Taper week, and there is not enough food in the world this week to satisfy a deep hunger for nutrition (carbs, fats, and vegetables especially; protein less so).
I am eating so much more and although a little disconcerting I am rolling with it. Deep down I know this is for RECOVERY (from the past hard weeks) and PREPARATION (for the weekend; although it is not a long race, I still want to feel strong) and no matter how many nutrition articles say eat less in taper week I suspect the body is doing so much on so many levels that this is untrue. The calorie in versus calorie out equation is not just about exercise and activity; our body is performing functions also and in taper week a lot of these functions will be repair, restore, recover.
I see far too many athletes eating salad/ veg and protein only in taper week that I want to hit them with a stick; this is NOT enough to recover the hard weeks training and create a rise in glycogen for the race ahead. Furthermore damaged muscles don’t replenish glycogen as efficiently and most of you will have come off of your hardest training block yet!. Your metabolism is probably revved up more than ever at this point in your training also and especially if you are at your leanest.
if you have a correct and consistent diet week on week, that taper week should be all about the recovery and preparation; not cutting back. the small bit of weight is just glycogen and water. However if your weight is a problem, you haven’t been consistent, and you aren’t overly hungry then continue being more conservative up until that last 24 hours and then ramp up the carbohydrate intake.
Remember taper and race prep doesn’t mean shit food choices; you can still get your carbohydrate intake from whole grains, root veg, fruit, dried fruit etc. There is never a need for junk food in the athletes diet; EVER
If you need more advice; this is your answer