Carbohydrates

Learned an important lesson about carbs today.

My neighbor and I go climbing indoors every two weeks or so and typically I’ll grab a breakfast burrito on the way since it’s a twenty minute drive.  Today, however, I woke up late and just drank a protein shake on my way.  This particular shake has 30 grams of protein but only 1 gram of carbohydrates.

I’m still learning a lot about nutrition and have only recently come to realize why protein is so important to building and maintaining muscle so I’ve been pretty good about keeping my protein intake up very high.  I aim for 139 grams of protein a day.

But in my effort to keep my protein intake up, I’ve abandoned my carbs.  So while driving to go climbing I felt pretty good about how much protein I’d taken in already and gave no thought to the fact that I had essentially no carbs in me.

Climbing is already pretty difficult but if you have no sugar for your body to turn into quick energy it is very difficult.  I immediately noticed that my arms felt unusually weak. I did a really easy 5.Intro that I’d done several times just as a warm up and as I was lowered back down to the ground I commented to my climbing partner that I felt really shaky already, even though it was an easy climb and the very first one.  I wrote it off as maybe just warmup jitters and figured it would get better.

But it didn’t.  By my third climb I was unable to get to the top.  I got halfway there and just let go because my arms were completely shot.  I had absolutely no energy left.  The strength was still there but I just absolutely could not get up the wall.  So my partner lowered me down and I told him what had happened and he asked if I’d eaten yet.

I told him about the protein shake and he asked how many carbs were in it.  Well, none.  But fortunately I had a protein bar in my gym bag and it had plenty of carbs so I ate that and, surprise surprise, the climbing immediately got much easier.

Not great, because I’d already exhausted my arms, but the shakes went away.

So now I know: Always get a breakfast burrito before going climbing.  🙂  Or…at least something with a decent amount of carbs.  lol

In other news, my brother-in-law talked me into doing a Spartan race next June.  It’s in Phoenix but it’s in a stadium so I won’t die of heat stroke.  Starting in January I’m going to need to figure out how best to train for that.  At this point I’m pretty happy with my running, climbing and strength training.  That might actually be all I end up doing really. I’ll take a look at the obstacles and see if there’s anything special I need to learn how to do.

If anyone has any tips for someone training for their first OCR please leave them below!  I’d love to learn from your experience!

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