Prior to bodybuilding (and children) I used to run marathons, which is pretty funny considering my favorite saying used to be, “The only way you’ll see me run is if you put a lion behind me.” All that changed when my dad got cancer.
After he was diagnosed I ran a 5k and put his name on my bib number. I sent it to him and said, “I’m running for you.” He died in 2004. Then I started running marathons for him. You can read more about it here: Why I Run Marathons.
In typical fashion, I did no research whatsoever before deciding to run a marathon, but I heard as a runner you get to eat a lot of pasta so I said, “I’m in.” My question/hope was: “Will eating tons of pasta make me faster? If so, this is my dream sport!”
Answer: Not so much. Carbohydrate loading (also called glycogen loading) improves endurance performance, but the key word there is endurance. The extra glycogen does not let you run faster during the race; it does allow you to maintain your pace for a longer duration.
If you are interested in running for a good cause, I highly recommend checking out Team In Training. I’ve run four marathons with them so far: Los Angeles Marathon, Marine Corps Marathon, Rock ‘N’ Roll San Diego, and the Nike Women’s in San Francisco. Team In Training trains you for endurance sports and in exchange you raise money for cancer research. To date I’ve raised over $100,000 for them, being named Top 3 Fundraiser in the nation for two of the four marathons. I ran because I hate cancer and I miss my dad.
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