10 Tips For First Timers

These cycling tips are aimed at the beginners, if you who have just started out on your great two-wheeled adventure.

1.Nutrition: Getting this right before race day is vital. Consuming the correct amount of nutrient rich food is so important for performance. But be careful not to eat too much.

2. Hydration: Also essential, especially before a race. Drink small amounts often is recommended, especially in the 24 hours before the event. Even if you are not thirsty make sure you drink enough water.

3. Tapering: If it is a major competition that you have trained long and hard for, then you will also benefit from two to three weeks of tapering.

4. Snooze control: Sleep is probably the most important part of any training regime. Sleeping well the night before a race is crucial if you are to wake up feeling motivated and ready. To make sure you get at least seven hours, make sure you go to bed early and avoid caffeine or electronic stimuli.

5. Preparing your bike: Mechanical trouble should never limit your chance to succeed. Decide on the best combination of available equipment. Don’t make radical changes to your bike set-up without testing it prior to the event.

6. Timing is everything: It’s mandatory to sign in at most cycling events, ensure you arrive in plenty of time and avoid delays. Getting held up before the start of an event that you have put so much time into preparing for only causes stress which may affect your performance.

7. Be Mentally prepared: Getting into the right mindset so you are laser-focused on the challenge ahead is crucial. Don’t forget to stay relaxed and try to enjoy the moment at the same time.

8. Preparation Is Key: Don’t leave what you are going to wear until race day. Decide in advance what you will wear during the race as well as what energy bars, gels and nutrition you will carry and how you will store them in your pockets. Put this out the night before.

9. Warm-up: This sounds like stating the obvious but please make sure you do a proper warm-up. Once you have signed in for the race, have a specific warm-up in mind to prepare your body for the severe test it is about to face.

10. Know the route: Make sure you know where the tough sections are. Do a dry run of the course. A leisurely practice ride will familiarize you with the course so there are no nasty surprises on race day.

"It never gets easier, you just get faster" - Greg LeMond