You have your Telkom 947 Mountain Bike entry (check), bike (check) and helmet (check). Now what?
Here's our beginner’s guide to help you...
· Hydration, nutrition and rest are key to a success and are important, from training through to finishing the race. Hydration is key to your performance; the benefits of good nutrition take time and sleep helps your body recover.
· Getting out on your bike and having fun should be your focus and there is no need to over complicate your training. Push past your comfort zone on your local trails and try limit the number of breaks you take.
· You should do some group rides (even with friends) as this will get you accustomed to riding alongside other cyclists. Riding with friends also allows your training to become social - it's more fun to share these experiences and having a friend to ride with can remove some of the pressures. It will also help you with getting used to passing and being passed.
· Make sure any major maintenance on your bike is done weeks before the race. This allows you to test any changes that might have been made. In the days leading up to the race, make sure your bike is clean and all the essential parts of your bike are in good working condition. On race day, all you should be doing is checking your tire pressure and ensuring there is enough lube on your bike.
· Check the weather forecast and make sure you pack appropriate clothing. Being too hot or cold can have a huge effect on your race.
· Create a checklist of everything you need on race day and get prepared the night before - including start times, directions and maps. Check all your water bottles filled and your equipment laid out and ready to go - being organized will make you feel great and the morning will feel rushed!
· Consider doing a light preparation ride the day before the race - it will get your muscles ready for the following day.
· Make sure you have a good breakfast, at least 3 hours before the start of the race. And make sure you don't over eat!
· Go through your checklist again, ensure you have everything you need ready and on hand. You should aim to get there early and make sure you know where the start line is and be there 100% ready at least 30 minutes before the race.
· When you cross the starting line, listen to your body and find your own pace. Pushing too hard early on might leave you struggling to get to the finish.
Now you are ready to take on the Telkom 947 Mountain Bike Challenge! If you have prepared, you will enjoy your experience and finish the race in the best possible shape!
And when nerves grab you, watch this video from the 2016 edition of the race to remind yourself of what a great event it is!
This article first appeared on CycleChallenge : Beginners Guide to the Telkom 947 Mountain Bike Challenge