I don’t know about everyone else, but I find before a race quite an anxious time with so much to do in a short amount of time. Getting to know the course, registering, driving around everywhere making sure my equipment is in order and that I have everything. Sometimes you can finish the day before the race feeling like you’re already spent.
First step is to go and register and collect your numbers. It’s always tempting to spend a lot of time at the expo and of course you’ll bump into a lot of people as well, but it’s also a way to really waste your energy for the race day so be careful how much time you spend on your feet.
Get to know the course
If you’re ambitious for the race then it’s very useful to drive/ ide the course so you can get to grips with how best to race it. If you know the course well then you will find places to save yourself some time and also know where you stand with it from an energy perspective. It’s also good to run part of the run course and especially check out the run into the finish line so you know how far you’ve got left on race day.
On top of everything else you should also get out for some training to flush the legs for race day. I usually swim, bike and run and include some intensity at race pace in there to keep my legs in check. It’s also a good opportunity to check your bike is working properly and with time trial bikes it’s often not the case!
This is probably the most important of all! Firstly make sure all the bolts are tight enough that nothing is going to work it’s way loose, especially the handlebars bars and the seat clamp. Make sure the wheels are not touching the brake pads, and they’re not going to touch them once you sprint out of your saddle. Pump up your tyres to the pressure needed and check that the tyres are in good condition otherwise you’re rolling the dice with punctures.
To be honest something usually needs doing, especially when you start working with the top of the range time trial bikes and race wheels. So if something is not feeling right, don’t risk it and get it worked on at the expo.
Once I’m back in my hotel I like to lay all my equipment out on my bed and go through everything I need. It’s always best to make a checklist which I’ve attached below for you and you can tick off everything you need.
- Race Suit
- Bike Shoes
- Elastic Bands
- Energy Gels
- Sports Drink
- Number Belt
- Race shoes (with elastic laces)
- Energy gels
- Protein shake
- Change of clothes
- Recovery socks
- Wrist band
- Caffeine pills