Recon missions for competitive cyclists part 3 of 3

man_looking_through_binoculars-other1-300x199OK here it is the last of the recon articles. I have given you several pointers on what you need to do to ensure a successful attempt at winning your next road racing event.

This article is going to be a check list! Something you can copy, print or share with your fellow racers. If you feel that I have missed something or you have different experiences by all means tell us about it and leave comments.

1 Week Before the race

  • Confirm with your spouse/family/parents that you indeed will be racing at X race on X day
  • Pre-Register for the race (You may need to do this as soon as your race opens for pre-registration)
  • See who else has registered for the race
  • Check the 7 day forecast (After Registering) Road Racers RACE in all weather!
  • Tune up the bike today and fix problems now!
  • If this is a priority race then make it a priority to sleep, eat and train like its a priority race
  • Find out which teammates are going and who may want to share a ride
  • Do not eat 3 hours before going to bed

5 Days before the race

  • Check race registration to see who else has registered
  • Check with teammates again on who is and is not going with you
  • Check weather again
  • Look up the race route on Google Earth or bikely.com and look at elevations
  • Make a trip out to the race course and ride the course (Preferable) or drive the course
  • Make sure you will have a complete clean uniform (Kit)
  • Clean bike
  • What items are you taking with you the day of the race out side your normal training day?
  • Get race day items gathered up in one place
  • Get to bed early (9-10 hours of sleep is preferred)
  • Drink up to 2 liters of water a day
  • Diet should primarily consist of good carbs and lite on the protein
  • Do not eat 3 hours before going to bed

3 Days before the race

  • Check race registration to see who else has registered
  • Check weather again
  • If riding a longer road course take notice of all major elevation changes and right down the mileage when they occur
  • Tape a small elevation change cue sheet to your top tube or stem where you can see it
  • Clean and lube your drive train
  • DO NOT MAKE ANY MECHANICAL CHANGES TO YOUR BIKE!
  • Go through your race day items (Do you really have everything?)
  • Get to bed early (9-10 hours of sleep is preferred)
  • Drink up to 2 liters of water a day
  • Diet should now be almost all good carbs
  • Do not eat 3 hours before going to bed

2 Days before the race

  • Check weather again
  • DO NOT MAKE ANY MECHANICAL CHANGES TO YOUR BIKE!
  • Go through your race day items (Do you really have everything?)
  • Get to bed early (9-10 hours of sleep is preferred)
  • Drink up to 2 liters of water a day
  • Diet should now be almost all good carbs
  • Have you started to mentally go over how you are going to race this race?
  • Has your team decided who is the race leader and what roles you and your teammates will fill?
  • Gather up any food stuffs and fluids you may need the day of the race
  • If you are going to take a rest day this week make it today (Stay off the bike or just lightly spin)
  • Do not eat 3 hours before going to bed

1 Day before the race

  • Check weather again
  • DO NOT MAKE ANY MECHANICAL CHANGES TO YOUR BIKE!
  • Pack your race day items and put them and your bike in your vehicle. (hold off on the bike if you do not have a garage)
  • Get to bed early (9-10 hours of sleep is preferred)
  • Drink up to 2 liters of water a day
  • Diet should now be all good carbs
  • You should now have a mental visualization of how you are going to race this race?
  • Do not rest today – Get out on the bike for 45 minutes – hour and ride a moderate pace and throw in 2-3 one minute efforts
  • Shower and shave before going to bed
  • Do not eat 3 hours before going to bed

Morning of the race

  • Check weather one last time (Make sure you have packed appropriately for the weather!)
  • DO NOT MAKE ANY MECHANICAL CHANGES TO YOUR BIKE!
  • Pack your bike in your vehicle if you did not the night before
  • Drink 2-3 cups of coffee (If you like Coffee, who doesn’t)
  • Bathroom time dealing with Race Day Jitters (If you suffer like most of us)
  • Start drinking your favorite sports drink
  • You should eat your breakfast 3 hours before the start of the race
  • Do not shave face or legs day of a race (Superstitions and sweat irritation)
  • Leave your home with enough time to get to the race course with 2 hours to spare!

2 Hours before the race

  • DO NOT MAKE ANY MECHANICAL CHANGES TO YOUR BIKE!
  • Drink some more sports drink
  • Pick up number at registration
  • Dress for the race and pin your number on (Did you know its against USA Cycling rules to wrinkle your number?)
  • Make sure you have enough fluids and in ride nutrition to get you through your race or to the feed zone
  • Either hit the road to warm up with your teammates or set up your trainer next to theirs
  • Go over racing plans one more time with your teammates

15 minutes before the race

  • DO NOT MAKE ANY MECHANICAL CHANGES TO YOUR BIKE!
  • Drink some more sports drink
  • Breathe deeply and make your way to the start/finish line
  • Make sure your helmet is fastened (USAC Officials will give you grief if its not)
  • Listen closely to the race promoter and officials about course notices and rules.
  • Take anything you hear about the course from a competitor with a grain of salt
  • If you are so inclined say a little prayer
  • Wait for the gun/whistle
  • Clip in and go

After the Race

  • Drink some more sports drink
  • Breathe deeply and safely make your way through the course one or more times to work the “Junk” out of your legs
  • Meet with teammates to compare notes
  • Get changed out of uniform ASAP!
  • Drink some more fluids (Coke, Carb Drink, Water)
  • Make sure you have all your stuff packed and ready to go
  • Go celebrate with your team and or family You Just finished a/another race!!!

Remember knowledge is power – Prepare to Race Smart

Part 1, Part 2

3 Comments on “Recon missions for competitive cyclists part 3 of 3”

    1. Thanks Eric. I had wanted to write this article so that when the next season came around I could remember how to stay organized!

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