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TIMOTHY53's Photo TIMOTHY53 Posts: 902
4/24/14 12:35 A

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I have also found that the traditional carb loading ... a huge plate of spaghetti the night before ... is so much bosh. It tends to weigh me done and make me feel sluggish the next day. Besides, your body doesn't get through all those carbs that fast. Two nights before and a normal to slightly more than normal amount of carbs seems to work well. The day before I eat normally. Race morning I have steel cut oatmeal, but that is just mostly traditional for me. During the race I have always carry a Clif bar. Honey is also good and I think superior to Gu. Maybe even a packet of Justin's nut butters.

Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible and suddenly you will be doing the impossible. -- St Francis of Assisi
PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,211
4/23/14 12:44 P

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Calorie reduction during taper is well known although many knowledgable people don't do it. Because I keep a low-cal diet, I *increase* calories during taper. (If I eat high-cal just a day before a HM, my gut isn't used to the sudden amount of additional food, so I ramp up during taper.

Some other techniques worth mentioning - these are relatively new and haven't become part of traditional runner lore:

- Fat-loading (65% of cals from fat) 3-7 days out followed by traditional carb-loading for the remainder of the taper leads to performance improvement. Note: this is only for people who run HMs in over 2 hours. Yes, this is a bit of a generalization. And no, I've never tried fat loading because I don't carb load and, at least as I understand the theory, I'm an efficient fat-burner already.

- A high-fat pre-race dinner leads to performance improvement. (Note: This doesn't mean you can eat a poor quality diet the rest of the time - and no, I'm not trying to equate high-fat with poor quality. And no, I have no idea how this makes sense.)

- Runners who use caffeine on race day (whether pre-race or in-race) benefit from caffeine fasting during taper. (I don't need to follow this rule because because I don't normally consume caffeine. But I do get a tremendous boost from it during races, so I think I effectively get the benefit that the rule is trying to capture.)

As is surely obvious, I'm no expert on any of these. Google for more info.



Edited by: PASTAFARIAN at: 4/23/2014 (13:00)
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FUTBOLREF's Photo FUTBOLREF SparkPoints: (47,782)
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4/22/14 11:24 A

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For the HM, just eat healthy during your taper and keep doing what you've been doing. Maybe follow Mobycarp's suggestions on a 100 calorie a day reduction. You want to keep your energy tank full during the taper and don't want to do something your body isn't used to and end up with weird bowel movements or the like.
My eating is really boring. Pretty much the same stuff day after day (at least for breakfast and lunch). Healthy stuff just the same thing. But it works for me. I keep it up through the day of the race with a lighter morning meal than usual (toast, peanut butter) before the race if it is an early morning one. Fuel for the race is going to come from my stores and not my stomach.
I don't worry about my weight until a couple of days after the HM. It tends to be up the day after due to fluid retention in sore muscles. I still track it, I just don't worry about it.
This running stuff is about finding what works for you. Training, race day preparation, tactics, what to wear, what not to wear as well as eating habits are all somewhat individual.

My next HM will be interesting for me since I have a banquet to go to the night before. Will be a test of my discipline. At least there is no alcohol at this one...

Good luck this weekend! Make sure you let us know how it goes!

Eric
"Old Age and Treachery..."
MOBYCARP's Photo MOBYCARP SparkPoints: (296,656)
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4/21/14 7:46 P

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I'm currently at the tail end of a training program pointing at the Flower City Challenge Half next Sunday. One of the blurbs that came from the coaches was a note that many people gain a pound or 3 during the taper, because they eat the same as when training hard.

I'm pretty sure I track what I eat more rigorously than most people in the half & full marathon training program. What I did was, I cut my range by 100 calories for the first week of the taper (6 running days, but all short runs), and another 100 for the second (3 easy miles Sunday-Tuesday-Wednesday-Friday before race on Sunday).

I've been in maintenance mode for two and a half years, and adjusting the calorie range is *normal*. It's sometimes a guessing game as to how much I need to adjust. What's shocking is how small the adjustments are. The difference between running for recreation 3 days a week, 4-5 miles twice and maybe 6 or 7 once, versus 5 training days including a long run that stretches to 10 miles or more, is (drum roll please) 300-400 calories per day. That's all, despite how many calories various programs estimate I burn while running.

I'm certainly no expert on nutrition geared toward optimum race performance, but I've done very well in weight maintenance. I'm geared toward eating like I always do, only enough more while training so I don't lose weight. That's it. I track the GUs and count them toward the daily calories, I weigh myself daily, watch the trend, and make a nutrition adjustment if the trend isn't sideways.


- Kevin

"Discipline is remembering what you want. " - David Campbell

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EJSELHORST's Photo EJSELHORST Posts: 656
4/21/14 1:18 P

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I would say that I'm in the same situation you are. I ran my first race last year and continued my regular eating, but the two days before the race, I really made sure to include good healthy carbs. Pasta dinners, using both half of an english muffin for a sandwich instead of one, etc. I figured I would burn about 1300-1400 calories during the race and I probably ate an "extra" 700 or so carb calories the 2 days before the race. I also made sure to drink LOTS of water! For breakfast the day of, I think I had oatmeal with blueberries in it. Some good carbs to keep my full, some sugar to get me going, but not too much that I felt weighed down!

Good luck! I'm anxious to see what other tips you get here. I have my 2nd half coming up in two weeks and I'll take all the tips I can!

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RMBORK's Photo RMBORK Posts: 3
4/21/14 11:32 A

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I guess I am mostly referring to nutrition during taper. I started training for weight loss, but am not too concerned with losing a lot of weight right before the race. I'm just wondering if I should just continue to simply "eat healthy" or if I should be focusing on carb-loading or protein-loading in anticipation of the race? My "normal" diet is between 1200-1500 cals a day, but I don't know if if I should up that for race week.

Thanks for your help!

Upcoming Races:

Country Music Half Marathon 4/26/14
Home Run 4 miler 5/10/14
Music City 10k 7/4/14


Races Completed this Year:

Hot Chocolate 5k Nashville 2/15/14
Predators Fangtastic 5k 3/15/14


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19.275
25.7
PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,211
4/21/14 11:14 A

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Good question but what a huge subject! Can you narrow that down? When you say "nutrition leading up to the race" are you talking about:

- during training
- during taper
- week of the race (I break this into two halves)
- race eve
- race day morning

I think of those 5 periods (6 really) separately because each have different nutritional requirements. Which are you asking about? Special focus? For instance, are you trying to lose weight? Keep weight the same? Run less miles at that time? Same mileage?

Lastly, your long runs are opportunities. Have you had diet-related difficulties during your long runs?


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RMBORK's Photo RMBORK Posts: 3
4/21/14 9:49 A

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I have run a half in the past, but was very lazy on the nutrition side of it. Now I'm training for one again and have been very conscious of the nutrition. However, I'd be curious to know how y'all handle nutrition leading up to the race? Do you keep the same diet routine or do you switch anything up?

Upcoming Races:

Country Music Half Marathon 4/26/14
Home Run 4 miler 5/10/14
Music City 10k 7/4/14


Races Completed this Year:

Hot Chocolate 5k Nashville 2/15/14
Predators Fangtastic 5k 3/15/14


 Pounds lost: 0.0 
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6.425
12.85
19.275
25.7
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