Pre-race nerves are something everyone has to deal with – I deal with mine by planning what I’ll do before the race, and what I might expect during it. I have a race on Sunday over in Cumbria, the HQ being in Cockermouth – this race is part of the CDNW road race league – I’ll be competing in a few of these races over the season.
Having never ridden any of the local races before I really don’t know what to expect and as such can only gain a small amount of knowledge on each race, my first way is to simply plot the route:
The route profile says it all, one long steady climb, followed by a fast decent and then a series of ‘sprinter’ hills. It’s going to be very tough if there is a westerly wind (as there should be) because those ‘sprinter’ hills will be into a headwind. We’ll race 5 laps, finishing on the long drag – well I’ll hope to finish!! The total distance will be 55 miles – I have no idea if I have the endurance required to compete in these type of events but it should be good training at the very least.
Two days before the race I’ll aim to be as careful with my sleep, nutrition and rest as possible. I will hydrate myself with electrolytes and eat a moderate amount of carbohydrates (there is minimal evidence towards carb-loading). Rest is key to reaching the starting line in as good a condition as possible – yep that means no more late nights hunched over my iPad or laptop, bed by 10pm! Before sleep I’ll be in a bath, usually I use a shower to clean but I found that hot baths really rest my sore legs – this was something I found prior to my hill climb last October.
So there we have it – the race looks like it’ll be hard and my pre-race aim is to sleep a lot – truly groundbreaking stuff! I’ll write a report, good or bad, next week!