HOW TO ADEQUATELY PREPARE FOR A STAGE RACE
Heading into your first cycling stage race / tour or endurance event can be very daunting. Here are a few tips and tricks you should take into consideration when preparing for your event.
- 1.TRAIN WITH THE SUPPLEMENT YOU PLAN TO RACE WITH
It is important to train with the supplements that you intend to race with for at least 6-8 weeks prior to your event. This gives you sufficient time to get to know the product and how it works best with your body. You may find that the bars don’t work for your body or you need to use half the powder recommended when making your race mix. It is all a matter of personal preference and what best suits you.
- 1.EAT PROPERLY THE MORNING OF THE RACE
It is vital that you fuel your body with the energy it needs before heading out on a ride or race. It does not have to be a massive sit down meal, it can be a smoothie or oats; just something that will boost your body with the nutrients and energy it needs to complete the stage.
3. CONSUME THE CALORIES THAT YOU NEED
You need to ensure you are eating the right amount of calories for your weight and endurance level. Overeating can leave you feeling sluggish and weighed down, thereby hindering your chances of completing the stage at the pace you would like or even finishing it at all. Consuming too little calories will see you hit the hypothetical wall early on in your race; it will also make your recovery time post-race that much longer, as your body needs to completely restore your energy stores before aiding in the recovery process.
4. STAY HYDRATED AND REPLENISHED
Make sure that you are drinking regularly while on the bike; the early onset of dehydration can cap your performance to only 55% of your total performance level. Eat on the bike: have bars and gels or food of your choice while riding. Do not turn to food and gels when you feel you are losing energy as it may be too late. You want to take a bite of something at regular intervals and keep your energy levels up.
5. PACK ONLY WHAT YOU NEED FOR THE STAGE
With newbies to stage racing, one tends to pack a months supply of race food for a stage. Plan your stages and your nutrition while on the bike (this is where pre-race training with a specific supplement will help you know how long you can last on a bar / gel and when you need to take another). It is not necessary to pack your pockets and camelbacks to the brim to keep you going, it adds extra weight that you do not need. Also, when you stash too much in your back pockets, it creates unwanted pressure points on your lower back that can cause you a lot of pain and discomfort both on the bike and after the stage.