It’s the week of your goal event. You’ve spent months diligently preparing to be in top form for your goal event. Here are some tips to keep you focused and prevent you from sabotaging the ride.
Equipment – You’ve been riding your bike during the build up to the event. Hopefully, you’ve given it some attention prior to the week of the event. The item that will most likely give you grief is the tires. Make sure these are in good condition. If they look worn, replace them. If you've been nursing a tube with a slow leak, change it. It’s no fun to have to do these repairs during the event. Make sure to lubricate the chain and maybe give all of the bolts a check to make sure nothing is loose – water bottle cages tend to mysteriously loosen at just the wrong time.
Nutrition – I advise nothing new this week that could upset the GI. Stick with food that you know works – this goes for on and off the bike. You’re not going to magically lose 10 pounds this week so fuel your body so that it can meet the demands of the event. Have an event day nutrition and hydration plan. Stick to the plan – set a timer on your watch, phone or bike computer that reminds you to eat. You’ve worked hard to get to this point so don't undermine your preparation by not eating, or eating things you don’t know if you can tolerate.
Training – You’ve prepared well for your event. Be confident in the process. Avoid the temptation to cram a bunch of training in at the last minute because you are nervous. You can undo all the training you’ve done by not being mindful in the last 3 days before an event. Here’s a typical training pattern that I think works well...
Event day – 20 minutes of warm up with 3 minutes of threshold intensity and 2-3 spin up (cadence) sprints. The purpose is to activate your metabolism and get some warmth in the muscles.
Day before event – 45-90 minutes of riding with 2-3 efforts of 3-5 minutes at or just above threshold. Some athletes like to add a couple of short sprints (10-15 seconds).
Two days before event – Endurance ride of 60-120 minutes. Nothing too hard; just pedal and get muscles working.
Three days before the event – short recovery spin or day completely off the bike. The goal of this sequence is to give your body rest and then reintroduce training stress so it responds well on the day of the event.
Have a great event and good luck!
We are Coach Al and Trish. Our goal is to share good nutrition and help support healthy lifestyles while keeping it real and simple because we all have busy lives. Nothing fancy, just real food for real life and cycling encouragement for a balanced, healthy lifestyle. Please leave a comment or question! Happy eating and cycling!