I’ve compiled a list of factors you might want to consider when planning for your next event. This list does not include training and racing. You might think you’re on top of all of these but when was the last time you actually gave any some thought?
1. Hydration – shorter distances you should be lasting without hydrating on the bike, but even when you’re plan is to drink mid-ride are you drinking enough prior. Too little and your blood may thicken slightly causing your heart to have to beat harder and faster to sustain the effort. Too much might cause you digestive distress or an imbalance of electrolytes in your system…
2. Feeding – not necessary what you are eating but more when. Are you eating long enough before an event as having a slow digesting breakfast then racing within three hours might slow you down. Unable to get up early enough to eat before your ride, you might want to consider skip the slow carb breakfast and eat something to give you faster release of energy.
3. Sleep – are you getting enough of it before an event or do nerves keep you up all night? Some people find that if they can’t sleep the best thing to do is to remain awake, might be worth a consideration next time you’re clock watching with 3 hours until you have to get up.
4. Pre-Race Routine – do you have a fool proof plan you stick to every morning of an event or do you just turn up faff around and struggle to get into the swing of things? Develop your race day routine, leave less to go wrong and don’t get distracted during it.
5. Weather – everyone’s likely to be affected by it but have you planned for it? Will you be pushing into a headwind all the way out or on return, should this change your pacing or race strategy?
6. Motivation – do you have a song, short video, quote or memory that you can relate to during your warm-up and before the start to get you going?
7. Course – do you know the course or are you going to be distracted looking for signs or communication from other riders or marshals? Leave less to think about during the race, leading me onto…
8. Data – is your Garmin (or other device!) setup so you have all your relevant data right in front of you? Don’t let yourself get distracted by having to think while racing, have everything you need to know about how you are doing right within glance.
9. Post-Race Routine – once you have completed your race you need to give your body a gentle prod to get the recovery process started. You need to develop a fool proof plan to allow your body to prepare itself for your next event or session.
10. Review – probably one of the most important points is to make notes of how you felt, how it went, what you think worked, what didn’t, pretty much anything. This along with the data you get from various sensors on your bike will help you plan your strategy for your next event.