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  • One of your's on the big box last weekend. Garrison Minter takes first place in Chainbusters ,Cat 2, 14-19, 3 hour.....International Horse Park, Conyers GA. His lap times would have given him a podium in every category except Cat 1 40-49. Fast and strong on your training program. Thanks!

    Bart Minter March 2016 6 Hour Race Training Plan

  • Hey Drew, Great effort today. Looks pretty solid although it felt more up and down during the TT. Lot of stress today at work but it did not seem to have much of an effect. I believe that is a record 20 min TT. Thanks for getting us there. This is a really big milestone for me/us, over 350W for 20 minutes, that's just crazy good. Let me tell you how I really feel. So very excited. This made my day, week, month, year. I can do better!

    Troy Zimmerman 2015 National US Marathon Champion 50+ and Multi-State FSC Champ

  • Big thanks to Drew Edsall who was my coach for the past year and got me ready for the Leadville Trail 100. I was ready, I was strong, and I hit my goal. It wasn't easy, but it was worth it.

    Doug B. Leadville 100 Finisher

  • Thanks to your expert advice, training plan, and coaching skills... I not only met my goals, I exceeded them!! Can't wait to see what 2016 brings!

    Madison McDaniel Multi-time winner as Junior Racing Expert/Pro Class 2016

  • Training with Drew has been the best thing for my racing career. He has pushed me to limits that I didn't know that I could achieve

    Tim Zimmerman Expert 40+ Georgia State Cahmp, SERC Champion, Multi-time State Series Champ

  • The whole reason I bought this mountain bike training plan was to be competitive in the Tennessee XC State Championship. I had never even raced a Cat 1 race before starting the training program. This past weekend I became the Cat 1 15-29 State Champion.

    Chase Peeler Cat 1 15-29 XC Racer

  • Training with Drew has been the single most beneficial thing for my race career.  I could not have progressed as fast without Drew's expert advice & coaching.

    Lauren Gregg Cat 1 and Current Pro Mountain Bike Racer 2016

  • With the help of Drew Edsall I have met my goals and finished second overall in the Elite Florida State Championship Series in 2014 and then switched gears in 2015 to endurance racing and won the elite overall title in the Chainbuster Southeastern Endurance Cup 6 hour race Series. There are numerous coaches out there. The reason I chose Drew is because of his organization, engaging/challenging training plans, and most importantly to me, his racing knowledge and expertise.

    Dwayne Allgire Cat 1 30-39 XC and Endurance Mtn Bike Champion Elite Category 2016

  • Hi Drew, Just wanted to thank you for your training guide for Peter and I, we were very happy with our results this season (I got 3rd overall and Peter got 5th overall for the Florida State Championship Series) and felt the difference your training plan made in our riding.

    Brooke and Peter Cat 2 30-39 XC Racers


Carbohydrate Loading: racing preparation

Many of you have probably heard of carbohydrate loading and it goes something like this, you eat a lot of carbohydrates before your race and get faster. Right? That touches up a little on it, but I often find athletes asking me this.
Well, how much, when, and why? 

This article discusses the best way to maximize your carbohydrate, or glycogen stores, prior to a big competition. Carbohydrate loading can increase your performance come race day. In fact, it can make you go harder, faster and for longer especially in events 90 minutes or longer.

What is it? 

Carbohydrate loading refers to ingesting or consuming a larger portion of carbohydrates prior to competition. 

Why do it?

Out of the three major substrates in your body (protein, fat, and carbohydrates(carbs)), carbs are the most readily available for energy production. What this means is the more of it you have available, the better off you will be come race day. You will be able to go harder and for longer especially in events longer than 90 minutes(1). 

In fact, a research article called “Carbohydrate Loading and Exercise Performance” found that “high carbohydrate diets have been reported to improve performance by 2 to 3%.” (1)

Best Methods: How to go about come race week

Most research points to starting about three days out, but some research suggests that you can see gains even within 24 hours with the proper procedure. Ideally taking the three day method is best, but I’ll go into two different approaches and let you decide what do:

1) Three day out method:

Increase your carbohydrate intake to 8 g/kg starting 3 days prior to your race. Meaning a 50 kg athlete would need to take in 400 grams of carbs per day. Or for the average person who doesn’t count every calorie, increase your carbohydrate intake by about 10-15% of what it currently is. 

My advice is to look at your daily plate of food and put 60-70% of that in the form of carbohydrates, or 2/3rds of the plate should be carbs. Start this process 3 days out. 

On top of this, make sure you are taking advantage of the “window of opportunity” immediately after workouts, especially after harder workouts. This window occurs within the first 20 minutes after exercise and is where your body absorbs 3-4 times as many carbs as any other time of the day. Meaning, it is a crucial time to get carbs stored. So take advantage of it. Google “window of opportunity” or look into one of my other articles to find the exact details on this.

2) One day method/24 hours:

Increase your carbohydrates 24 hours before your event. For events that start in the morning means starting this loading period either two nights before or the entire day before the event, and not focusing on just the dinner before the event. 

During this period, increase your carbs to 70% of your plate for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also snack on carbs in between meals trying to match your typical caloric needs. On top of this make sure you take advantage of the window of opportunity after your workout the day before the event (as mentioned in the 3 day approach).


Carbohydrate loading can benefit your next event by improving both your overall speed and your time to exhaustion. Keep in mind, however, that every athlete is unique and responds to just about every mode of training and nutritional supplement differently. Some athletes might find this very effective whereas others not so much. 

Hope you enjoyed the article. If you liked it, please share this and continue to check my Facebook page and website, www.coachdrewedsall.com for more articles.

Coach Drew Edsall