WORK THE VEHICLE
It's an exaggeration to say that you are at the mercy of your vehicle, but keeping the cycle in mint condition is a pre-requisite. While a machine like the Specialised Tarmac Mid Compact enables quick acceleration and sharp handling, the Bianchi Vertigo 105 is equipped with a high-end Campagnalo Veloce drivetrain for smoother pedalling. The Cervélo R3, on the other hand, offers greater rigidity without adding weight. From a month before the big race, you need to check for cleanliness and lubrication every 2-3 days. On racing day, make sure the saddle is adjusted, the wheel screwed on tight, and the chain lubricated.
Simply pedalling around town won't make you fit enough to take on a longdrawn cyclothon, especially one that passes through rocky terrains. First and foremost, you need to build cardiovascular endurance. This includes long slowdistance training, pace or tempo training, interval training, circuit training and fartlek training. A four-week-long training schedule before the race is advisable. Begin with a spell of 20 minutes a day and, as you get closer to the race, take it to three hours. Till two days before the race, keep the exercise minimal and focus on strategy.
About three to four hours before the competition, have a bowl of fresh fruit, bread, bagels with peanut butter, or pasta with tomato sauce. Other recommended foods are baked potatoes, energy bars, cereal with milk and yoghurt. An hour before the competition, have fresh fruit such as apples, watermelon, peaches or oranges and up to one cup of your favourite sports drink.