Nick

Kara

11.11.2010

Running & Caffeine, Instant Oatmeal, and the swim part

How do you feel about running and caffeine?  Do you think it gives you a boost. I like how the Clif gels have different levels of it and most gels now do, and usually I just drink tea before running. One week before my long run I drank maybe 4 oz of coffee. I'm not a coffee drinker but that run went really well! Today I did 9 miles and had maybe 10 mg caffeine via gels.  I'm usually not a caffeine person but I've heard small amounts can boost your performance. What do you think?

Instant oatmeal - this is random, but rather than buying the big thing with added sugar, I want to just make my own in bags for on the go (especially for Bill @ work). I tried it  and added in some brown sugar and cinnamon but it wasn't that good. Any tips for making this?

The swim part - My sister signed up for the Philly triathlon in June and I was planning to do the same and then I started freaking out about the swim part - is it scary? Is it safe?  I'm a strong swimmer but I'll freak out if I'm getting kicked and mangled. Help?!  What is the swim like in a tri?

By the way, I haven't swam in almost 2 weeks. Bill has been going in early and I've missed a few days because of that, and a few because I just want to sleep a little later.

16 comments:

  1. I definitely feel a boost from having a little caffeine before a run. However if I drink coffee everyday, I don't feel it as much. I try to save it for races, etc.

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  2. I can't stand the texture of instant oatmeal so I make regular oats in big batches and then reheat it when we want it. Just add a little milk to it when you reheat it and it's really good!

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  3. I'm afraid to see what would happen to me if I DIDN'T have caffeine...lol

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  4. I think it's been proven caffeine enhances performance, especially if you aren't regularly ingesting it so your body gets used to it. For me, it's one way of making sure my stomach clears before I start whatever race.

    As for the swim in a tri - go for it. It will be scary, but the first time always is. But you are a strong swimmer so already you've got a leg up on 90% of the people who sign up for a triathlon.

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  5. I always have to have caffeine before a run. I can tell a huge difference if I don't. I drink a sugar free energy drink that has about the same caffeine as a half of cup of coffee and is loaded with b vitamins (4900% of the daily requirement on b6 alone!) which gives another healthy boost and no let down.

    Let me know what you find out about the oatmeal. I've been thinking about something like that for a while but I haven't taken the time to research or experiment with it myself.

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  6. i was a weak swimmer and survived my first few tris...you'll be fine. but truthfully the ONE thing that ended up making me get over the scariness was when in my masters class we practiced mass starts, purposefully kicking and shoving each other. the entire pool is like 4 feet deep, so it wasn't THAT scary...it actually got fun. maybe you can convince some friends to help you practice!

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  7. I've tried making my own little instant oatmeal packets too without much success. I am pretty much addicted to the maple and brown sugar packets, but when I try to replicate it, it always takes A LOT of sugar to even touch it. When I get to a more domestic stage in my life (I've just given up on any home/food projects until I finish grad school), I'd like to try again though, so let us know if you figure out the secret formula!

    You'll kill the swim- no problem. Most triathletes come from a bicycling or running background and swimming is their weakest link. It might be a little crowded at the front, but if you just stay calm and go out the best you can, you'll be at the front of the pack soon and be free and clear!

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  8. I'm all about caffeine! But I drink it every day. I don't think I'm addicted, but I like it, and I don't think it's a problem.

    Instant oatmeal? I bet there's just SO MUCH sugar in those packets that you couldn't even come close with adding a normal amount on your own.

    And as far as the swim start goes, yes, it can be ugly, but you should have no problems. You are a good strong swimmer so just mentally prepare to do a little battle for a few minutes but then it'll open up and you'll be fine. Promise. :) SIGN UP!!

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  9. You will be FINE for the swim section of the tri! The Schuylkill really isn't so bad, and you're strong in the water already. There are always some opportunities to get in some open water practices in the area before the race, too. Go for it!

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  10. i do no caffeine before or during a run and i am used to drinking coffee every morning. i don't trust it with my stomach.

    i eat instant plain oatmeal. i like to add pumpkin and pumpkin spice with some splenda. or i use some hersheys cocoa powder and splenda. but i love plain oats and will eat them without anything. oh, last wknd i put apple butter in them and that was great!! whatever you add is waaay better than the pre sweetened packets they sell.

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  11. I'm not sure how I feel about caffeine. I only have tea in the morning as well, but most Gu gels (which I use exclusively) have caffeine now. I can't say I notice a difference.

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  12. I could not survive without my 3 morning coffees

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  13. I ALWAYS drink a diet coke before any race... probably more mental for me than anything, but it's tradition! :)

    DEFINITELY take on the tri... sure it'll be a little scary in the water since it's your first, but you won't regret it!

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  14. I am a major believer in caffeine as a performance enhancer and I love caffeinated gels during running races when you need a major pick me up.

    I wouldn't worry about the swim portion in a triathlon since you are a strong swimmer. For your first one, you could just make a point of starting off to the side so that you have some clear water.

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  15. i always have caffeine before a run (and esp a race!) but i don't at the moment due to pregnancy. I find the java jolt is energizing and it helps me get pysched for my run. I don't have a lot though (less than a cup of coffee usually) but i find it's enough.

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  16. Just catching up!
    I think caffeine helps pre-race, but I try not to rely on it too much in training. I use the Sport Beans with Caffeine for long workouts and races.
    You'll be fine in the swim! You're a strong swimmer, so if you just stay strong, the pack will thin out and you'll find yourself getting into a groove. Just stay calm if someone swims near or kicks you a little; you can pass them or move off to the side a little and re-group. You'll do great!

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