Racing season is about to begin for me, and I find myself once again re-establishing my pre-race routines. The first of which, has sparked a lot of social media interest; the Coffee Taper.
My weekly routine is coffee on workout/long run days, and decaf on the recovery days. I follow this protocol for all caffeinated products, not just coffee. The boost on the workout days is 100% worthwhile, and the recovery run days I still get my cozy early morning atmosphere of a warm drink with breakfast before I head outside to log my miles. (Because we all know the culture of coffee time is an essential start to our day).
The week of a race, this changes. According to smart people, like my coach Steve Magness, the body needs at least 4 days off from caffeine to regain sensitivity to it's ergogenic benefits. Race week, I have coffee before my first workout, but then it is strictly decaf the rest of the week. This gives me 4-5 days to crave the caffeine, and gets me even more excited for race morning! I am now at that point, with 4 days until my first race of the season (RnR Arizona Half Marathon), I am in full blown coffee taper mode, and excited to establish a base line of fitness to build upon for the upcoming spring.
**Disclaimer: I always feel terrible on the final workout before the race due to no caffeine. But, I have learned this is normal for me and it doesn’t mean I am not ready.