Pro Cyclist Stephen Cunningham gives a few top tips about what to do in the days leading up to Coast to Coast.
We’re in for a sterling day on Sunday for Coast to Coast. 23 degrees the forecast for Adelaide (13 minimum) and a cooler 20 degrees in Victor. The sun is scheduled to shine and together with a mild south easterly, means terrific conditions that will also keep you honest!
A few days leading out to an event, I often get asked what the final preparations should be from the final ride before the event, what to eat before and during, clothing and so on. So here are a few things I always do leading up to a big day out on the bike.
Lift your carbohydrate intake
From today through to Sunday, start lifting your carbohydrate intake. I find that getting a bit more pasta into me a few days out from the ride is the best way to go. I also make sure I get all the ride food groups including chicken / fish or tofu for protein, lots of green vegetables and fruit, grains and dairy. It’s important not to rely on the breakfast on Sunday to get you through the ride, it’s the 2 days leading up to the ride that equate to over 80% of your energy stores.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
The same applies with Hydration. Far too many people leave it to the actual day to get well hydrated. I generally start 2 to 3 days out where i’m putting a lot of emphasis on drinking water with some electrolytes. Think about a pot plant that is bone dry, then give it a good drink on 1 day and the water will run right through the body. However a plant that has been watered well and regularly, will store a lot more when you give it that final drink!
Sleep like a baby
A good night’s sleep or 2 can do wonders. Try to get a couple of good sleeps in. Roger Federer was recently asked what are some of the most important things that allow him to perform at his best. He response was – sleep, sleep and sleep! Many of the pro cyclists also have been known to say that sleep is one of the most important elements to their preparation and recovery. So think about getting to bed with a single digit in it on both Friday and Saturday nights and you’ll be well on your way to feeling great on the day.
Dress to the conditions
Getting your choice of clothing on the day is super important, you don’t want to start cold and lose unnecessary energy, but you also don’t want to be lugging an extra 3kg’s of garments in your back pockets half way through the ride. With Sunday’s forecast, I would suggest starting the ride wearing an undershirt, jersey, bibs, vest, gloves and arm warmers. You might also like to think about a light weight spray jacket for the decent out of Stirling through to Echunga where there is always a chance of early morning frost or drizzle.
Rest up Friday and Saturday in particular and avoid any high intensity sessions this week. If you’re thinking about cramming in one last ride for fitness, think again! It’s all in the bank now and any ride between today and Sunday will more than likely do you more harm than good. I do find a very light spin the day before good can be helpful but not crucial. Certainly stay out of the hills for the days leading up to Sunday and save yourself for what is going to be a great day on the bike!
Unfortunately I wont be at the start line, as I’m operating a fundraising ride from Melbourne to Adelaide called the Pain Revolution where we are taking specialists in the field of pain management to Vic & SA regional centres with the view of easing the burden of persistent pain. I’d love you to check it out! www.painrevolution.org