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I'm doing CA 70.3 the end of the month, and remember someone on another forum discussing stopping caffeine prior to a race in order to optimize it's effects when you take it on the course.
Does anyone do this? Does it work? Is it worth the week of hell?
I drink 2 cups of coffee in the morning and maybe a Red Bull in the afternoon, and I'll be using Double Espresso GU and maybe some Pre Race from 1st Endurance. I'm not about to win my AG or anything, but any help I can get will be worth it!
Come crawling faster
Yes I have done it before. I stopped 2 weeks prior to my race. Then on race morning I had 2 cups with breakfast. It will give you a bigger jolt than you are used to. It was so long ago I can't really remember if it helped my race or not. It's suppose to make you sleep better, and you also won't be able to mask fatigue during your taper. I haven't done it since b/c I can't function well without it. I admit it I'm an addict.
i would be concerned about jitters and GI distress with suddenly quitting and then drinking it before a race. these problems didn't happen to you?
Don't freak your body out before a race. The Pacific Ocean, at 58 degrees, will give you all the jolt you need. Keep drinking coffee, but maybe skip the afternoon Redbulls the last few days before the race if that will make you sleep better.
About that 58 degree water, make sure you get it well before your wave start so your body gets used to the water. Otherwise you'll jump in and you'll have a hard time adjusting to the swimming, flailing bodies and water temperature at the same time.
Haha about the ocean = jolt. I second that!
Also, just like all the desirable properties of caffeine might be enhanced...wouldn't the undesirable properties be the same? Such as...having to go the the Port-O?
Normally I drink one or two cups a day, max. But before every big race I stop all caffeine or two weeks out. Then, I absolutely do not have coffee that morning of the race (doncha think you have to pee every 3 minutes before the race anyway? also I want to save the kick for the last third, when I will need it).... if its an ironman I save the caffeine gels and coke for the run, maybe a bit on bike. If its an ultramarathon 50 to 100 miles I try to save it for the last third. I know its just not all in my head as the people I have been running with also noted the pick up after I had a caffeine shot or some coke. But I have done this a couple of years and this is what works...for ME. Everyone is different. I think it is definitely worth trying as its huge, for me anyway. I look at it as part of the taper, you feel like crap anyway why not go all the way. Its part of my taper 'ritual' and I really REALLY look forward to the big breakfast with delicious well made super strong coffee the day after the race!
you might want to consider it for your HIM for the run portion.
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: Mar 13, 08 13:58
If you're someone who doesn't drink a lot of coffee and then slams a few cups before a race, that might be a concern. But, I for one, drink a lot of coffee, I'm used to it. I don't have that concern. Besides, you don't need that much caffeine to realize its performance benefits (helping oxidize fat) and that little bit of caffeine goes a long way, up to 8 or 9 hours.
Sure, hitting some flat coke or some kind of caffeinated gel might help at the end of a long race, too, but you most likely won't need it to get ready to race.
The only thing I think you should manipulate during your taper is your volume and intensity. Otherwise, your nutrition should continue as it was which is to say that you must fuel your workouts appropriately as well as refueling for recovery. Eat an otherwise normal and healthy diet. Maybe a little less fiber the last day.
Getting ready for the race itself in the morning will most likely be all the stimulus you need to get yourself ready for a great performance.
No I didn't have any problem with either.
Hmm well I think it does need to be stressed that everyone is different and this is something you need to try in training. I DO change my eating habits during the taper. I do not consume caffeine and I eat a lot less. Also I do not carb load in trh traditional sense. And this all works for me.
Thanks for all the great input! I haven't decided exactly what I'm going to do... maybe just stick with one small cup a day and no RB in the afternoon. That way my intake is significantly less, but I'm not torturing myself. It's not as if I'm winning anything here! hehe
Come crawling faster
I have only done it before Ironman. It has always worked for me. I do stop a little farther out than 2 weeks though. It takes me that long to get beyond the headaches. For a 70.3, I may cut back, but not much.
I will be there too and the way the weather is looking, I don't think we will need an extra jolt. I have been there for the past 2 years and each time the mornings are brutal. I need every bit of warm fluid in my body.
I quit drinking caffeinated coffee a few months ago and last week I put a splash of caffeinated in my decaf a few hours before a swim meet. During warm up I couldn't relax or find a rhythm. I felt panicked and jittery and I think the small dose of caffeine was a detriment that day, I felt like I was spazzing out. If I ever go back to caffeine I doubt I will ever do a caffeine taper before a big race. It's too much of a shock on my system. I have enough adrenaline race morning to get me going but would save the caffeine for later in a long race, perhaps in gel form or Coke.
Let us know how your race goes and if you want to share your # we can cheer for you race day. Good luck! I can't fathom doing a 1/2 this time of year so you have my complete admiration.