The Big List of Things You Should Know for the Day of Your Big Event or Race
The best lessons in life are the ones you learn the hard way. Like that time you were like "Pfffft, The Wretched is only 48 minutes - how hard could it be?!" and were then promptly schooled in the ways of Suffering.
But there's also those lessons that you just wish you didn't learn the hard way. Lessons like "When driving to a race, bring your cycling shoes!" The type of lessons that can derail or decrease your enjoyment of the more positive forms of Suffering. You've trained hard, so don't let anything get in the way of your shot at VICTORY.
As part of our #SUFFER365 series of blog posts and in order to spare you the pain (and embarrassment), the Minions have prepared a list of things do do when preparing for an event. If you think we forgot to mention anything important or want to share your own tips, please leave a comment below.
7 important things you should know
1. Make a thorough list of things you need to bring with you, including (but not limited to) your cycling shoes, water bottles, helmet, cycling computer, spares...and your dedication to TOTAL SUFFERING. Check the list, check it twice.
(A pretty thorough list for a two day stage race that included a time trial, road race and criterium. Did not forget to kiss my wife.)
2. Get a large plastic storage container and place everything on your list into this container (large items like track pump, turbo trainer excluded, obvs). This will make packing the car much easier (and not to mention unpacking when you're dog tired).
3. Know exactly how long it takes to drive to the event, find parking, register, pin your numbers on, set your turbo trainer up, warm up, go to the toilet (more on this later), pack your stuff back in the car before the start and so on. No detail is too small. If you're not sure, overestimate (free time > rushing/feeling stressed).
4. Learn the start time of the event and count back from there.
4a. Write in every detail as a run sheet so that you do not forget any important details LIKE PUMPING UP YOUR TYRES to the correct psi!
5. You've carb-loaded and hydrated properly for the big day. So has everyone else. Chances are your nervous stomach means you'll need to take a pre-race trip to the loo. So will everyone else. Maybe there are some portable toilets? Maybe you're in a small country town and there's one loo to share between all 500 race entrants. Just plan for there to be a line and awkward conversation.
- BONUS NUTRITION TIP: Read our our article on eating to maximise your Return on Suffering for insight on how to fuel up for a big ride.
- BONUS TOILET TIP: Bring your own toilet paper! A wise man once said you only regret 100% of the toilet paper you didn't have the chance to use.
6. Don't worry about what others are doing, what bike they have, what wheels they're using. You're a Grunt-darned Sufferlandrian. THEY ARE WORRIED ABOUT YOU! Stay focused, calm - you're in control.
They know you're a Sufferlandrian because you're kitted out in our BADASS gear, right? (And because your legs are scary strong.)
7. Prepare for after the ride by bringing along these essentials:
- A cooler and ice pack for your chocolate milk. You've got to rehydrate and replenish your system's glycogen stores and there's no better way than with some cold chocolate milk. Mmmmm, chocolate milk!
- A thermos full of hot soup or pasta. The best thing I've ever eaten after a race is a delicious cup of piping hot pumpkin soup. Thanks nanny!
- Baby wipes to clean your face and arms. Your face will be caked with the tears of your enemies - wipe that stuff off pronto!
- Podium shoes. It's inevitable - you'll find yourself on the podium. Bring some stylish and comfortable podium shoes so you look sharp in all the photos.
- A large towel so that you can change out of your kit and into something less soggy, all while cloaked by a towel.
- A plastic bag to quarantine your thoroughly Suffered-in kit.
Did we forget anything? Make sure to leave your tips in the comments below!