Nutrition Bites - Tapering

Nutrition in tapering

Tapering is in the near future, depending on your training plan...does anyone else feel like the taper is the hardest part of training? For the times I wonder "is this worth it?," it's helpful to remember the purpose of tapering and to think about as "PRIMING." This takes the focus off of just decreasing miles and puts it in a positive light "preparing to do my best."

Sports nutrition is all about providing your body with the nutrients it needs to help you train and perform your best, and what you eat during the taper matters. Here are three guidelines of how to fuel your body as it gets primed for race day.

Listen to your Body

This is a great tool in general, but can be especially helpful when there's a transition (increasing miles, decreasing miles, travel or anything out of routine). By eating when you're hungry and stopping when you're full- you'll be giving your body what it needs. It's not going to ask for less than you need or more than you need, so pay attention and you'll get what you need. (if you're interested in intuitive eating, see this link for more info.)

Skip the Scale

Side note: I'm often recommend people refrain from checking their weight in general, because healthy behaviors predict positive health outcomes more than a number on a scale. But if you do, you'll likely see your weight go up. When it comes to tapering, your body is trying to repair, rest and refill its glycogen stores. For each ounce of glycogen stored, your body also stores 3 ounces of water. This is a good thing, but can be uncomfortable. So if you step on the scale and your weight is up, that's likely why. Don't try to cut anything out or manipulate the number as that could compromise your ability to perform on race day.

Keep is Similar

Now's not the time to try veganism, try to lose pounds, cut carbs or add any crazy supplements to your diet. Your body can handle fluctuation, but loves routine. Don't put all your hard work on the line by deciding to cut down on fat intake or stop drinking coffee. Focus on getting in all the food groups, with variety and you'll allow your body to do it's thing and prepare for race day!

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