Sunday 17 December 2017

#My1000Hours: Eat a balanced diet

Mark McCabe

Q: I've been following the training programme and as a new runner I'm really enjoying the "runner's high" I get from my run sessions. Looking at articles online I can see a big deal being made of "tapering" for racing and making sure to load up on carbohydrates prior to the big day. How do I do this?

A: Tapering is basically allowing your body to gain freshness and get rid of as much training fatigue as possible without losing the fitness you have gained in the build-up to your race. The fresher you feel on the day the faster you go. Typically in endurance events the higher the volume of training / length of build-up the longer the taper period necessary in order to allow training fatigue to dissipate prior to a peak event. As a new runner it's rarely necessary to reduce training volume bar in the last week prior to racing, since long-term training fatigue should not be significant.

Training intensity should be maintained although in shorter intervals than before to maintain sharpness prior to race day. Your programme caters to this in the last week pre-race. Regarding carbohydrates just eat a typical balanced diet during race week and the extra rest pre-race will allow your body to stock up the muscles carbohydrates store in the form of glycogen. Pushing excessive carbohydrate for a 5/10km where recovery is good in training and there was not excessive fatigue won't benefit performance.

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