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What Should a Runner Diet Look Like for Taper Week?

Marathon Runner Top Questions

HM, Phil, and Joe all touched on a very important topic - inquiring about a runner’s diet specifically during taper week.

Holly Perkins says the carb-loading days of the '90s are long gone. These days, she says taper week is about recovery and glycogen storage.

"In truth, the level of muscle and liver glycogen that you have today, was determined last week or during your last workout session. While it is possible to top off glycogen stores, you don't need to ingest a great deal of extra carbs to ensure this. Loading your system down with heavy carbs the week before an event can actually backfire and decrease performance," advised Holly.

She says that in the training time leading up to your race you should have determined how many daily carbs your body needs. "If so, you can increase your carbohydrate intake by about 25-30% each day for the week prior to your event. This will ensure adequate muscle glycogen."

Dr. Umbehr also ran away from the carb myth, saying, "Runners actually need more protein due to the fact that they burn carbs, then protein, and then fat. They typically need 2 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight.”

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