Coffee-free experiment (update)

The no-coffee experiment has gone quite smoothly (except the first couple days). In March, beginnng with the start of lent, I decided to be coffee-free for 10 weeks leading up to the marathon. Then on marathon day, I would have one (or maybe two) for the performance enhancing energy boost that it would provide. Maybe a good idea, maybe not. It’s an experiment.

Well it is 3 days until the marathon and how is it going you ask? I am totally coffee free except for twice last week. I succombed last week to a cup (couldn’t refuse politely), and then two days later I actually made myself a cup. Mmm, tasted so good. Then I buckled down and haven’t had another since.

I have been drinking one cup of caffeinated tea on most work days and the odd coke here and there so it is not a caffeine free diet.

But now I am nervous about what a cup might do to me on race day. Maybe I will have a cup over the next couple days and see what it does to me.
If I wait until race morning, either I will be peeing a lot on race day and therefore spend my gained time in the toilet, or it will give me the jolt I need to get up those hills.

Even if I don’t take a coffee until after the race it has been a good exercise in self discipline.

Any other crazy rituals or experiments anyone has tried?


Caffeine-free water? Great concept. Hope it catches on.

Author: Kevin

Just a trail runner in Calgary and beyond

5 thoughts on “Coffee-free experiment (update)”

  1. I’ve done the no coffee until race day experiment. The problem I had was getting coffee on race day. Early AM Start, really small town and the starting line was up in the mountains.

    The hotel had really bad coffee and the gas stations that were open all had really bad coffee.

    Be sure you have a good source of coffee on race day! πŸ™‚


  2. I couldnt finish the coffee, it was bad. 😦 Should have bought an energy drink.

    I’m sure it would have given me a bigger jolt than normal, but then again I don’t think I need a bigger Jolt at the start of the race for performance – I need it because its crazy early in the morning.

    Its the back half of the race that I think I need caffeine. I’m racing Saturday and I’m planning to avoid caffeine gels etc during the first 25 miles and then start as needed during the back 25. That way I get the caffeine when I need it most. But I’m not skipping my morning coffee. πŸ™‚

    But I can’t yet race an ultra – maybe you can and the extra kick at the start can improve your placement. Me, I’m racing the cutoff clock.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OK, maybe the plan will be to hold off on the coffee and take a caffeinated gel for the back half like you suggested. I am happy I haven’t needed coffee to get going in the morning recently.


  3. I don’t run marathons like you guys, but I have managed the odd half marathon. I too avoid caffeine beforehand, but usually just the 24 hours prior to the race. I’m somewhat older than you and I suspect my prostate is the size of a football. . . my bladder capacity is small and I am trying to lose valuable minutes with a toilet break partway through the race!
    Going without coffee is a big sacrifice, but I reward myself after the race with an extra hit of high quality shop-made coffee.

    Liked by 1 person

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