Miami ING Marathon: Tips for Carb Loading

Miami's ING Marathon is only four days away. I'm counting because I'm running it. These last few days before a race find many athletes stressing out about food. The truth is, no matter how hard you've trained, poor timing and choices in your eating style can sabotage your run. I've experienced this a few times. During a 9-mile trail run in Reading, Pennsylvania, I spent my entire jaunt bent over, my stomach threatening at every turn to yuke up the three bowls of oatmeal I'd eaten at 1 a.m. the night before. And, though I exceeded my expectations during the Philadelphia Marathon in 2010 time-wise, I had to make three porto-potty stops along the way as a result of guzzling about a gallon of Gatorade before starting. Won't do that again.

There is so much mythology around the foods that boost performance, I decided to compile a list of the ones that really will help you out on the long road this weekend (along with those to avoid), and some tips on when to eat them.

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Camille Lamb Guzman is a journalist who writes on wellness, travel, and culture. She is also finishing a book of creative nonfiction.