Las Vegas Strip At Night Marathon Tapering

las_vegas_marathon_strip_at_nightThe Rock and Roll Las Vegas Strip At Night Marathon is in less than one week from today.  This means that I have already started tapering.  My last long run was on Saturday which was 13.1 miles and that I ran in 1:41 and felt great despite the 20-30 mph winds.  Sunday was a short 3 mile run with paces of 8:20, 8:00 and 7:52 per mile.  Today I had 2000 yards of swimming and the rest of the week are short workouts. When I say short do not interpret that for lack of intensity.  I will be going hard but for a shorter duration of time.  Most of my workouts are anywhere from 30-45 minutes which means lots of rest and recovery for my legs and body. This tapering also means that my diet has to change because I will be training for a total of about 4-5 hours this week as opposed to the 15 hours during triathlon training or even 10-12 hours during marathon training.  I know that I want to board the airplane on Friday morning at 138 pounds with the full knowledge that I will gain a pound or two or three while in Vegas before the race on Sunday.  Today I am at 145 pounds and have given myself a goal of losing 1-2 pounds per day.  I have been very successful since Sunday in accomplishing this goal and it has not been that difficult even though I am not working out as hard or as long as I used to. I have eliminated snacking and have added more calories to my meals and thus allowing my body to carry that full feeling for more hours than I am accustomed to.  For example, this morning before my swim session I drank a cup of coffee and that was all.  I knew that the session would be less than one hour so I did not have a need to fuel before hand.  Afterwards I had two eggs on Ezekiel bread with vegan cheese.  My total calories consumed this morning was 370 calories.  My lunch will be a taco salad without the meat, sour cream, cheese or shell.  Then dinner will be a smoothie with two rice cakes topped with nut butter, honey and a banana. That is the key to me losing this weight and that knowing what my menu will consist of on a daily  basis.  Tomorrow I will be doing a 45 minute run in the morning so there will be nothing to eat before hand, then afterwards will be oatmeal with a piece of fruit.  Lunch will consist of a smoothie with two rice cakes topped with nut butter, honey and a banana.  Dinner will consist of a Naan pizza with a kale pesto, sautéed vegetables and vegan cheese. While considering what I needed to do for my nutrition this week I did some research and found a post that reinforced my thought process and it is a huge help in proving the structure for this week.  You can find the complete post [HERE] and it comes from Marathon Training: State Of The Art. Nutritional Issues Be sure to pack healthy snack foods you may wish to eat the weekend of the marathon.The Week Prior to Your Marathon
  • As you reduce your mileage during the last week, realize that you will not be burning as many calories. Thus, you may gain one or two pounds if you don't cut back a bit on the quantity of your servings early in the week.
  • Use care in selecting foods to eat during this time period, aiming for nutritious and healthy items rather than snack/high fat products.
  • Hydrate well the week before the marathon and in particular, during the carbohydrate loading period (three days prior to the marathon). Research indicates that carbohydrates convert to glycogen more effectively when accompanied with the consumption of water. This is the time when you may gain a couple of pounds, but don't worry about it. This will be your energy fuel during the marathon!
  • If you are traveling out town, be sure to pack healthy snack foods you may wish to eat the weekend of the marathon. Eliminate the need to search for a grocery store that stocks your favorite foods. See Packing List for more information.
  • If traveling by plane to your marathon destination, carry bottled water with you. Flying at high altitudes causes dehydration.
  • As mentioned above, carbohydrate loading begins three days before the marathon. Choose foods for lunch and dinner that are high in carbohydrates (e.g., pasta, potatoes, rice, etc.). Don't neglect fruits, vegetables, and some protein sources however. Try to really scale back on fats during this time.
The Evening Prior to Your Marathon
  • Be sure to eat carbohydrate products that have been "tried and proven" during your training period. Keep pasta sauces simple, avoiding high fat varieties (e.g., alfredo, pesto, etc.). Avoid eating lots of salad items and vegetables (roughage) as these may prove to be troublesome on race day and can cause digestive problems.
  • Stick to water during the evening meal. Because coffee and tea contains caffeine, these products may make it difficult for you to fall asleep easily. Keep in mind that caffeine (as well as alcoholic beverages) are diuretics, which contributes to dehydration.
  • Don't try anything new the week prior to, or during the marathon.
  • Also see Areas of Experimentation for more information.

What Do You Adjust During Your Taper Week?

Do You Layout A Menu For The Full Week Leading Up To Your Race?

Jason Bahamundi

About the Author:

I grew up in New York and lived there for 34 years until I got divorced and moved 1600 miles to my new home in Texas.  I love New York and miss it but that does not mean that Texas hasn’t been great to me because it has.  It was here that I discovered endurance sports and specifically the sport of triathlon.  Triathlon has given me new life through all the challenges it presents.  I no longer look at life the same way and I can say that is in part due to my endeavor into this sport.

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