|Remember to bring cash or you may have to grab money in the sandpit during the race.|
I thought I would share a few notes, hopefully it could help others and this will serve as a good reminder for next year:
Before the Race:
1. Have your directions ready!
2. Pre-Reg if possible, hopefully this is cheaper and is less of a hassle on race day
3. Pack kit bag the night/day before (I always forget something in the morning!)
4. Have that bike nice and clean the day before too!
I make sure I eat a good breakfast. Perhaps it's oatmeal, fruit and juice. Maybe if I want some real protein I go overboard with a turkey bacon and egg sandwich. I take 1-2 pieces of fruit for snacking on the car ride. I also take something hearty like a sandwich or small meal to consume 3 hours before my race. I drink 32 oz of water on the trip, along with a warm-up bottle, maybe a race bottle, and a recovery drink. Just before my race I take a gel, I've been preferring ones with caffeine for heightened awareness.
I like to arrive 2 hours before the first race, but this is actually 3 hours before my race. So here's how I fill that time:
1. Get my number
2. Get it on the kit!
3. Put bike together, do it right the first time. I think one race this year I forgot to double check my skewer and brakes before taking it out of the car... It can cost you time in the race if something is off.
4. Course preview, start to warm up by getting out on the course and ride it at a relaxed pace.
5. More warm up, or walk the dog, watch how some riders approach technical sections of the course, whatever.
6. During the next open block of time I do hot laps of the course, getting to know what lines to take at speed.
7. During the last race before mine I will watch the start noticing if there are places you could get pinched or wrecks could happen. If I didn't get to before, scout the technical features and how the faster riders are approaching them (Is it better to should vs. suitcase, bunnyhop, or fall-over clumsily?).
8. I like to get on the trainer for half an hour. Warm up slow, and slowly get faster watching your heart rate. By the end hopefully you are up to 85% of your race heart rate, maintaining this at a high cadence for a minute or two. Jump off!
9. Get stuff in the pit!
10. Some short sprints if I have time.
11. Get to the start 5-10 before, stretch, double-check equipment.
3. Punch spectators who insult you in Flemish
4. Take all the hand-offs if you have time to spare (trick statement, you never have time to spare)
5. Win (I typically forget this step/other dudes with more skillz remember to do this)
1. I like to cool down by riding some more. Perhaps ride over to the pit and get your things.
2. Ride around or jump on the trainer for awhile to cool down. Even chat with other peeps in your race while you ride around the outside of the race course watching the next race.
3. Check results once they are posted (I just got burned NOT doing this!)
4. Pack up and don't forget anything!
5. Go eat with your friends, check out a cool local place and have a good time! Try local beer and sight see. Autumn is one of the nicest times of the year, might as well soak it in and turn race day into a day trip.