Between 20 000 and 30 000 riders are expected to show up at Momentum 94.7 cycle race in Fourways, Johannesburg, on the 16 November. If you’re one of the many newbies who will be taking part then here’s some advice from Wayne Allen who works at Juniva.com, South Africa’s specialist health, wellness and fitness retailer.
Do What You Know
Wayne says, ‘When you’re on the road for three to five hours, you need a tried and tested nutrition plan.’ He advises that this plan is a mix of solids, powders and gels, and when you’ve found the perfect combination to stick with it throughout your training. ‘Trying anything new within three weeks of race day could end badly,’ warns Wayne. The same rule applies for your kit.
What’s For When
Plan according to the time you’re expecting to spend on the road. ‘If you’re aiming for a 4:10 finish for instance, keep a water bottle, two bottles of energy drink (such as GU, Power Bar, Hammer or High 5 and 4) or energy gels handy,’ suggests Wayne. Remember to not take them all at once though. Rather start once your adrenaline is gone and you’ve found your rhythm, and then try 15 minute intervals of replenishing.
Preparation Is Key
It all starts with a good meal the night before race day. Pasta, sans a lot of rich sauce and cheese, is a good source of carbs as well as rice or potatoes. ‘And choose white meat instead of red – it’s easier to digest and won’t leave you feeling sluggish the next day,’ he adds. Then, on race day, schedule two breakfasts. Wayne suggests, ‘A few hours before the race have a hearty bowl of low GI cereal, like oats, and then add fast-fuel one hour to go (a muffin or pancake will do the trick).’ Follow up with a gel 15 minutes before the start of race to keep up your energy levels.
Last Minute Cram?
Wayne says, ‘You gain no more fitness within a week of the race.’ Instead, take off the Friday and on the Saturday take an easy 30-minute warm up ride with a few one-minute sprints. ‘This helps activate your muscles, without putting any strain on your body,’ he adds.
Down Time Is Important
Although it’s tempting to start celebrating once you’ve got your medal, you should hold off on the beer and reward yourself with a great tasting recovery drink, like Powerbar Regenerate within 30 – 45 minutes of completing the race. ‘This replenishes energy, starts replacing electrolytes and repairs muscle breakdown,’ says Wayne.
Image: Supplied, Momentum 94.7