Race Day Do's and Dont's

DO

The Week Before

  • Strategise. Take time to review your race day strategy and go through the route one last time. Look at the hill climbs, the cut off times and where repair zones are should you run into any mechanical issues.
  • Check your splits. To achieve your target time, you need to plan when you have to be where. Have a look at the route and calculate the time, but remember, be realistic.

The Day Before

  • Have a power lunch. The day before the race have a good hearty lunch as this will most likely be your last big meal before the race.
  • Pack and Go. Pack your gear and double check that you have everything ready for the next morning. You don’t want to stress about this on the morning of the race.
  • Get your rest. Get a good night’s rest as you will need every bit of energy on race day.

The Day Before

  • Apply sunblock. Before you head out for race day apply sunblock even if the weather shows overcast.
  • Pack something to eat and drink while you wait at the starting line.
  • Stretch it out. Take the time to stretch while you wait at the starting line as you will be seated for a good couple of hours.
  • Keep hydrated. Ensure that you take in enough fluids during the race, but also be careful of over-hydrating.

DON'T

The Week Before

  • Leave your bike tune-up for the last week. Cycle shops will simply not be able to assist you with anything major on your bike as they will be booked up with 100’s of other bikes. Have your major service done well in advance. You can tighten the bolts and do small checks yourself a week before.
  • Train as if it’s race day. Take it easy the week before, but don’t stop your training entirely. Take a few easy rides to keep your fitness up.

The Day Before

  • Go for that round of beers. Most of the time you are not in this alone and you and your friends want to hype up the excitement of the big day. Give that round of beers a miss.
  • Pick up your number last thing. This might seem like something small, but you don’t want to stress about your race number a day before.

On Race Day

  • Try out new things. It is extremely important to stick to what you know on race day. Don't go buy a new pair of riding shoes and use them on race day or try a new type of energy supplement that you have not yet used before, it might just hinder your performance.
  • Diet talk. British Cyclist, Mark Cavendish, has the best advice when it comes to your diet habits - Don't follow the crowd. A lot of riders like eating oatmeal for breakfast, but that's not something that works for me. But rice does, so I'll have an omelette and rice for breakfast in the morning..." He also advises that you should not go completely synthetic as your body needs real food to aid in the recovery of your body. The golden key is to stick what you know works for you.

"Don't follow the crowd. A lot of riders like eating oatmeal for breakfast, but that's not something that works for me. But rice does, so I'll have an omelette and rice for breakfast in the morning..."

Mark Cavendish