How to Prepare for a Bike Race

Are you a cycling enthusiast? Thousands of local South African cyclists are always gearing up for their next big race, and for good reason. Bike racing is packed with action, filled with stunning natural views, and is a great opportunity for avid cyclists to put their skills to the test on the roads & trails and show the world what they’ve got.

With all that said, it always pays to be prepared when it comes to cycle racing. You need to ensure that both you and your equipment are in tip-top shape in order to avoid any injuries, mishaps or other unfortunate incidents during an event. Read on as we give you all the handy tips you will need to prepare for your next exciting race.

Tip 1: Check Your Equipment

Your equipment needs to be in good order before any major race, and it’s your responsibility to check it all. Check that your bike is in good order, your chain is not obstructed, your helmet isn't cracked or damaged in any way, and your tyres and sealant are good enough to withstand the terrain you will be riding on and that your tyre pressures are correct.

Check out our previous blog post on how to maintain and check your cycling equipment to ensure your safety and performance on race days. You can also find all the replacement equipment you need at our comprehensive online shop.

Tip 2: Don’t Try New Things On Race Days

Trying new things is always great, but we recommend that you steer clear of doing so on race days. New equipment, cycling techniques or other newly-introduced things can go very wrong on the day, especially if you are unfamiliar with them and still learning the ropes.

Rather introduce new cycling aspects into your training routines so that when race days swing around, you will already be a pro at using them to your advantage. This applies to pre-race meals as well. Tried and tested meal plans are always a better option than experimental new ones that may or may not pay off.

Tip 3: Eat Well Before Your Race

Eating high quality, healthy food before your race will do wonders for your performance and stamina levels. Take supplements if needed, and monitor your electrolyte levels to ensure that you kick off your race in good health. Work with a sports nutritionist if you can to determine exactly what you should and shouldn’t be eating before races.

You are also welcome to experiment with what works for you with regards to food. Some cyclists find that high protein meals work well for them, while others prefer carbo-loading before races for sustained energy. Whatever makes you feel vibrant and capable is what you should stick with.

Tip 4: Introduce Energy Drinks into Your Diet

It’s recommended that you drink energy drinks for about a week in advance before your race day arrives. These drinks, like Drip Drop, are specifically formulated to replenish your electrolyte levels and your muscles’ glycogen stores, which are essential for prolonged physical activity of any kind. Doing this will assist in keeping your energy levels stable throughout your race while preventing unwanted side effects like low blood sugar, jitters, nausea and disorientation. 

Tip 5: Easy Rides Before Your Race

Easy spinning or Less intense rides before your race are a great way to prepare your body for the exertion that will follow. You can slow down your training regimen and train easier for the last week before your upcoming race, but don’t stop cycling altogether. Maintaining fitness is crucial if you want to perform at your peak.

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