Fruits and vegetables on rustic background

Nutrition During the Taper and Race Day

The Glass City Marathon is less than month away! It’s time to taper and recover. In the weeks immediately prior to your race, there are several key nutritional elements to focus on.

  • Although your training time is dwindling down, your appetite may not immediately correspond. Be mindful of this and be careful not to overeat. Packing on a few extra pounds can greatly affect the energy required to get you across the finish line.
  •  (I hope) You’ve been practicing your fueling during long runs. I suggest practicing during a shorter, race-pace run as well. Some foods sit in the belly OK at lower, long-run intensity but cause gastrointestinal mayhem at race-pace. Try your gels, bars, and/or sports drinks during that tempo run to make sure all goes well. If not, you have some time to change course.
  •  About 4 days before the race, start to increase your carbohydrates and decrease fats. On the day of the expo, about 70% of your intake should be carbohydrates. Start to drink more fluids as well; you don’t want to start without a full tank!
  • On race morning, I suggest a bit smaller breakfast than you’ve been working with. You’ll be at a higher intensity and race-day jitters will slow down digestion causing cramping. If you’re a coffee drinker, drink a cup or two.

Getting to the start line healthy and ready is the hardest part. During the race, stick to your fueling plan as best as possible, but don’t be afraid to adjust if things go wrong.

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