After a 2012 season that never happened 2013 is heading for a positive start. My long lost fitness is beginning show its face and Planet-Tri have put together a top class bike team.
For a while now I’ve been planned on doing some research into how to get the most from caffeine to enhance performance. After a month of caffeine free training a few months back I decided going caffeine free isn’t really an option and cracked. The addiction has gone too far for that!!
Most studies carry out tests at 3-6mg/kg. For a 75kg athlete that gives a dose of 225-450mg or 5-10 teaspoons of instant coffee. Since there is no significant difference in the performance enhancement at doses of 6mg/kg over doses of 3mg/kg I would lean towards the lower end of the scale to minimise dehydration and the risk of stomach upset. Also taking caffeine in a sport specific formulation will give a more accurate intake concentration compared to drinking coffee. Personally I use ZYM with caffeine as the electrolytes will minimise any potential dehydrating effect. There is some evidence to suggest that other compounds in coffee curtail the performance enhancement effect when compared tablet forms.
Trying to find studies that give results for longer than 2 hours is difficult but the effect on endurance performance up to 2 hours is well documented showing improvements in performance averaging around 3%. Obviously 2hrs is about as far as test subjects can be convinced to go! One thing that I was concerned about was the effect caffeine could potentially have on insulin secretion and blood glucose concentrations. Any increases in blood insulin would likely have a negative effect but there doesn’t seem to be any major effect.
Caffeine is listed on WADA’s monitoring (meaning each sample taken is tested for caffeine and the results monitored for research purposes) list but has no restrictions. One possible reason for the monitoring requirement is due to it’s diuretic (dehydrating) effect which has the potential for abuse by flushing banned substances from the body. Even when the International Olympic Committee had a restriction of 12 mg/ L of urine, doses of 6mg/kg would have not resulted in a positive test. The popular theory of performance enhancement that caffeine enhances fat oxidation and spares muscle glycogen seems to be outdated. Reading between the lines the new theory is “we haven’t a clue” !!
All of this is nice to know or a waste of time reading depending on your view point. Now that I have justified my addiction the real question is how much should I take and when should I take it?
Let me know if you use caffeine in training and racing and if so how?
It’s great to be back on the road to recovery. After the initial excitement of getting back out on the bike, reality is setting in. Getting back to last years peak fitness is going to take time. Every now and then I give myself a good talking to on the importance of being patient. Now that the season has begun that is easier said than done. It certainly wasn’t easy to sit out last weekends Joey Hannon Triathlon, the scene of my first race 3 years ago and my first win 2 years ago.
‘The difference between an optimist and a pesimist is that an optimist see’s a setback as temporary’
It’s hard to imagine that i would consider this to be a very positive blog when you account for the fact that this is probably as unfit as i have been since I started Triathlon. In the last week I have enjoyed training again for the first time since the start of the winter. Not that I ever lost any love for the sport. As well as an athlete I am a massive fan of the sport. I get hours of enjoyment from following other athletes and keeping up to date with the latest advances is bike technology. Adding Armstrong and the media circus that comes with him to long distance racing adds another dimension for Triathlon fans. Traithlon is a unique challenge to push your body behond what you thought possible. Setbacks are inevitable. However pushing yourself through sessions, day after day, week in week out knowing something isn’t quiet right is exausting. Finally excepting just pushing through the pain hoping for the best isn’t the answer is just a massive relief. Continue reading
I wonder what google came up with before Planet X was a bike company……
Or maybe google didn’t exist back then and we were all using yahoo!!
There isn’t alot to say about Plan B other than Plan A failed. My plan to squeeze that extra bit from a season that I had already given my all to simply failed. Now instead of racing next weekend I’ll continue to build towards 2012. After recovering from a knee injury and returning to full training six weeks out from race day I remained positive about my chances of clawing back a level of fitness that would give me a respectable result in Phuket. Wishfull thinking!!! Continue reading
I’ve spent the last two weeks training in the relative warmth Lanzarote has to offer this time of year. (That line sounds like it could have come from a travel show but it stays.) It’s been good. Swimming outdoors, running on the trails and cycling on a surface that’s so much nicer on your ass than the Irish roads. Just in case I get too soft the winds and hills have been keeping me honest. If I achieve nothing else from training out here I’ve learnt one valuable lesson. Never, ever attempt Ironman Lanzarote. 180k in this terrain would surely make an marathon impossible. Ok maybe I am a bit intrigued but still a long way off trying something that crazy.
Things haven’t been all that rosey in the last few weeks though. A knee injury after the Lost Sheep forced a three week break. I try to look for positives in any injury and think that maybe I needed the break. Three weeks of no more exercise than opening the fridge door, something I did far too often, may have been just what I needed after a long season. Orinally the plan was to race the 70.3 in Thailand in December to gather some qualifying points for Vegas next year and close out the season with a good result. My body had it’s own plans though! My legs were taking a rest weather I liked it or not!!
This gives me a bit of a different perspective on Thailand. I’m now going there with more of a Jack Charlton give it a lash attitude. It will be a good mid winter blow out and another excuse to hide out from the Irish winter. Soft!! I hear you say again….. Who knows maybe being 100% rested will be more important than being 100% fit.
For now I’ll keep ticking off the sessions, trying to let the fitness come to me rather than chase it. Easier said than done. There isn’t alot else to do here other than train. When you look out and see the sun shining its hard not to train. It’s been a while since I dabled in a bit of surfing. If I’m not aloud to train anymore today maybe I’m aload hit the waves. Not the best way to rest up but it’s good for the mind……