Panic, Pack, Panic, Pack and repeat is usually the norm for a run up to a 24hour race and this week has been no exception. Obviously I left it until now to sort my tyre choice out for the race (cue tubeless setup explosions), obviously I needed to swap my seat post for a lighter model compromising months of ride position tweaking, obviously I’ll run out of time to do everything but as anyone who has done one of these things will attest, being well prepared outside of fitness alone can make all the difference in finishing or even better, racing for 24hours.
The week before a race is not the time for hours of training, it’s the time for making your life easier over the weekend to follow.
It’s the Bontrager 24/12 this weekend and I’m going solo, well kind of, solo 24 is definitely a team sport with pit crews having a massively important role to play. Newnham Park is a new venue for me and only the second 24 I’ve done since taking things a bit more seriously. I say a bit more as I’ve just negotiated a stag weekend in Newquay so I can’t be that serious as a sick note clearly would have been the better pre race option.
The popularity of the event has meant a full house in terms of entries which is excellent news as some ‘going long’ events seem to have suffered a bit in the last 18months. The course looks to be interesting and technical which is great news to keep the boredom at bay.
Kit preparation is key. Making sure everything is comfortable and reliable on and off the bike should be top of everyone’s list. Risking those super lightweight tyres is not a wise choice. Exposure Lights will be hooking me up with some bling bling to keep me going and my bike will be spec’d with USE component lushness to keep things light and racey. Although I won’t be giving away all my top tips, here a couple that I think anyone could benefit from:
– To cut down on stopping time chop up bits of your favourite food and put them in plastic cups that can be slipped in your jersey pocketed and chugged on the go
– Pre soak your chamois the night before a race in chamois cream, it feels weird but heavenly all at the same time
– Visualise the finish, what you will do, how good it will feel and before you know it you will be there!
See you on the trail!