by ALP Cycles Coach Patricia
Race season is almost here. Some of our ALP athletes already completed their first race of the 2019 season, others will kick off their 2019 season very soon. 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. Ideally one should have a race day routine and maybe even a checklist that will help get the mind into the game.
Here are some tips and tricks:
-Check the condition of your bike. Is your bike in good working order? Are the tires, brakes, drive-train and shifting in good condition and working? If the bike needs any work done bring it to the shop early enough to have the bike “race ready”. Especially after winter training, it is important that your bike will get a good maintenance check. Also make sure the cleats on your cycling shoes are in good condition.
-If your bike has electronic shifting; check the battery status and charge the battery if needed.
-Pack your trainer or rollers for a proper warm-up, especially for Time Trials or Criteriums
-Talk with your coach about the race course, strategy and how to approach the race
-Look at the race course, profile, 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 cues. The stem notes will help you to remember important key points during the race.
-Pack your bag the day before the race to avoid any stress on race day. Don’t forget to bring your race license. Pack bike tools, pump and any other items you will need. Bring enough clothing options and layers 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 during the warm-up and after the race.
-Nutrition: prepare your race bottles and race food the night before. Bring food and hydration/ water for pre and post race. Remember that you should have a recovery drink within 30 mins after finishing the race plus a snack (solid food)
-Pre-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.
Good luck to all our ALP Cycles Athletes for the 2019 race season!