Carb Loading Plan + Grocery Haul

grocery haul 2I hit up Trader Joe’s tonight for a big grocery haul for next week’s carb loading. Thought it would be fun to share my meal planning and carb strategy for the week on here.

I’ve never truly planned my carb intake before, just increased the amount of carbs I was eating the week and days before a marathon.  For the first time, I’m going to track my carbs next week. I started today with some research and came up with a basic plan.

According to Runner’s World in the few days before a marathon you should be eating 3.6-5.5 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight. This means I should be shooting for 400-600g of carbs those last couple days.  That’s 1600-2400 calories of carbs alone!  Sounds like a lot, probably more than I’ve eaten in the past.

Here’s what I mapped out as a goal amount of carbs by day:

Monday: 250g

Tuesday: 250-300g

Wednesday: 350-400g

Thursday: 400-450g

Friday: 450-500g

I’ll keep ya posted as the week goes on how I’m tracking.  Let’s be honest, I’ll have plenty of time on my hands.  TAPER MADNESS.

Now here’s the fun part!  I got to buy all the things I always want to buy, but don’t.  Yes, I’m looking at you, chocolate chip cookie dunkers.

grocery haul 4Included in my shopping spree:

Kale & a pear for this Farro & Kale Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing to take to work for lunch.  I already have the rest of the ingredients on hand.


Photo credit: Foxes Love Lemons

Pasta, butternut squash cubes, 99% lean ground turkey, cheese, chicken broth, spinach and an onion for Pinch of Yum’s Baked Rigatoni with Spinach, Provolone, and Turkey.  I’m using orecchiette instead of rigatoni and a Swiss and Gruyere cheese mix instead of provolone.

grocery haul 3

Seriously guys, how amazing does this look:

Photo from Pinch of Yum

Photo credit: Pinch of Yum

Roasted red peppers, pasta, fresh basil, and crescent rolls for The Pioneer Woman’s Quick and Easy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta for Friday dinner before the race.

roasted red pepper pasta

Photo credit: The Pioneer Woman

Juice, PB filled pretzels, sandwich crackers, chocolate covered pretzels, and choc chip cookie dunkers for snacks plus trail mix for after the race to get some easy calories and protein for recovery.

grocery haul 1

I’ve had my eye on those cookie dunkers for the longest time.  Probably not my smartest purchase, I am going to be DANGEROUS around them.  Pledged I would not touch the treats until next week.  If not, I won’t have any left for when I actually need the carbs…

I still need to pick up some bagels, cream cheese, and bananas. I’ll grab them early in the week so that they’re fresh.

Check back next week for more posts on my carb loading progress and reviews of the recipes!

Have you ever tracked your carbs?  How do you balance getting the carbs you need but not eating all the junk food (AKA cookie dunkers) that you can find?


7 thoughts on “Carb Loading Plan + Grocery Haul

    • 24 hours later: cookie dunkers are still unopened. That’s a win for sure.
      Nut butter + a spoon = always dangerous for me. Leaving my PB that I bought sealed until after next week so I’m not tempted.


  1. I can’t wait until January so I can finally go to the states for the very first time and see Trader Joe’s for myself! Good luck on your marathon–I look forward to following you on your journey and feel free to hit me up via email or social media so we can chit chat a bit about running. 🙂


  2. Last time I bought breakfast cereal. SUCH a bad idea. I used the same RW guidelines and pretended like I was going to track, but then just went balls to the wall day 1 and shoved everything I could find in my face. I’ll have a much more specific action plan next time around. My new running coach will keep me accountable.


    • I’ve been there with ya–a week before or more and all of a sudden I’m shoving my face with fried food and sweets and everything in sight “because I’m carb loading”. Trying this time to build up slowly and follow my plan. Will keep you in the loop with how it works.


  3. Pingback: Training Recap: Taper week | The Breakfast Runner

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