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My first race tomorrow...any advice?(14 posts)

My first race tomorrow...any advice?mlbd
Aug 16, 2002 5:28 AM
Doing my first real road race tomorrow. Any suggestions on how to approach a first race? Thanks.
Stay in front all the way to the finish. (nm)onespeed
Aug 16, 2002 6:00 AM
hang back then jump to the front and win. nmafrican
Aug 16, 2002 6:17 AM
Aug 16, 2002 6:25 AM
Try not to get tense & nervous before the start, you will waste energy. Take deep breaths, meditate, whatever works.

Also try to stay relaxed during the race. Don't tense up your arms and neck. That will make you tired and more likely to crash. Don't panic when (not if) something happens - you pull out of a pedal, you drop a water bottle, there's a crash right next to you, etc. Just stay cool and keep riding.

Get all your stuff ready this afternoon, then chill out tonight and try not to think about the race. Get a good night's sleep.

Finally, have fun! It's a blast, there's nothing like it. :-)
don't get dropped! nmpreacher
Aug 16, 2002 6:32 AM
Go really, really fast...ColnagoFE
Aug 16, 2002 6:48 AM
If something gets in your way, turn. (apologies to the people who wrote the movie Better off Dead) Just kidding. Have fun with it, hold you line, and try and hang with the main group. You'll learn a lot just racing--the pace will vary greatly so don't burn yourself out. Don't let the other Cat 4/5s imtimidate you or make you work too much. No rule says you have to share pulls in a race.
It's not enough to win. You must humiliate everyone elsemr_spin
Aug 16, 2002 7:18 AM
Do lots of trash talking. Tell the other guys they don't deserve to be there and they should quit the race and go home. Try to make them cry.

Pick one guy who has a wife or girlfriend. Tell him she doesn't love him anymore, and after the race, when you win, she will leave him. And take up with you.

Criticize their bikes. Criticize their cadence. Criticize their outfits. Criticize their component choice. Criticize their pedalling style.

Tell the other guys that Lance isn't an athlete. Golf isn't a sport. Shimano is better than Campy. Steel isn't real, it's just heavy.

When not trash talking, try to discover the fears of your competitors. Zero in on these fears and exploit them without pity. If you find a guy who gets tense in tight corners, keep yelling "watch out!" to freak him out. If a guy is afraid of tigers, yell "Oh my god! A tiger!" If a guy is afraid of failure, tell him he has already lost. If a guy is afraid of intimacy, tell him you love him. If he is afraid of committment, tell him you want to marry him.

If you win, tell the guys you beat that they just didn't want it bad enough, and maybe they should quit.
Oh my god! A tiger! - LMAO :-)<nm>klay
Aug 16, 2002 7:25 AM
One man flyer, right at the whistleNo_sprint
Aug 16, 2002 7:37 AM
Go as hard as you can. You'll win, trust me. :)
wow! we have jacky durand on the RBR forum! (nm)ColnagoFE
Aug 16, 2002 9:33 AM
My experience and adviceBryanJL
Aug 16, 2002 8:02 AM
Hey mlbd,

A few things.

1. Get there early (plan to arrive 1.5hr to 1 hr before start) to warm up. Bring a trainer if you can. Warming up is key, because if the group starts hard, you want to be ready. Find the bathrooms!

2. For the warmup...what works for me...may work for you too...
a. spin easy (39x23) for about 7-10 minutes. Then 1 minute rest, drink your energy drink, down a gu or what ever you have.
b. now do a spin-up, in 39x23 or 39x19...start at about 60rpm and every minute, increase your cadence by 10 rpm. If you don't have a cadence compu, don't worry. Idea is to steadily and smoothly increase cadence toa fast spin (110-120rpm, or so, don't go past your abilities) and start breaking a sweat. Finish, (about 10 minutes) and 1 minute rest. Hydrate.
c. I then do a few steady state, moderate efforts for 2-3 minutes, 1 minute off, repeat 2 times. 1 more minute rest.
d. Time to really open up the a hard gear effort for 1 minute or so, perhaps standing, then spin easy. Repeat 1 or maybe 2 more times.
c. Hydrate, and if you feel really opened up, kinda like when you have some hot peppers, then start cooling down by spinning easily.

Ideally you time it so you finish, pack up, go to the bathroom one last time, and get to the line.

I like to gte to the line with a good sweat going already...not just a surfacr sweat, because I want to make sure I've warmed the deeper muscles and tissues as well.

Fast forward to race end...drink and eat some quality recovery drink/food. Drink more water. I sometimes bring a coke or soda too, I seem to have a taste for it for some reason. Bananas are great.

As far as race specific stuff, for a first race, expect it to be a learning experience. Stay toward the front, but not on the front. Go in with an open mind, and try to observe. And have fun! If it gets too hard, don't worry. If it's just your pace, great. If it's a little slow, bonus! Your goal should be to try and learn.

And if you are not part of a local club or team, this is a great opportunity to find out more and join one. You'll learn a lot faster.

Good luck!

By the way, any more details on the race...location, distance, and how long have you been training?

Bryan's is *good* advicebigdave
Aug 16, 2002 12:20 PM
Listen to Bryan, it's good stuff. I really like his warmup idea... and I may borrow it for myself. ;-)

The only things I would add are in the "race istelf" part.

One, don't make the mistake I did about wanting to be out front too early. I can recall two races where I wanted to "stay at the front." Well, a couple folks jackrabbit out for the first two laps (crits) and like a dope I tried to stay on them. Then we all get gassed from the early effort (we're out in the wind on our own rather than drafting), then fall back midpack and get *accordioned* and really worn out. (accordioned refers to over-slowing for corner entries, then sprinting at the corner exit... you'll experience it at some point if you ride crits especially in the 4-5 races. it's a really good way to get tired fast).

So stay in the top 10-15 the first few laps, not at the front.

Then just see how it goes! Someone once told me to view it as a video game... there's a constant ebb and flow near the front, people are always drifting up and back, etc., especially in 4-5 races. So realize you'll have to stay active to keep near the front.... getting to the front and then just sitting on someone's wheel won't be enough. Stay active.

Lastly, hang on to everyone as long as you can until you're well and truly blown and can't move your legs. I rode a Masters race once where the pace got hotter, and hotter, and hotter... I dropped out and 1 lap later, a break went away and the pack's pace dropped. If I had only hung a longer, I'd have finished with the pack. A tough, but good, lesson to learn.

Most of all, keep an open mind and have fun!

Find a better forumjstonebarger
Aug 16, 2002 8:16 AM
Maybe one where people are actually supportive (try Meanwhile reread messages above from OffTheBack, ColnagoFE, and BryanJL.
Most importantly, enjoy yourself--it's not worth doing if it's not fun.
Have fun - it's your firsthrv
Aug 16, 2002 10:10 AM
Had my first road race a few weeks ago. Had been in a bunch of crits so the first-timer's nervousness wasn't there.

The first time you're in a race situation is awesome - savor it. Can't even compare to a fast group ride. Way more adrenalin and way faster! Was buzzed w/ adrenalin for days after that.

Hydrate well today and warm-up well tomorrow. If you have the fitness, stay in the front third and no pulling no matter how slow the pace gets, and relax if you get bumped.
Other than that it's not rocket science and you should look forward to a great test of your fitness/training.

good luck and let us know how it goes,

p.s. go to the racing forum to get racing advice!