11th March 2015
Written by J Cromack
Revolve24 racing is a unique experience but to ensure it’s a brilliant experience, preparation is vital. So let our team show you how to not just survive but thrive through the ultimate riding challenge.
Keeping fuelled is essential for a great race whether you’re in for the win or just for fun. You’re pushing your guts to the limit as well as your legs, so make sure you know what works for you by trying different foods and drinks before the big day. Eat accurately too, refuelling straight after each ride session and snacking regularly while you’re riding to keep energy levels stable.
Some of the most successful endurance racers have highly regimented menus but for most riders having a variety of sweet, savoury and specific sports fuel options helps cope with hollow-stomach middle-of-the-night cravings.
Worrying about how to deal without sleep concerns a lot of 24-hour first-timers, but sleep isn’t the big deal you might think and you’ll be amazed how much you can recharge your batteries with a quick nap if you do it right.
Get your head down and your feet up to aid recovery blood-flow while you sleep. Don’t slouch in a chair. Even if you can’t actually sleep, just lying down, relaxing and closing your eyes is valuable R&R.
Obviously waking up again is just as crucial as sleeping! So if you’re a Soloist, make sure you have a good alarm clock, and a second back-up alarm on your phone or watch, both set to give you enough pre-ride prep time. If you’re in a team, your Team Manager will know who to wake, when, but to help with clearing your mind for sleep, agree that time with them, and set your own alarm as back-up.
Pacing your race depends on whether you’re going solo or smashing out a few laps as part of a big team; if you’re in an Eight, remember you’ve only got a total of about 3 hours racing time, but in a pair it’s a very different proposition. 24 hours is a very long time if you go too hard too early, but leaves you plenty of opportunity to speed up later if you start slow and conserve your power.
A proven technique is to extend potential rest periods by increasing the length of each riding block at night which also gives you time to warm up and find a good pace and head space. Alternatively, with a bigger team, split into two, so one group runs alternate laps for a few hours while the other group rests.
Whatever the plan, make sure everyone knows timings. Take a white-board and write down rider order, updating lap times and projected start times for the next riders so they know what’s happening when they wake up. Even the best laid plans won’t always run smoothly though so be prepared to go with the flow and play to the changing strengths of your team as the race reaches its climax.
Which brings us onto the final part. Whether you’re a first time big teamer or a leathery solo regular, there will be times when doing another lap is the last thing you want to do… especially if you’re cosily curled up while the rain rattles off your tent.
But dig deep and get over it – once you’ve stuck your soggy helmet on and creaked out the first few minutes of a lap it’s never as bad as you thought it would be and the sense of achievement from completing such an awesome challenge will be with you forever.
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