The 5 most important elements of preparation before a cycling race

The 5 most important elements of preparation before a cycling race
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A cycling race is quite a challenge – especially for beginners. What should you focus on during the immediate preparation for the start of this type of competition? Here are 5 aspects you should take care of before joining the race!

Preparation and inspection of the bike

Without a properly prepared bicycle, you can’t even think about participating in a cycling race, let alone achieving a satisfactory result. Therefore, a few days before the start, we should take care of the equipment – so that we do not bother with it on the race day, which is full of various emotions. 

If we are not convinced about our skills in the matter of repairs, it is worth turning to a familiar mechanic. This way we will be sure that our bike will be prepared by a professional. Our two wheels taken care of properly during the race will repay us not only with less risk, but also with definitely more fun from the ride itself. As a precaution, on the eve of the race it is worth going for a ride to test the bike after the overhaul.

Mental attitude – think positive!

In various sports it is used to say that the psyche plays as important a role as physical preparation, and it is no different in cycling. The right mental attitude is a key factor that will allow us to wring out the last reserves of energy – even when our legs can no longer cope. Long before the race, it is worth focusing on positive thoughts, as well as working on unwavering self-confidence and disconnecting from everyday problems. If we enter the cycling competition with a clear head and the right psyche, our chances of placing high will certainly increase significantly.

Reconnaissance of the route

Entering a race without first getting acquainted with its route can, at best, entail the loss of a high position, and at worst – considerable risk. Checking the route a few days before the race should undoubtedly be in our routine. Mountain bikers competing in the Olympic variety, or so-called cross-country, have it easiest. This is because the organizers of such races provide a trial training session on the course before the start, during which riders have a great opportunity to carry out a comprehensive verification of all technical difficulties. 

The case is slightly different with MTB races popular in Poland – in this case, riders are left to carefully read the route data provided by the organizer.

Pre-start meal 

A key part of preparation just before the race. A valuable pre-start meal should be based on carbohydrates with protein. Therefore, products such as whole-grain pasta, rice or an egg omelet with added protein will work great. It is best to consume such a meal 2-3 hours before the start – this way our body will be properly nourished and at the same time will be given time to cope with the calories taken in. It is worth remembering that a few days before the race you should put aside hard-to-digest foods, which in the context of cycling struggles can prove fatal.

Don’t forget to warm up!

Warm-up is an integral part of physical activity, regardless of the sport. Before a cycling race, it is worth not only to go around the route at a fairly leisurely pace, but also to use equipment such as a rollerblade or a trainer. In this way, the muscles will be one hundred percent ready for the huge effort, which is undoubtedly the cycling competition.

main photo: unsplash.com/Rob Wingate

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