As the 2016 Cape Town Cycle Tour race day approaches, it’s important to be prepared both physically and mentally. Fiddy Gey van Pittius, Virgin Active South Africa’s Regional Product Manager, offers the following advice in the days leading up to the race:
- Stretch for at least 10-20 minutes after each training ride;
- If possible, go for a massage at least once a week;
- Have your bike serviced at least three weeks before the race do not leave this to the last minute;
- Men over 35, see your doctor for a full check-up at least two weeks before the race;
- Vary your riding pace and terrain (e.g. hills vs. flats) whilst training;
- Do not change your bike set up less than two weeks before the race as you need to get used to it;
- Do bi-weekly spinning classes to increase leg speed and pedal efficiency. A 45 minute spin class can be done in the last week before the race;
- Ensure you know the route by either driving the route or downloading the map from the internet;
- Mentally prepare and plan for your race;
- Make a checklist at least one week before the race and have everything you need in advance;
- Cross check all the elements of your bike the night before and fill your tyres with air.
Race day advice:
- Set two alarms for 15 minutes earlier than you think you need to wake up;
- Go through your checklist to ensure you have everything you need for the race: shoes, puncture kit etc.;
- Apply adequate sunscreen;
- Have a slow energy release breakfast about three hours before your start;
- Hydrate consistently – do not wait for your body to tell you that you are thirsty;
- Take along an energy bar or equivalent with you on the bike;
- Start on an easy pace and do not rush out of the start line. Pace yourself. The second half of the race is the hardest part.
After the race it is essential that you take a one week break from cycling, drink lots of water and eat healthily to ensure your body recovers properly.
"An ideal way to help your body recover would be a swim. Swimming a couple of lengths will help loosen your muscles and keep up your fitness levels,” says van Pittius.
Last minute Argus tips
Spinning vs. training on the bike