Preparing for Your First Cycling Event

If you’ve never competed in a bicycle race before, you may not know exactly what you need to take. These events can be a little daunting for those who have never raced before. Chances are, you’re going to spend the days before the event thinking more about your times and your endurance than you are on what you need to take with you. Even if the event isn’t a huge race, you’re still going to be nervous, and that can lead to forgetting things. This list will help you remember exactly what you need to take with you and what you should do to your bike.

Training

You don’t want to go all-out the week or so before your race but you don’t want to stop riding, either. Experts suggest you keep up your pace but be sure you get enough rest as well. This is especially true if you’ve noticed any odd pains or aches. Doing too much training can make those pains worse and then you can seriously injure yourself on race day. In fact, you may want to consult with your doctor about any pain before you race just to be safe.

While you might be tempted to do more training the week before your race, remember how sore your body gets when you push it. You want to be well-rested and ready to go on race day so keep yourself in good shape. Do a short preparation ride the day before the race to get ready as a warm-up but then be sure to get a full night’s sleep.

Check Your Bike

The day of the rest, go over your bike and make sure everything looks good. Wipe everything down and clean the chain. Check the tyres to make sure they have enough but not too much air. Give your bike a short ride around the block to make sure it’s moving like it should.

Your Clothing

The day of the race, you’ll want to wear cycling gear designed for racing. Most cycling jerseys for men come in either performance fit or race fit. While performance fit is perfect for exercise, commuting, and other relaxed forms of riding, you’ll want your racing jersey on for competitions. You should have a short-sleeved and a long-sleeved racing jersey so you can be comfortable no matter what the weather is.

What Do You Eat?

Many first-time racers wonder what they should eat the day before and the day of the race. Some people have heard about carb loading and are tempted to eat a large amount of pasta or other foods high in carbs the day before.

Instead, eat what you’d usually eat. If you aren’t used to eating a large amount of pasta, doing so is going to give you a stomach ache. You may feel uncomfortably full and that feeling can persist throughout the rest of the evening and even into the next day. You don’t want to race feeling like that. The day of the race, do the same thing. Eat regularly and avoid any food you know tends to upset your stomach.

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