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Its that time of the Year again… yes the 947 Cycle Challenge is here. Many of you are ready, and may have been preparing for weeks if not months. Others, like myself, have been dared by friends to do the 947 Cycle Challenge without any training whatsoever. Why you and I would accept such a ridiculous challenge, who knows! But what I do know is that “Preparation beats Practice”, or so they say.

If you are in the latter category, then you are probably scouring the web for any and all tips that might help you to make it through this event. Well look no further, our own Cycling specialist, Joanne Dover, gave me some great advice – which I will now share with all my daredevil friends:

Before the Race

  • EAT – Make sure you eat well during the days leading up to the race. When I hear “eat well” I automatically think pizza! But alas my carb-loving friends, it is the good starches we are talking about – wholewheat breads and pastas, squashes, sweet potatoes and such. Don’t forget your protein and good fats too! Your body will be burning energy in ALL forms during the race day, so the extra fat and protein will make sure you don’t use muscle tissue as energy.
  • DRINK – Don’t wait until the day before to start slamming back that aqua, you should be hydrating a week before the race. Also, as a side note – try avoid any alcohol leading up to the event. A) it dehydrates you and B) imagine doing 94.7 kms on a bike with a hangover. No thanks. There will be plenty of time for celebrating when you finish.
  • THE LAST SUPPER – There is a fraternity of people that seem to think Carbo-loading the night before means eating two large pizzas followed by a slice (or three) of Dark Forest Chocolate Cake, and whilst I am a member of this fraternity, it is not recommended. It will just make you feel sluggish on the day of the race. Instead eat a wholesome meal of meat, rice and potatoes.
  • GO TO BED – Yes, get some sleep! Not just before the race, but make sure you are rested that entire week. Lost sleep can take up to two days to recoup. Oh and sort your number, race kit, nutrition before you go to bed – this way you wont forget your energy bars at home because you were half asleep.

On the Race Day

  • EAT – Get in a good brekkie! Whether it’s a bowl of oats or bacon and eggs, you will need that energy. Just make sure you give that food at least an hour to settle before hitting the saddle. Pack an extra energy bar to smash whilst waiting in the starting pen, as well as some energy gummies or bars for the race. (As a side note: Your body will be burning some fat for energy, but it prefers glucose because it is faster and easier to break down.)
  • DRINK – The best endurance sports drink I have come across is 32GI (visit their site here). Get a tub of that, in fact get two. It is a low GI sports endurance drink that gives you sustained energy without the ‘crash’ that other sugary energy drinks give you. Put 32GI in all your bottles, and also in a throw-away bottle which you can drink whilst waiting in the starting pen, this is to avoid depleting your juice/water stores meant for the race. Freeze one of your juice bottles the night before so that it stays cool for the entire race.
  • RACE TIME – Once you are in the starting pen I am sorry to tell you that you missed all the good opportunities to back out. Now it’s just you, the road and your preparation – which is fine if you followed these tips.

From all of us here at Matrix we wish you the best of luck, we hope the road rises up to meet you and that you have a great race.

Tips by Joanne Dover