• Facebook - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle
  • Twitter - White Circle

Copyright © ELEVATION COACHING

Elevation Coaching's tips to enhance your stage race experience

March 28, 2018

 

A professional bike rider in a stage race will have the assistance of a full team ranging from mechanics to service and prepare their trusty steed to a dedicated soigneur for pre and post race massage. Each and every route, climb and finish will have been reviewed by a team manager either on the road or via google imagery to deliver an incisive team briefing daily.

 

Juxtapose this to the dedicated amateur who clocks out of work and his first stage is the prologue down the motorway to try to make sign-on and the first stage proper on time!

Everyone loves a stage race, whether you are competitive at the sharp end or finding goals and challenges in the race in other areas we admire each and every one of you who pin a number and give up a lot of valuable family time. With this in mind, Craig and I put our heads together to jot down some helpful tips to enhance the stage race experience for all.

 

 

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

 

 

  • A week out prior to the race start a list of areas you need to cover: Bike, food, race nutrition and other equipment.

  • The last thing you want to do is create stress before any race so last minute panics to find a spare rear mechanism or tyres are to be avoided: get all bike spares well prior and checked off the list. 

  • Whether you are travelling home or staying in accommodation you will need food on the road if you want to maximise your nutrition strategy so again make a list of times you'll need food if you don't want to live on garage sandwiches! You may consider preparing and chilling food which is easily digestible straight after a stage and label for each stage. Rice and a light protein source like cooked fish will stay fresh with the addition of pineapple chunks. Get inventive and if you have time, test food in the days leading up to the race to see what keeps well and you can eat comfortably.

  • If you don't have an aversion to gels already there is a good chance you will by the time you get to the end of a stage race. You will need gels and carbohydrate drinks but consider solid food such as bars and prepared energy balls for longer stages.

  • Small often forgot essentials could range from phone chargers and Garmin charging leads to flip-flops for showering hygiene and rollers for warm-ups. Again make a list, go through in your head your movements and jot down the things you might need that won't be available once you are away from home.

 

 

better recovery

 

 

  • Prior to each stage, you will need to warm-up well like any race but more so once the previous day's fatigue and joint stiffness build up. Rollers are a great way to kill two birds with one stone by warming up as a team and discussing race strategy.

  • After each stage again cool down on the rollers to stop toxins settling on muscle fascia which will cause soreness and stiffness. If you find yourself on the podium straight after do not be afraid to return to the rollers to warm down. 

  • If you don't have access to massage using a foam roller or a yoga routine in the evening will aide recovery and minimise stiffness on the bike which will affect your pedaling form. 

  • Recovery starts on the bike. Fuelling on the bike is vital and will not only have an impact on your performance on that day but also on the stages to come. Aim to fuel generously, taking advantage of any lulls in the action to refuel and replenish carbohydrate stores, aiming for 60-80g per hour.

 

 

Post Race

 

 

  • Prior to each stage, you will need to warm-up well like any race but more so once the previous day's fatigue and joint stiffness build up. Rollers are a great way to kill two birds with one stone by warming up as a team and discussing race strategy.

  • After each stage again cool down on the rollers to stop toxins settling on muscle fascia which will cause soreness and stiffness. If you find yourself on the podium straight after do not be afraid to return to the rollers to warm down.

  • If you don't have access to massage using a foam roller or a yoga routine in the evening will aide recovery and minimise stiffness on the bike which will affect your pedaling form.

  • Get off your feet whenever you can. Over the course of a stage race, additional standing will only slow any valuable recovery.

  • As soon as possible get out of your race kit to avoid the risk of saddles sores which will make your race a horrible existence.

 

 

Protein

 

 

  • Whereas carbohydrate is used to refuel, protein is primarily used for repair. Aim to consume 15-20g within 30 minutes post stage along with 60-90g of carbohydrate to take advantage of a supercompensation of glycogen stores experienced after intense exercise. Whey protein is favoured for this stage as it contains all nine essential amino acids including the three branch chain amino acids (BCAA’s), as well as being rapidly digestible.

  • In the subsequent meals aim to consume 20-30g of protein from food in the form of lean meats, chick peas or legumes for example. Whey supplementation may still be required

  • Studies have shown that protein consumed before sleep will improve and enhance the physiological adaptations that take place overnight. Casein is protein is digested at a slower rate so is perfect for a full 10-hour sleep cycle.

 

 

Hydration

 

 

  • All chemical reactions in the body take place in a fluid environment, so ensure you are adequately hydrated before, during and after each stage. Weigh yourself pre and post stage, and for every kg lost, you require 750ml of fluid. For every gram of glycogen, the body holds it takes 3 grams of water to surround it so the reduction in body mass is the result of depleted glycogen and its surrounding fluid.

  • Ensure that you include electrolytes in your hydration strategy, to replace the minerals lost in sweat. Take these in moderation, however, as it is possible to over hydrate.

  • Be careful regarding the consistency of your carbohydrate mix during longer stages especially. Too much carbohydrate per unit of the water bottle can lead to gastrointestinal distress and quickly become a Tom Doumelin moment. 

  • Water is the most powerful sports supplement, with by far the greatest decrease in performance when missed so make sure you act like a pro and drink.

 

 

Enjoy the moment and have a great race and the camaraderie! 

Please reload

Recent Posts
Please reload