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!?”
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“