|Coffee Makes Me Happy|
Ah caffeine. The most addicting drug in the world. It is soooo good and also what powers me throughout every day. My normal caffeine intake is a cup of ice coffee every morning, and then between 1-2 pm, a cup of green tea or a Crystal light energy packet I mix with water. If you haven’t tried them, pick up a box. They are easy, transportable, and great tasting.
Over the years, I’ve heard that during the weeks leading up to a race that one should limit their caffeine intake so when they start taking gels, coffee, etc the day of the race it has more of an impact. Well, I tried that this year for Knoxville. What I can tell you is that it was absolutely miserable. I hated every minute of it. More importantly, it didn’t work. Not one bit.
About 2 weeks before the race, I started to decrease my normal caffeine intake gradually every day and it got to the point where I had no caffeine in my system 5 days prior to the race. I was so proud of myself, and as the wife told me multiple times “see, you don’t need coffee”. Well, like Ebinezar Scrooge, I say Bah Humbug. While the wife said I don’t need caffeine, she also said I was a lot more miserable to deal with since I was so cranky and unruly.
Race morning came and I started my day with a cup of hotel coffee. Not great, but it did the trick. I also love gels that have some caffeine in them so they were packed on my bike and carried with me on the run, and I also mixed my favorite Crystal Light energy mix and drank it just prior to starting the swim. What I found is that I didn’t notice any of the caffeine kick I normally do. There was no buzz, no rush, no nothing. It was like my body was immune to any caffeine I put into it. I understand that during a race I shouldn’t want to feel that buzz, but I like it. It makes me feel like I can keep going, and it’s also something I’ve been doing for years.
As a result of my failed experiment, I have jumped back on the coffee bandwagon and continue to energize myself throughout every day, multiple times a day. I’m so much more pleasant and my workouts continue to get better with the caffeine in my system throughout the entire day.
But that’s the point of experimenting, right? To see what works for you. My failed experiment proved to me that coffee is king and that I will continue to pump my body full of it no matter whether I’m racing, training, or just sitting on the couch.
So what’s your take, coffee, no coffee during race week?