10 Tips To Help You Race At Your Best

10 Tips To Help You Race At Your Best

Finally, after weeks or months of preparation and training, the time for you to race has come.

Amongst the nervousness and anxiety, the confidence, and excitement, there are a few things you can still do to maximize your chances of doing your absolute best.

In this article, we will walk through the critical tips of what you need to do to get your best race time yet.

  • 1. Get Plenty Of Sleep The Day Before Your Race
  • 2. Balance Out Your Nutrition
  • ​3. Be Thoroughly Hydrated
  • ​4. Stretch & Warm Up Your Muscles To Prevent Injury
  • ​5. Check Your Bike Before The Race
  • ​6. Meditate/Have A Clear Head
  • ​7. Avoid Too Much Sugar & Caffeine
  • ​8. Don’t Train Too Hard The Day Before
  • ​9. Know Your Strategy
  • ​10. Take Your Time

Tip #1-3: The Essentials To Consider

The ideal amount of sleep for an adult ranges between 6.5 to 9 hours of sleep a night. On race day, despite your flurry of emotions, it's imperative. You are preparing to put your body through significant stress and intense changes.

The one thing that you don’t need to happen is your body tiring out early. Get between 6 to 7.5 hours to maximize your REM cycles without oversleeping and getting that overly fatigued feeling.

Balance out your nutrition for the day of the race in advance, and the night before. Set the alarm three hours into your sleep for you to wake up, and eat a small snack by your bedside before returning to sleep.

Man sleeping in bed.

Your body goes through a period of hunger that will make it much harder to keep rebuilding possible during sleep without calories.

At the same time, waking yourself up three hours into sleep helps increase your REM to Non-REM sleep ratio. This means you will wake up feeling even more rested than you thought. If you factor in some simple carbs such as ramen noodles

The last thing is to keep yourself hydrated before, during, and after the race. Hydration is one of the ways the body can keep working under intense stress. Without water, you can experience some bad situations the least of which will be losing the race.

Tip# 4-7: The Last Minute Details To Remember

One of the worst things that set racers back is late in the game lactic acid build up. This happens from a lack of stretching, hydration, and other factors that contribute to muscle exhaustion.

Man doing warp up exercises.

One way to avoid it is to have a dynamic stretch and warm up session. This can happen by doing arm swings, knee to chest kicks, butt kicks, and a light job before you race.

Whatever your warm up is, be sure that it incorporates dynamic movement and not quick stand alone stretches. Stand alone stretches leads to spongy muscles and raises the likelihood of tearing.

Check Your Bike

Don’t forget to check your tire pressure, your frame, your breaks and anything else you will need before the race. Too many cyclists wait until the last minute to do a thorough inspection only to have their cycle limit them when race time comes.

On Having a Clear Head

During a race, every split second decision matters on a turn or a terrain change depending on the type. At the same time, willpower is a byproduct of focus. Your focus will wane if you ingest too much caffeine or sugar. You will be more likely to burn out halfway through the race.

Take time either in the morning of the race or just before to meditate and clear your head. It will relieve stress, make your muscles relax, and make you a more effective competitor.

Tip #8-10: The Bonuses

If you've done everything on this list, you will most likely be in good shape for your race and be ready to kill it. The final notes are very simple ones. Take your time during the race as much as you can.

Don't rush turns, or force yourself to sprint just because competitors do. Be sure your decision is the right one. Know your strategy and stick to it no matter what. You have to trust your experience and adapt to the race, not to the other cyclists.

Some will burn themselves out long before the final stretch, and you have to prepare for that. At the same time, as a reminder, take the day before as a day of rest. All too often overtraining leads to more failed races than lack of preparation.

Man wins a bike race.

This post was last updated on September 21st, 2018 at 02:29 pm

About the Author Max Shumpert

Over the last few years, I’ve taken my love of the outdoors, hiking, skiing, trekking and exploring to the next level by starting this site. I started a bike shop in Denver, CO, and have seen amazing growth over the last few years. Getting paid to do what I love has been a dream come true for me. That’s also what led me to start BikesReviewed.com. In my shop, I spend a large amount of time helping people find the perfect bike for them and the style of biking they’re going to be doing. It only made sense that I expanded my reach and got online, making it possible for me to help people all over the world. If biking and staying fit is your priority, too, you’ve come to the right place.

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