Criteriums are becoming super popular amongst all cyclists - they're the hybrid event that sees track and road riders converge over the 20, 30, 40 minutes plus final few laps.
If you're a sprinter, you're likely to hang midfield and wait for your big break in the final few hundred meters. If you're endurance, you're likely to hit out early and hope for an everlasting breakaway. Physiology aside, preparation in the lead up to your event is paramount to your performance on the day.
In this blog, we want to count three days out from your event. For the purpose of this exercise, lets put your fitness aside and assume you're fit, healthy and ready for your event.
3 days out from your event, go for a ride, complete some indoor ergo work, or visit the track for a session. The training you do three days out is unlikely to have any major fitness benefits to your result in 3 days time, but that's okay, because what you're aiming to do is to prepare your body to perform. At your training session, ensure you have a set or two where you focus on neural engagement and high speed pedalling. To achieve this you might want to incorporate a few spin outs on the rollers, or downhill sprints on small gears. Before completing this, make sure your body is warmed up. A typical sessions may look like this:
2 days out from the event it's important to ensure you are hydrated, and you're maintaining a healthy eating plan to ensure you are enabling recovery and preparing your body to perform. Stay away from alcohol and foods with high saturated fats (deep fried foods which you shouldn't really be eating anyway). Alcohol will act as a diuretic causing dehydration, hindering your body's ability to recover and replenish, and increase the risk of further dehydration symptoms such as a headache, or general tiredness.
Today, take it easy on the exercise - plan an easy session such as a light ride or roller session followed by a static stretching routine and roll out on the foam roller. A typical session may look like this:
A day out from the event, or the day before - whichever way you want to look at it is all about race prepraration. To start witih, make sure all your equipment is packed and ready to go, your bike is in tip-top condition and you don't require any maintenance work. This is really important... we've seen a lot of riders turn up to criteriums, the gun goes off, and crunch - there goes their chain.... make sure your bike is in MINT condition :-)
Pack water bottles, electrolytes and spare tubes - particularly if you're riding to the criterium and home again afterwards. The last thing you want to happen is a blown tyre before the race even starts...
Training-wise, today, keep it light but ensure you aren't getting to sluggish. We'd recommend a short road ride with a few light small gear sprints, a small stint in your race gear, then an easy warm down.
A typical session may look like this:
Good luck on race day, make sure you ensure a good warm up prior to your race (don't get on the start line cold)..
If you're looking for a warm up routine, we'd recommend the following:
If riding from home:
If driving to the event, and warming up at the event:
If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comments box below!