There's only one week until your marathon. You've made it. You've survived the training. You've started to taper. But what should you eat now?
There's plenty of conflicting advice out there: carb load, carb starve, reduce calories, add calories. Clear as mud, right?
Taper week is not the week to be confused. You need clarity. You need peace of mind. You need confidence in your racing, training and nutrition plan. So, here it is.
First, let's set the stage. You've thrashed your body into a lean, mean, marathon-running machine during the past few months. Now, you've got a chance to recover, rejuvenate, and relax. Think of this week as the time to flood your body and mind with antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and nutrients that promote muscle growth and repair. Healing should start at the cellular level.
Taper Week Nutrition Plan
Don't starve yourself simply because you're not training. Although you don't need extra training fuel, you still need healthy meals and snacks throughout the day. This will promote overall recovery, energy and strength. Every meal should include:
- Whole-food carbohydrate sources: baked yams, fruits, dairy (if tolerated), whole grains
- Protein sources: meats, beans, legumes, nuts, eggs, dairy, loads of vegetables
- Healthy fats: organic coconut oil, chia seeds, avocados, olive oil, hemp
Snacks between meals should include protein and whole-food carbs. Check out some meal examples here.
Supplements for Joint and Muscle Recovery and Health
Although whole foods are best, supplements can aid athletes who are pushing their limits. Consider using:
2,000 milligrams ginger from supplements daily: It's recommend that you use this as a daily supplement throughout the year, but it's possible to get benefits from it during your taper week.