With the World Championships approaching, it is a good time to start looking into how you will program your final weeks of training.
This isn’t just your physical and mental training, but also doing some research on what weather conditions, time zone and race format you will be going into. This should be the same plan for all major events you may be traveling to.
Weather: Check the local temperature, rain predictions and wind. This will then help in knowing what you need to pack. It will also prepare you for any extra bike parts you feel you may need. Baku can get windy.
Time Zone: Knowing the time difference that you’re about to travel into will then help you to plan your sleep patterns on the long haul international flights. This will then help you to adjust into the time zone in which you are traveling to a little easier. More information around this is in the link below.
Race Schedule: Every major event you go to will have different start and finish times. If it is block format, then you may be racing early morning or late afternoon. If you can find out this information before you head to the event, then you can plan your final training sessions around those similar time frames.
Once you arrive at your destination, you should go for a light rides around the times you will be competing. Again, this is to insure your body is ready for when it needs to be active on race day.
Track research: If the track has had past races, you can view these to give you an indication as to what level the track is at. Take note of things like start hill and jump size, track length and how much peddling you will be doing.
Once at the event, try and study other riders or countries in their practice. This will give you an indication of what lines and options you have before you hit the track.
Tapering: A lot of rider’s panic coming into a big event and the final weeks of training become harder and longer. A bit like doing a last minute cram session before a big test, it’s not the best preparation physically and mentally.
Most of you have been training for these big events for months, so you need to ease off the volume of training to give your body optimal recovery time, that way you are fresh for the event. This means not doing excessive gym, sprint and track sessions the final 2 weeks into an event.
Food: Along with weather and time zones, make sure you do a little research around restaurants and grocery stores.
At some locations you are limited in finding the usual snacks you may pack for race days, therefore it is beneficial to pack some of those race foods with you e.g muesli/Protein bars, Gatorade powder. Some items are prohibited in certain countries, so check before you load your bags ups.
Race first, holiday second: Most families choose to make big race events a combined family holiday. This is a great idea and money saver, but you need to try keep the timing a priority to BMX.
Walking around looking at tourist attractions or going to theme parks a week before an event will not only burn you out physically, but mentally you will be switched off from the reason you are there. So, if your planning allows it, keep the fun tourist attractions until the event is done.
For further reading and education, check out the following links.
Good luck to all those competing at the upcoming World Championships.
Featured Image: Ronald Fritz Photos