The ING New York City Marathon is tomorrow, which has me thinking about about friends who are running it (good luck Marissa and Sheila!) and... pasta.

Carb loading sounds like a great idea: Stockpile your body with tons of energy-boosting food the night before a big race and your endurance will soar. Right? Not quite. Sports nutritionists and athletes agree that you should keep eating the same well-balanced diet the week and night before a race that you’ve been eating during your training. That means skipping the pound of ziti. “The simple fact that you are reducing training as an event approaches should allow normal eating patterns to replenish your glycogen stores before the big event,” says Matt Hart, ultra-distance runner and coach at CoachingEndurance.com (and a member of the CLIF Bar panel of nutrition experts. “Eating a massive carb meal will leave you lethargic and likely running for the bushes shortly after the race start.”

If you're gearing up for the big race tomorrow—or just cheering from the sidelines—go easy on the pasta tonight.

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