There’s a lot to keep track of on race day, and having a list can make the logistics much less stressful. We asked cycling coach Jason Short of Threshold Endurance Sports to help us put together a comprehensive race day checklist. Print it out, check things off, and arrive at the start line calm, confident and ready to focus on just one thing - racing your best.
Go to the printable PDF now, or read on.
You should have goals for every race you do, even training races. Write down the 2-3 things you would like to accomplish or learn today.
Things to Bring
- Racing license
- Winter/rain clothes (being caught off-guard can make for a miserable race) including base layer, arm/leg warmers, etc.
- Race food
- Electrolyte drink
- Plenty of water
- Spare wheels ready to race
- Cycling computer
- Heart rate strap
- Bike floor pump
- Basic tools: Allen key multi-tool, flathead & Phillips screwdrivers, electrical tape
- Spare tube, tire levers & CO2
- Post-race, warm change of clothes (change out of chamois as soon as you can)
- Post-race recovery drink/snack with a 4:1 ratio of carbs vs. protein
Race Day To Do’s
- Eat a good balanced breakfast that will provide long-lasting fuel for your event. Include some complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and some antioxidant-rich fruits.
- Follow with a good balanced meal every 2-4 hours from breakfast until 2-4 hours before your event.
- Make sure your bike is working properly and clean, especially if you’re on a sponsored bike! Consistently showing up with a clean bike shows a high level of professionalism.
- Remain hydrated leading up to your event, taking care to include electrolyte drinks in conditions of extreme heat.
- Get to your race with at least an hour to spare, or even an hour and a half to allow yourself to get ready at your own pace.
- As soon as you get to the race, get registered and pick up your race number.
- With an hour to spare grab an easily digestible pre-race snack like an energy bar, banana, and/or energy drink.
- Pre-race check:
- Kit on
- Number pinned
- Tires pumped
- Computer on bike
- Full bottles
- All the food you need
- Go check out the course if possible. If not the whole course, scope out the finish taking note of where you might want to start your sprint and how you plan to do so. Also note potholes, off-camber corners, and wind direction at various points of the course.
- If you’re doing a short race or a race that’s going to be tough from the gun, get in a good warm up of 30 min-1 hour with some short sprints thrown in. The more intense the race will be from the start, the more important it is to get a quality warm up.
- Get to the start line early to get a good position. Getting a bad start position can be the end of your day before the race even starts, so it never hurts to make it a habit of getting a good start position.
Remember, “the will to win means nothing without the will to prepare!” -Juma Ikangaa
Have a great race!
Jason Short is a coach for Threshold Endurance Sports and has been racing on the road since he was 18. During his career, he has spent time racing in Europe for various European teams as well as some stints in Belgium with the U.S. National Team. Jason holds a B.S. in Sports and Fitness Management, a USAC level 2 coaching certification, and in addition to cycling has a background in corporate health coaching. He is also a Customer Support Specialist at TrainingPeaks. Learn more about Jason and his coaching at www.thresholdendurance.com.