5 Golden rules of road bike racing

bike race

When I started racing 7 years back I had no clue how to go about it. When should I go on the attack and when should I sit back were question racing through my mind and the answers I learnt with experience as time and years passed on. Every race has various scenarios and adapting accordingly is key to winning and today I am going to tell you about the 5 Golden rules every beginner road bike racer should know.

Strategize well

To win any race you’ve got to know about your competitors especially the top 5-6 guys and strategize accordingly. Knowing your competition is an integral part of any race. You can find plenty of data about them online or in magazines etc. Remember, if these guys go at it from the start so will you have to.

These guys are experienced and catching up with them later may not always be that easy. Adapt as per the situation.

Preserve your energy

Remember, races aren’t about who starts the fastest. They usually depend on 2-3 huge speed bursts towards the end of the race. Rest of time you need to ensure you stay close, maintain a good lap time and counter strategically which is going to require loads of energy and thinking.

Avoid burning yourself out too early into the race and keep it for the latter half. Very often the outcome of the race is decided in these stages so prep well for them.

Know when to attack

They key to a good attack lies in the timing. Yes you’ve got to keep it for the final third but make sure you do it before anyone else. Wait too long and you’ll never catch up.  It’s an art you’ll learn with experience.

I would suggest you wait till the other racers tire out both physically and mentally. Keep your attacks silent. Be like a ninja by doing it at the right time. This way others won’t see you a threat and will hardly react.

Maintain a certain distance

Yes you’ve got to take it slow at the start but make sure you do not fall behind too much. Maintaining the right amount of gap is important for a good final half of the race. Keep an eye out for landmarks to judge the distance and speed up if needed.

Know the finish line

Since so much of the race depends on the latter half it’s important to know how far the finish line lies. Beginner races tend to end at the starting spot itself. Keep an eye out for descents, climbs and corners.

Memorize the route especially the tougher parts and plan accordingly.  You want to avoid a situation where your months and years of training go down the drain because you missed out on the final climb or corner.

Here are few training tips all newbies need

How to handle bathroom issues on race day

Sooner or later every runner has had to face some or the other toilet related problem while on the run on race day or training session. Guess what, it isn’t something to be embarrassed about.

Even professional athletes have had to answer these calls of nature at some point but in case you’re worried you’ll lose time making these stops today I am going to share with you my secret methods to deal with bathroom troubles on race day.

Fuel up right

Your race day toilet schedule is going to depend on your fueling the previous night and thus getting it right is important. Make sure you finish dinner that night by about 7-8 pm as the body gets proper time for digestion and to process the waste.

Keep a log on how your body reacts to different food items and what gets digested quickly and things you need to avoid. Avoid trying new foods 2-3 days before a race.

light dinner

 

Prep Well

To get the blood pumping into your legs and get the intestines moving I would suggest a light jog for 2-3 miles an hour before the race. Not only will it fasten the cleansing process of the body but also prep your body for the upcoming job.

Pre-race jitters can also have an impact on our bathroom habits and is often the reason most newbies face Diarrhea etc. minutes before the race. Keep calm, focus on the task in hand to keep the jitters away.

Grab an Imodium

Whether you run, travel etc. I am sure an Imodium is always part of your medicine kit and rightly so and though I would recommend you get the system flushed before the beginning, in case of lengthy races like a marathon etc. an Imodium is ideal as it lowers the functioning speed of the gut and thus the stool turns less liquid. Have a trial run with the med 1-2 times before the race to see your body’s reaction to the drug.

Rise early

On race day I would suggest you get up at about 4-5 am. This will give you enough time to prep for the race. Combining it with some light breakfast and water or morning coffee can further help regulate the body functions.

Avoid coffee if you are not a regular drinker. Stick to water and sports drinks. You definitely don’t want to run high on caffeine.  Also avoid any sports drink you haven’t already tried before.

coffee

Stay a step ahead

Irrespective of what you do pre-race there’s always a chance of a toilet issue arising mid race and this where you need to stay ahead of the game. Get a map of the race or check out the race website and chalk out the toilet booths.

Knowing how far or near your next pit stop is can help you stay strong for longer. Plan well and avoid awkward situations.