The MitoQ K2 is a real tough race! It’s an event that provides good competition from other riders in a nice loop around the Coromandel. Do you want to have a go at your competitors over the hilly course and try to place well against them, or do you simply want to aim to do your best time around the course?
With the event taking place this Saturday, I hope you have done a fair amount of training for the race and are getting more excited as the event date comes close. A lap of the Coromandel takes a good bout of effort and also requires you to have patience and respect for the terrain and your competitors.
There are 5 mighty climbs over the K1 course and 7 in total along the K2. It’s not the climbs individually that make the race so hard. It is the accumulated distance and repeated climb over 10mins long, robbing you of your stored glycogen in the muscles.
Before the ride gets underway, make sure you are fuelled nutritionally and relaxed mentally. You will be on the bike for a substantial amount of time, make sure to load up on carbohydrates with a good dinner the night before and a good breakfast on the morning of the race. Personally, the night before I make sure I have a carb-rich meal, with potato, kumara, rice or other carb-rich vegetables. I see lots of people when they are away from home eating takeaways or processed foods before a race. Be sure to fuel your body with foods that you are used to eating. Don’t overeat as this can affect sleep significantly.
The morning of the race, don’t try anything new. You should by now have worked out the breakfast meal that works best for you. Stick to it.
Hydration is another critical factor. Being mindful of hydration, this should start days before not the night before. If it’s a hot day out there which it could be there is no way of replacing some fluid as you will sweat a lot. Making sure you start well hydrated will see you fair better than those that are not. This week is essential to keep on top of hydration. I usually aim to drink around 500-800mls of electrolyte 2-3hours leading up to the race on the morning of the event.
Bonking because you are low on nutrition or cramping because you are dehydrated is a ‘great’ experience, but you don’t want to have tears over your pitiful suffering.
During the race, fuelling is about the most important thing you can control. Eat early and often. Set eating goals for the race. Again don’t try anything new. Often it’s very easy to get caught up in the event and forget to eat and drink. Know where the big climbs are and fuel well before each one. Use the flats and descents (if you are confident enough) to eat and drink. Aim to get onboard fuel 20-30mins before each long climb.
The next piece of advice is to pace the day. It’s a long day and you don’t want to burn all of your matches up the first big climb. This year Kopu Hikuai is the first testing climb coming in the first 5kms and will likely take most people around 1 hour. Stay relaxed and ride within yourself. Focus on comfortable form. Look for other riders around your level and stick with them to work together on the flatter sections. Keep calm; it’s a long day. Work with others and dose your effort. Pacing will influence the outcome and enjoyment of the event just as much as proper nutrition will.
K2 is a beautiful race, it’s incredibly challenging and requires physical and mental stamina. Finishing this event will fill you with a massive sense of accomplishment. Stay strong out there and enjoy the stunning views from the tops of those climbs!
For more from Logan Mort, Alex Ray and the team at GRIT – Always Reaching Further click here.