by ALP Cycles Coach Patricia
Race season is almost here. Some of our athletes will kick off their 2018 road racing season this weekend. Everyone is excited to finally pin on a number and make use of all the training during the winter months. But in order to have success, you should be well prepared for race day and do your "home work". Ideally you have a race day routine and maybe even a checklist that will help you to be well prepared.
Here are some important tips and tricks to get ready for race day and to avoid any bad surprises:
-check the condition of your bike. Is your bike in good working order? Are the tires, brakes, drive train and shifting working alright? If the bike needs any work done bring it to the bike shop early enough to have the bike race ready. Also check the cleats on your cycling shoes.
-talk with your coach about the race, race course and how you should approach this race
-look at the race course, profile, look at some past results (how did the race unfold/ end last year?) and check weather forecast. If needed write a stem (or top tube) tape with some important notes. The stem notes will help you to remember important keys of the race course, it is easy to forget details while going hard in the race :)
-pack your bag for race day. Pack your bag the day before the race to avoid any stress on race day. Bring enough clothing options even if the weather forecast looks good. Having an extra jacket or arm/ knee/ legwarmer as options is always good. Bring also some warm enough clothing to wear after the race.
-nutrition: prepare your race bottles and race food. Bring also food and hydration/ water for pre and post race. Remember that you should have a recovery drink soon after finishing the race plus a snack (solid food) within 30mins.
-pre race talk with your teammates: show up at the race venue with enough time to pick up your race number, warm-up and also to have a chat with your teammates about the race. Having a plan/ tactic for the race is key for sucess. Have a back-up plan ready (plan B) in case plan A is not working out during the race.
-pre ride the race course or the last few miles. This may not be possible for every race but if you can pre ride a course or at least the final few miles of a race it will be an advantage for you in the race. If you live close enough to the race course you should pre ride the race course in training.
-post race: put on some dry and warm clothing, have your recovery drink and go for a cool-down ride (spin your legs out with an easy gear for 10-15mins) Don't forget to have your post race snack. Have a chat with your teammates and coach about what went well and what could have been better/ can be improved for next time.
Best of luck to all the ALP Cycles Atheletes for the 2018 race season!