How to Pull Off an Effective Taper!
It’s race week! You have been training so hard for your event and it’s finally here! The nerves are kicking in and you’re double checking everything. This is all normal! Take it all in, follow your plan, and you will do great!
Here are some tips to help you get through race week and your taper crazies!
- Make sleep a priority. You will not race well if you are not rested! Try to get around 8 hours of sleep a night this week. Practice going to bed early and waking up early to get your body ready for that early wakeup call.
- Do your taper workouts. It is crucial to your training to complete your work outs so that your body is primed. During your taper you’re going to decrease the amount of volume and increase the intensity! Practicing race pace intervals. is going to give your body a feel for what it will be like to go those speeds on race day. Stick to the same number of days you usually train a week.
- This is not the week to do extra things. No gardening, hiking, pickup basketball, swing dancing lessons. It’s time to focus on your event and rest as much as possible. You also don’t want to risk injuring yourself doing anything extra this week.
- Lay of the alcohol. Alcohol negatively effects your motor skills, recovery process, stamina, speed, and power up to 3 days after consuming. Alcohol dehydrates you and also messes with your sleep cycle. Alcohol interferes with your heat acclimation, making it harder for your body to work in the heat. Enjoy a glass of wine or beer after the race 😊
- Go over your race day plan. Know when you will arrive, check in to the race, do race recon, etc. What are you going to eat and when are you going to eat? Planning this out ahead of time will help ease your nerves around race day.
- Go over your nutrition plan! What are you eating race morning? What fuel are you using during the race and when? Will you be bringing your own fuel or does the course already have what you need?
- Carbo load! Depending on the length of your race you need to start taking in
more carbs. For shorter races you can start as little as the night before. For longer races like an Ironman you need to start 5 days out. Storing the body up with carbs will help your body build up extra glucose storage for your event!
- As you start your taper you will also want to taper out caffeine. Tapering your caffeine intake will help give your body that extra dose of energy when you take it in during the race!
- A couple of days before your event you need to start taking in more electrolytes. Your body needs sodium and you don’t want to flush out those precious electrolytes that your body needs for race day. The night before your race, have your electrolyte drink with dinner and then sip on water the rest of the evening.
- You trained so hard for this event! Take in all the moments and enjoy them. The race will come and go so fast!
USA Triathlon Magazine
Nutrition periodization for Athletes
100 Bedtime Stories for Triathletes