This was a last minute add for me, as originally this great event did not fit into my schedule. When my day opened up, I jumped at the chance to participate in one of my favorite TT courses around.
The weather was amazing, and there was a good buzz, both literally and figuratively as the racers warmed up on their trainers in the parking lot. I hit the line ready to go and was looking forward the challenges that this event brings. The course begins on a nice, albeit bumpy, flat road, then you turn towards "the hill." Naughtright looms like a wall in front of you, but after the initial punch, it climbs fairly steady for a while. Then, once up top of Schooley's Ridge, you tackle one more little roller, a decent flat section, and then bang a hard right onto River Road. You lose all the elevation gained on this road, although over a longer distance than Naughtright. However, speeds still creep up over 40 MPH even on standard road bikes, as TT rigs are not permitted. Finally, you sweep onto Bartley-Flanders Road for the finishing home straight on this pancake flat section. The course is about 11 miles long with almost 800' of gain.
I had a good run and caught several riders. Andreas R. smoked the course again and took home another victory in 35+, catching me about 2/3 of the way through. I was also passed by the winner and I believe fastest time of the day by a rider in the Senior Men Category. My time put me in 3rd place for the fourth time in the four races I competed in the NJ TT Cup this year. These four consistent results actually put me into 5th overall which was a little bonus, as I wasn't pursuing the cup this year.
BJL Coaching's Kevin E. had another good day on the bike, finishing just outside the top 10 in 12th place. This jumped him up to 11th place in the Cup for the Men 4/5 division for his first year in competition. Nice work, Kevin!
If you've never done a TT and you're looking for help, shoot me a message!
The Benefits of Caffeine for Endurance AthletesThursday, August 7, 2014 | By Dr. Rick Kattouf
Understandably so, endurance athletes are always in search of a boost in energy and performance. More often than not, caffeine is the go-to for athletes. But is caffeine truly an ergogenic aid and is it safe?
According to American College of Sports Medicine, caffeine may be the most widely used stimulant in the world. It can come in many forms such as coffee, nutrition supplements, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks and chocolate. Caffeine can reach its highest levels in the blood approximately one hour after ingestion. It can have a stimulant effect on the brain as well as affect blood pressure, pulse rate, stomach acid production and fat stores. Many athletes use caffeine as a potential ergogenic aid and performance enhancer.
PerformanceCaffeine may help mobilize fat stores, enabling the body to use fat as its primary fuel source. By utilizing fat as fuel, this allows the body to spare glycogen, which is an additional fuel source for the body stored in the muscles and liver. (For more on this check out Why Athletes Need Carbohydrates). By delaying muscle glycogen depletion, exercise can be prolonged enabling the athlete to go harder, longer, faster and perform more reps before fatigue.
Glycogen sparing is most crucial in the first 15 minutes of exercise. This is when caffeine can help significantly decrease glycogen depletion. Even though caffeine reaches its highest levels in the blood 45 to 60 minutes after ingestion, some research suggest consuming caffeine three or more hours before exercise is most beneficial. The reason is that caffeine may have a maximum effect on fat stores several hours after peak blood levels.
The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition says that caffeine in the amount equivalent to one to three cups of coffee lowers heart rate during sub-maximal exercise, but not at near maximal or maximal exercise. The effects of caffeine were measured during dynamic leg exercise on a cycle ergometer. According to the Journal of Applied Physiology, no significant differences were noted in terms of heart rate.
Recent work by the ACSM, on well-trained athletes reported that 3-9mg caffeine per kg (kilogram) of body weight one-hour prior to exercise increased running and cycling endurance in the laboratory.
RecoveryCaffeine may also help assist in enhancing recovery after exercise. According to the American Physiological Society, four hours post-exercise, muscle glycogen increased 66 percent by ingesting a carbohydrate drink containing caffeine as compared to the carbohydrate-only drink. This type of increase in muscle glycogen can help to expedite recovery and it will help to make the next day's workout that much more productive. The carbohydrate and caffeine drink post-exercise also resulted in higher blood glucose and plasma insulin.
Side EffectsEach individual can respond differently to caffeine. It can have many side effects such as poor sleep quality, gastrointestinal distress, fatigue, headaches, muscle cramping, dehydration and anxiety. Caffeine can also have a diuretic effect by increasing blood flow to the kidneys and inhibiting the re-absorption of sodium and water. According to the American Medical Association Council on Scientific Affairs, moderate consumption of caffeine likely has no negative effect on one's health, as long as an otherwise healthy nutrition and fitness lifestyle is followed.
Is It Legal In Competition?Based on information provided by the IOC (International Olympic Committee), athletes are allowed up to 12 ug (micorgrams) caffeine per milliliter urine before it is considered illegal (15 ug as per the NCAA). These limits allow athletes to consume ‘normal’ amounts of caffeine prior to competition.
In summary, caffeine may help assist in performance and recovery. As with any supplement/drug, be sure to use responsibly and always consult with your physician if you have any questions regarding caffeine use and your known medical condition(s), current medications, etc.
ABOUT THE AUTHORBest-Selling Author and Fitness & Nutrition expert Dr. Rick Kattouf has been named one of America’s PremierExperts® and one of the World Fitness Elite™ Trainers of the Year. He has been seen on ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox affiliates around the country as well as in the USA Today, Chicago Tribune and The Independent in the UK. Rick is the CEO/Founder of TeamKattouf, Inc., CEO/Founder of TeamKattouf Nutrition LLC, Creator of TeamKattouf Nutrition Supplements, Host of Rx Nutrition, author of Forever Fit, Creator of 5-Round Fury Fitness™ workout app, Sports Nutrition Specialist, ITCA Triathlon Coach, MMA Conditioning Coach, Food Psychology Coach, Wellness and Nutrition Consultant, Sports Nutrition Consultant, Heart Rate Performance Specialist, Entrepreneur and Inspirational Speaker. View Rick's Training Plans, check out his websites www.teamkattouf.com and www.5roundfury.com or reach him at: email@example.com.
Interesting read! I have a little study that I did on caffeine where n=1 that I'll post up shortly.
Coach B.L. is the head coach at BJL Coaching and an avid racer and cycling enthusiast himself.