Stephen Cunningham, former pro cyclist and cycle coach, give us his top tips ahead of the big day. 

We’re in for a stirling day on Sunday for Coast to Coast. 25 degrees 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 of the ride to focus on being well hydrated. I generally start 3 to 4 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! 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 Appropriately

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 plan to be wearing as a minimum an undershirt, jersey, bibs, vest, cap, 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

Rest up tomorrow and Saturday. 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 between now and Sunday and save yourself for what is going to be a great day on the bike!

I look forward to seeing you all at the Start Line or down at Victor Harbour to celebrate conquering this most iconic ride – Coast 2 Coast!

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Online registrations close on Saturday midday. You can also register at the start line prior to the ride.