Over the years, we've worked with a variety of athletes from across the world and from all cycling disciplines. For most of these race junkies, being a professional athlete is a full-time job, so who better to lend us some helpful tips than the pros themselves. Each installment of "Pro Tips" will focus on something new. On the docket today - Training and Racing.
Chris Boudreaux - Coach & Former Pro Triathlete
"Be very focused in training...cover all your bases, analyze, try to be perfect. But when you get to the race, you have to let it all go and just accept the day. It's a very tough balance, but the best advice I have."
"Warm-up! Run, sprint, use stretch cords, etc...so many people do zero warm-up, then jump in the water and go. Leads to panic, anxiety, plus you just won't perform as well."
"No matter what level, take your wife/spouse/SO's events or activities as serious as yours. Watch the kids, schedule massages, etc... If your family gets support from you for their interests, you'll get more support for your racing."
Tristan Schouten - Pro Mountain / Cyclocross / Road
"Stay consistent with training and focus on efforts more than volume. I train a lot through the winter months and do not worry about the volume of my training, since it's nearly impossible to do 15+ hr weeks consistently. I focus on intensity and consistency to keep the training stress score high and then work on some endurance when it allows if it's even needed. For most of us, if you are doing consistent rides of 1.5hrs -2hrs with some sort of interval workout inside that time frame 2-3 days a week, unless you are doing 5hr road races on the weekend, you will have more than enough fitness for most types of events and this type of training can easily be done inside during the fall/winter months for cross on a trainer."
Guy Crawford - Pro Triathlete
"The day before a race I close my eyes and for 60-secs "I go through my entire race." So I pretend I'm on the start line and I mental note everything I need. Swim cap, goggles, wetsuit, tri suit, anti-chaft, race belt, and timing band.
Then I go through this into T1... Bike, Helmet, glasses, water bottles, salt tablets, gels, cycling shoes, rubber band for shoes.
Then once again for T2... Running shoes, hat , salt and small flask filled with gels. Once I get to the end, I check that's what I laid out in front of me, pack it and put it at the front door ready for race morning when the brain is functionalist sub optimally."
Kate Bevilaqua - Pro Triathlete
"Study the course....it is to your advantage to know exactly where you are going! Don't use the excuse "oh..but there will be lots of people in front of me to follow!"
"Try and get a good quality sleep 2 nights before the race. This is the one that counts! I never sleep much the night before a race, maybe 2 - 3 hours if I am lucky! But if I have had a good 8+ hours 2 nights before then I know I am still good to go!“
"HAVE FUN!!! That is why we do it in the first place!“
Abby Geurink - Pro Triathlete
"Recovery is just as important as the training. When you are newer to the sport-this statement can often become "over-looked". I have learned recovery is extremely critical! Learning the hard way is no fun either. One thing that has been helpful for me to ward off injuries and to be sure I am getting proper recovery has been to do weekly "check-ins" with myself. I look back through the week and note the intensity of training, other outside stress (work, family-life), and how I have done with recovery tasks such as rolling out with a foam roller. Then, I also realize what demands might be coming up in the next week with training and life to help me know if I am in need of any adjustments. It is a balancing act and learning to listen to the body to know when to make adjustments. You want to always be pushing that "red-line", but that push will only come if recovery is part of your plan.“