Monday, October 15, 2012

Tapering for the Marathon

Well, its finally here... the last week of tapering before my first marathon. This week is crucial to my success and cannot be taken lightly. There are so many things to focus on: de-stressing, getting adequate sleep, eating a carb enriched diet and most importantly cutting back on mileage.

Saturday was the last official run of notable distance, 16 km. My schedule for the rest of the week looks like this:

Yesterday:  6 km
Monday:  off
Tuesday:  6 km
Wednesday:  10 km
Thursday:  off
Friday:  off
Saturday:  3 km (optional)
Sunday:  42.2 km

It's hard to believe that cutting your mileage down that much during the last week can be beneficial but there are many reasons to it:
  • Minimize fatigue
  • Repair muscles
  • Replenish hormones, glycogen, enzymes and antioxidants

I missed one of our last 32 km runs a couple of weeks ago due to a migraine, so I pretty much started my taper early. I can tell you that I have felt my strength rebuild so far and I'm starting to feel back to normal. I'm curious to see what one more week will do!

In addition to this physical preparation, I've been mentally preparing too. I'm full of quotes and positive imagery which I know will help me cross that finish line with a smile.

This past Sunday I only ran 6 km. This was a nice change from the usual 2-3 hours of running, followed by a long shower, followed by a 1-2 hour nap. I didn't know what to do with all of this free time, so I decided to spend it in the kitchen.

Throughout the day I made:
Healthy Homemade Granola Bars
Yogurt Blueberry Bran Muffins
Tandoori Salmon and Zucchini Boats
Fresh Tex Mex Salad with Southwest Beans on Toast
and finally.... Full Fat Apple Crisp!
Are you exhausted yet? I was. That's what I would call a busy day in the kitchen!
Let me share one of my favourite recipes from the day.
Healthy Homemade Granola Bars
Dry ingredients:

3 cups whole oats

1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped cashews
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp chia seeds
4 tbsp sunflower seeds
4 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp ground flax seeds
1 tsp cinnamon

Wet ingredients:

1/2 cup light olive oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp natural peanut butter
1 tbsp molasses
2 tbsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 f. Line a 13 x 9 inches baking pan with parchment paper.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. In a small saucepan, heat oil and add the other wet ingredients. Stir until smooth and pour over dry ingredients. Mix well.

Spread the mixture into the baking pan, and press to form an even layer. Bake for 25 minutes, and allow to cool completely before cutting into bars. Keep refrigerated. Makes approx. 15 bars.

This recipe was adapted from
Nutritional Facts:
Calories 253
Fat 14.1 g
Sodium 19.5 mg
Potassium 127 mg
Carb 29 g
Fibre 3 g
Protein 4 g

This granola bar was a nice change from the store bought bars. Higher in calories than the popular 90 calorie bars, but this is filled with many good items and is very filling. I think it will be a regular in our household as it required minimal effort and not a lot of time. A win-win in my books.

I hope to post some of the other recipes I made yesterday in the upcoming week.

I'm off to get my read on and catch some much needed Zzzzz's. I hope you all had a glorious Monday and a great start to your week.

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