- Eat high quality sources of protein, evenly distributed throughout the day. This includes eggs, Greek yogurt, low fat milk, lean meat and nuts. Some athletes starve their muscles of protein at breakfast and then over indulge at the dinner hour. Providing a constant source of amino acids to keep muscle repair and growth at it’s peak is just as important now as it was throughout the months of training.
- Stay hydrated. Muscles are 75% fluid, blood is 90% fluid and everything needs to be fully topped off this week. In addition to water, I’ll focus on potassium rich fluid sources including low fat milk, 100% orange juice, coconut water, V8 juice blends and beet juice.
- Load up on carbohydrates. While my diet is always carbohydrate rich to fuel endurance training, from Thursday – Saturday, I’ll up the content to 10-12 grams/kilogram/day. Example: 160 pound person/2.2 pounds per kilogram = 720-875 grams of carbohydrate/day. Here is a list of foods that contain an average of 25 grams of carbohydrate per serving. Inherent in this rule is no meal skipping. You’ve worked hard to build those glycogen scores and you don’t want any one of them to diminish or whither away.
- Rest up. This not only includes tapering my mileage but getting 10 hours of sleep each night. Research shows that athletes who get a little extra R&R the week going into the event have greater concentration, focus and performance in their event. It also helps limit the evening snacks and alcoholic beverages that I’m not going to burn off this week with training. Meditate, pray and give thanks, stay positive in the fact that you’ve trained a strong mind, body and spirit to carry you 26.2 miles!
- Stay off the trails. I love trail running, but with fall setting in I don’t need any twisted or sprained ankles from leaf covered roots and vines. I’ll enjoy off road running in a week when the colors are at their prime and I can run with no tempo, fartlek or goal in mind.
OK, your turn, what did I miss?
Categories: Sports Nutrition