Training from the mile to the marathon.
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  • The Final Days of the Taper

    Posted on October 27th, 2011 CoachGreg No comments
    mcm2010blogAs you enter the final days of the taper before a marathon, there are some things you should be doing to ensure that you make the most of race day.

    Sleep

    Go to bed as early as you can each evening. That’s tough when you’re a student or have little ones underfoot but don’t waste time with inane, non-productive stuff and you’ll be able to sleep earlier than you thought. The most important night of sleep for you will be Friday for a Sunday race. Saturday night you’ll be anxious and you’re getting up early on Sunday. You can actually bank good rest.

    Food

    Eat normally. Avoid things that you know give you gastric distress. If you are truly racing this thing - if you want to get under 4 hours, then your fueling will make a difference in your speed. If you are not adequately fueled, you can’t run fast because you’ll run off of your fat stores rather than stored glycogen. Forget about carbo-loading - It’s a very exact process that may (or may not) benefit elite runners. Instead, just increase your carb intake over the next four days. One extra serving of potatoes, rice, or other starch per meal over the next few days will keep your tank topped off. Also, by increasing your carb intake, you will retain more water - a bonus if hydration is an issue for you.

    Race Day

    Hopefully, you’ve been practicing race day nutrition. Most people need between 30 and 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour of prolonged exercise. That’s 120-240 calories. Your fueling should be consistent over the course of your race. One Gu (or other supplement) and one cup of sports drink is about 160 calories - that should be your minimum caloric intake per hour. If you’re going for speed, I recommend one cup of sports drink at 2 out every 3 water stops in addition to one Gu each hour.

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