Before everything else, you may like to read THIS article on what Boston elite runners eat during their taper week. This made for an interesting read! They call it the Performance Plate!
Back to me now! ( the struggling but unrelenting half marathoner) The last 7 days before the event I trained for have me excited ! The intensity of the training does take over me (click here to read what is taper week)! Most of us face anxiety too and still look forward to it. A week of much deserved rest and food! I look forward to finishing my readings, sleep in a little longer, catch up with friends I’ve been ignoring for the sake of training (yes I know the anti social element is also at its peak towards the last 3 weeks of training). But hey – if I picked up something as a hobby – I will do full justice to it!
The last 7 days before the final race, am aiming to build - ENDLESS ENERGY RESERVES to run faster and longer!
Here is my simple an easy to find good carbs list. This list never goes wrong. It's easy to find, not too hard on the pocket and doesn't require extra effort too!
Good Carbohydrates – that help me store energy. I get fatigued very fast, so I eat a lot to keep my energy reserves full. You could also read my article on Carbs for Runners. This article has a list of carbs that runners should eat without worrying much about weight gain. What tastes good on the lips sits well on the hips 🙂 And yes - we have to watch our weight during taper week!
- Pasta + loads of veggies (broccoli, colored peppers + mushroom).
- Sweet potato (steam it, add lemon and salt). I eat it warm without any lemon and salt. I like its natural sweetness.
- Rajma (Red Kidney Beans ) + Rice
- Garbanzo beans + Rice ( you can have a salad of steamed garbanzo beans too). Tastes great and is full of energy.
- Potato (I like to mash it, add some garlic and melted butter) + multigrain bread
- Parantha for breakfast ( the stuffed variety - you can put grated carrot, chopped spinach, mashed peas, whatever is your veggie!)
- Multigrain bread with homemade white butter + a hot cup of coffee (Don't ask me how much I love this - the homemade white butter melts like chocolate in my mouth)
- Multigrain bread with Honey/ peanut butter + a hot cup of coffee ( who doesn't like honey?)
- Eggs ( anyway you like )
- Homemade pizzas ( don't get obssesed about making the base at home. Or get obsessed but don't fret, add tomato paste, veggies, and top it up with cheese - Guaranteed smothering from your kids)
Stay away from too much fibre (especially the last 3 days before the run)
I learnt this lesson before the New Delhi Marathon 2016. For some reason I was going heavy on fiber just 3 days before the run. I had a really troubled tummy during the race and the loo time cost me about 2 minutes! And here we say – Every second counts. Avoid eating too much salad and fruits last 3 days before the race! In the first few days of taper they are actually very good for you!
I keep away from all empty calories
This one is tough especially when you are also trying to catch up with friends etc. Will do my best to stay away from processed foods, junk food, refined sugars and excess oils. This is tough for me. I am fond of pizzas and sometimes lazy to make at home and ordering is so much easier. But it’s true that we need good carbs and not just calories! And need to watch the weight gain too! I know I need good high- carbohydrate foods that give me energy and still don’t let me gain too much weight.
I Don’t go crazy over protein
I eat regular amount of protein. Basically the effort is to include it. So a bowl of homemeade cottage cheese is good, steamed peas are great too. And I add shredded pieces of chicken to my pasta.
I stay hydrated and not compensate or overhydrate on the race day
You can read my article on hydration here. Also there are foods that can keep you hydrated. Click here to read my list. So let’s drink plenty of water the last 7 days before the race. How to know you are well hydrated? Make sure that your pee is pale to light yellow without a strong odor. This means you’re well-hydrated and ready to run. SIMPLE!
Beetroot Juice in my veins 🙂 - I need a good blood flow to the heart and my muscles. We runners often hear that we should start having beetroot juice 2-3 weeks before our major race, and that it’s really good for the runners. So here’s the why! Beets have nitrates and nitrates help the muscles produce energy! And all of this boils down to is that we need energy! To stay the course longer and faster!
If you are interested in the science behind all this you could click here to read a great article by Runners World.
Enjoy the rest, the food and the sleep - Taper Week sounds like a TREAT!
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