism.”

That’s what I try to do. Improve my ability to burn fat, while my normal diet consist of 40%-50% of carbohydrates. Before long runs I tend not to eat anything. Also, anything less than 30k, I try not to use gels or any other extra energy during the run. This has worked very well for me on long runs, but I don’t know how it will affect my next marathon. I run my long runs on mornings. I do eat carbs the night before the run, but I don’t spend time on having breakfast before the run. This way I also feel extremely light during the run, and I haven’t really felt my energy levels being low. On the contrary.

Other than that, I think I eat carbs moderately in general. I wouldn’t say I follow high fat diet, but I try not to demonize fats or specifically choose low-fat products either. I don’t think fat is a big problem, or at least not as big as white wheat and sugar. I  also do believe, that the ones following low carb high fat diet have a lot of good points.

My favourite article about this high-fat diet and endurance training is this article by Sami Inkinen: “Becoming a Bonk Proof Triathlete: Fat Chance!?

Finnish rye bread with salmon
Finnish rye bread with smoked salmon

I’m now trying to get all possible carbs I can get. I started carb loading yesterday. Now  I have three days to do the loading before the race. I find that much more difficult than I thought it would be. Getting more than 400g carbs a day seems to really require  some what concentration. I find it a bit weird, since I always though I eat a lot of carbs. I eat porridge for breakfast, and a lot of rye bread. Bananas after workouts, and with porridge and/or greek yogurt I have oranges, apples, blueberries or strawberries, for instance. I consider all of these as healthy carbs.

I haven’t really done any carb loading previously, if the pasta dinner prior the race day  isn’t counted. Carb loading is definitely something I need to concentrate more, if that’s something I see I could benefit from.

So far I’ve done my trainings and races following traditional approach what comes to carbs. Well depending on how you define the term traditional. If we go back to stone age, maybe carb loading wasn’t that popular.

Who knows, maybe I try a bit longer period on low carb high fat diet before my next marathon, but let’s first try to get through the one this week with high carb diet.

Check  also the TrainingPeaks article: “Food Fight: High Carb or High Fat Diet For Endurance Athletes

Carb loading during marathon week

Today is perfect day to start carb loading. Recipes and macros provided in this RW’s article doesn’t really look at all like my normal day. My everyday macro goal consist of 40%  carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat. That macro works when you are on calorie restrictive diet and want to lose weight, but for normal diet, amount of proteins would be all too high. When  loosing weight, I think, you should try to keep protein intake high (1g protein per pound lean body mass), so you are rather loosing fat instead of muscle. But then, instead of looking for the macros and percentages, I’m usually looking the absolute number of grams of protein intake.

In real life my macros varies in great deal too. Here’s how I did yesterday:


Although the above picture is very close of my macro goal, yesterday was actually not normal day for me. I wasn’t feeling well, so I tried to get much more proteins and C vitamin compared to normal. For me it means some extra greek yogurt with raw oranges. That usually helps, and it did this time too. I’m feeling much, much, better now.

Ok, back to carb loading. I have never really done it before. I don’t do it before long runs, unless you count a couple of extra slices of rye bread I might take a night before early long run.

I think RW’s article is a good baseline for me too. I’ll probably increase the amount of carbs close to 60% and also try to get at least 3000-4000kCals per day for now.  Proteins I try to keep in minimum of 150g as I usually do. Fat I’m not really that  concerned about.


Don’t forget to check RW’s arcticle: How to Carb-Load for Marathon Week | Runner’s World.