A 5K is not carte blanche to go nuts on the pasta. But if your race will take 90 minutes or longer to complete, Fitzgerald says, you can and should carbo-load. “There are two ways to do it: Get 70 percent of your total calories from carbs for the last three days before the event or eat 4.5 grams of carbs for every pound you weigh on the last day before the race,” he advises. It’s a specific approach, but science supports it: In a study in the International Journal of Sports Medicine, runners who met these requirements before running the London Marathon finished the event 13.4 percent faster than did their peers.
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