New to the forums, and questions on first race

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by MNcyclingKid, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. MNcyclingKid

    MNcyclingKid New Member

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    Hi everyone, I'm a 14 year old cyclist living in central MN. This is my first year of serious cycling, and I can say with confidence that it will remain one of my passions my entire life. I bought my first road bike last May, a 2010 specialized allez, and I've been totally hooked ever since. I got into cycling because of a friend of mine, and we do the weekly rides with our local bike shops each week. A couple weeks ago we finished our first century rides, biking a total of 300 miles in 4 days (two days of century rides). This Saturday we have our first road race, and I thought joining the forums before the race just to get any more info on racing might be a good idea. The race is 18.6 miles, with a .6 mile climb at the finnish. The goal is to get us both on the podium, and we think that we're both capable of making that happen (not to sound arrogant). We would be racing cyclists 14 and under. This will actually be my friends second race, he finished his first race last weekend, and ended up second in his division. I've gotten some great advice on racing from a couple of the guys we bike with on the weekly rides, but what I really would like to know right now is if I should be doing anything in these days before the race? I haven't been on the saddle since Tuesday, and have been resting up for race day. Is it a good idea to not be riding at all before the race? or should I plan a short easy ride tonight or tomorrow to keep my legs warmed up? As for other preparations, we're planning on having a big pasta dinner tomorrow, and I've been hydrating like crazy. Is there any other tips or advice I should consider before the race? Thanks, and sorry for the long post. Joe
     
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  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Joe,
    Good on ya for taking up cycling and already doing some big rides.

    - Don't rest too much before your race. Get out and ride enough to keep your body used to cycling, just don't exhaust yourself while riding in the last few days before your race. It's o.k. to do some harder bits as long as they don't bury you but definitely don't rest for more than a couple of days in the final week and get on the bike the day before your race even if it's just an easy short ride to make sure all your gear is in order.

    - You don't need a big spaghetti feed or any other carbo loading for most events and definitely not for an 18 mile race. Eat normal healthy meals in the days before your event but if you don't do any real big rides (you shouldn't) in the final days and eat normally you'll have far more fuels on board than you can go through in an 18 mile race. Don't bloat yourself on a huge spaghetti feed and carry all that around the following day during the race. Similarly eat a decent but not huge breakfast, ideally two and a half to three hours before your race so you have time to digest it. You'll probably ride pretty hard right from the start in a race that short so don't have a lot of undigested food sitting in your stomach. Again it'll be very hard to burn through more than about 1000 Calories in an 18 mile race (if that much) and if you've eaten normally and not exhausted yourself in the days leading up to the event you'll have a lot more fuel than that stored in your muscles and liver. If you're worried about fueling than carry something easily digestible like gel blocks or gu along with an energy drink in your water bottle but you don't need a ton of calories to get through roughly an hour of cycling.

    Good luck in your race,
    -Dave
     
  3. Deafwolf

    Deafwolf New Member

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    18 miles will take you less than an hour. One water bottle will be sufficient, but two is fine as well. Follow dave's advice about nutrition. One thing you might want to do if time allows is practice some of your team strategy. Who is going to be doing the majority of the pulling, and how will you guys switch off wheels. You'll probably start in a pack and draft for a good portion of the race.Your first race may be a lot of learning, about racing in a group, communicating with your team mate, etc. So long as you are comfortable drafting.. you should do well. Good luck and let us know how it went.
     
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