Tips for first time racing

On February 14, the bike racing season in Singapore will be kick off for 2016, as we dive into a series of events rescheduled from 2015 due to the Haze. I remember the first time I raced last year, all too clearly. The event was riddled with small mistakes I’ll be sure to avoid in the coming months. Back then, I didn’t really know anyone in the racing scene, so I went into it very ‘green’. 

While I am certain no guru on the topic. I have pulled together some tips that would have been a huge help for me last year.

Here are some tips that will help you with your first race:

  1. Train ahead

A few weeks before the race, you should already be training with the event or race in mind. “Base training is when you lay the foundation for your aerobic efficiency on the bike,” says James Spragg, a British road racing cyclist. This will help you get in shape, ready your body and your mind for the upcoming event. It would also help a lot if you train with  someone who’s experienced with races. A mentor will guide you to the right path, and ease any of those worries you have.

Remember to not overdo yourself, though. Keep your training steady and let your body rest.

“A lot of people train too hard, especially early in the year, and they’re putting in too much fatigue at an early level, so by the time they hit the start of the season they’re already plateauing because their fatigue levels are too high and they can’t improve without having a rest,” Spragg adds.

  1. Prepare your bike and yourself

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Before the race, make sure your bike maintenance is complete and don’t leave anything untested. Have all your water bottles filled, your energy foods organized and your equipment laid out.  Get absolutely everything ready the night before so that you’re not stressing about it on race day.

First time racers ask what they should eat before a race. The answer is: Nothing
different that you’d usually eat the day before a ride
. Loading yourself up with carbs when your body isn’t use to it will only slow you down instead of energizing you. Remember to also keep yourself hydrated before and during the race.

3. Let yourself experience it

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Lastly, immerse yourself in your first experience. Do not stress out too much on being first: it is your first time, there is a huge chance you won’t be on top. But that’s okay. Your first race should be your stepping stone to that winning race of your life. It is your way to learn what works and what doesn’t work for you. Savor this moment.

I’ll be racing at Cycosport’s Nongsa Challenge on February 14th. Hope to see you all there, Register Here.

What about you? How did your first race go? Are there any tips you’d like to share?

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