The Spring Racing Season in Colorado is here! With upcoming events like the Karen Hornbostel Memorial Time Trial Series, Front Range Cycling Classic, Ridgeline Rampage, and Fruita Fat Tire Festival, road and mountain bike racers are ready to ride. But, don’t think that just showing up on the line is enough. Preparing mentally, physically, and being bike ready will ensure a successful start to the season. Following are 5 strategies successfully used by our Bike Parts Race Team.
Set Goals – For some, early season races are just about getting harder efforts in and saddle time. However, having defined goals can help reduce pre race anxiety and also help you better evaluate your performance post race. Identify what you want to accomplish with this event whether it be a targeted Heart Rate or Power zone, a solid nutrition plan, or attacking certain areas on the race course.
Race Route – Know the course and the conditions. Spring weather can alter race course conditions considerably. Take into consideration the bike parts you’ll be racing and confirm you have the bike components and gear needed to successfully race the course. For mountain bike components – consider tire selection carefully when riding wet and muddy trails.
Race Day Rituals – Designing and refining a pre-event routine is an important part of building a successful race season. Does having a checklist of race day activities help structure your preparation to the start line? Include items such as nutrition, hydration, clothes, gear, extra bike parts and basic bike tools. This way, you won’t be forgetting anything as you prepare for your start. Maybe visualization, mantras, and breathing exercises are your thing. Regardless, early season races offer a chance to build on race day rituals that have helped you in the past and also enhance your support for the season going forward.
Start Line Mental State – Your thoughts, emotions, and pre race behaviors are components of your mental state, so take inventory of your mental state and align them with your goals. It’s easy early Season to compare your training and fitness to others. Here is where having your race plan and goals specific to this event comes in handy.
Success Parameters – Evaluate your results based on your goals. What worked? What didn’t? What can you do next race to get a better result? Be objective and explore how your mental and physical training helped prepare you for this event. Remember to evaluate your bike and cycling accessory selections. Did you race the right bike? Would a different wheel set make a difference? Did you suffer from mechanicals? Now is the time to dial in, replace, and buy the bike parts that you need going into your next event.
Do you have any race strategies you’d like to share? Post them here or stop by the Peak Cycles Bike Shop in Golden, Colorado! We’d love to hear them!