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Posted on 27 July 2016

48 hours to BWC - Mark Emsley's Tips

The final 48 hours before race day are perhaps the most important, with individual actions and strategies having a major impact on your performance. I’ve broken down the final steps below, as a guide to getting the most from your event.

I’m going to come right out and say it… it’s too late to train. Any session you perform within this window will only hinder your performance, your focus now should be on getting the most out of the training you’ve performed in your long term build up (if you’re reading this blog in advance of the 48 hour window however, check out Isabel’s blog with tips on Brompton specific sessions here (link here) Now is the time for FEET UP. Get those legs raised, take it easy, and avoid the stairs. Between 48-36 we want to reduce all fatigue, rest is best.

36-24 covers the day before the event, where nutrition and hydration become an important factor. Graze frequently, with small meals and snacks throughout the day to up your carb intake. There is no merit in going crazy and stuffing your face on huge meals, our aim is to restore muscle glycogen without causing gastrointestinal discomfort. We can also throw in a pre-event ride, to flush and prepare the legs for the impending effort. Go for an easy ride, and throw in a few short race intensity efforts to wake up the legs.

24-20 we can start focusing on kit. Check your bike over (do a simple M check if it hasn’t been used recently) and start thinking about your race day clothing. Packing in advance prevents race day stress, and helps with your mental state. Remember, that the BWC is strictly NO LYCRA! I can highly recommend Brompton partner ‘Huez apparel’ for brilliant technical fabrics without the technical look. The chino short here has a classic appearance but with an integrated chamois for maximum comfort in the saddle and the tailored jacket for maximum breathability here.

20-12 is time for SLEEP. It’s critical to your performance, so don’t scrimp on it. If you’re staying in a hotel remember to ask about pillow options. Racing with a crooked neck is the worst! If you struggle to sleep in hotels, try taking your own pillow case… it’s worn in feeling and familiar smell might help.

12-10 is time for your morning routine. Have a sensibly sized breakfast (I’m looking at my hotel friends here again, put down the pastries!) and stick with your tried and tested pre-race fuel. Now is not the time for experimentation.

10-8 includes getting to the event, review all required paperwork and travel tickets. Have a final look over your kit and check everything is present and correct. Visualise the race and all the things you’ll need (think shoes, glasses, helmet, computer etc…)

8-1 is time to enjoy the event atmosphere. My highlights will be: 1pm for the Fastest Fold qualifying (last minute practice!!), 3pm for CEO Will Butler-Adams, 4pm best dressed catwalk and 5pm Prudential RideLondon Women's Classique. Keep eating and drinking throughout (water ideally, save the gin ‘til after you’ve raced!)

T-minus 1 hour until race. Mentally visualise the race to control your nerves. Perform your pre-race warm up, get those legs turning.

T-minus 30mins, riding briefing.

T-minus zero, 7.15pm, Le mans dash, and the best 26mins of racing.