1. Kit list: Type up a kit list that you can review, amend and re-use for every event.
  2. Print it out your kit list and tick the items off as you pack them. This season at one event I emptied my bag on the pavement in a complete panic because I can’t find my sock and only had one glove. And I’ve had to stop the car to check that I packed my shoes. All unnecessary stress because I’m pretty good at packing, but start to doubt myself in the stress of an event. A tick list, that’s ticked off, helps to stop this.
  3. Check out the route and the course in advance.
  4. Develop some strategies to make sure you know the course. I’m not especially good at navigating and even after spending time studying a map I can still get confused on the road, especially in the middle of a race, when all the roundabouts look the same, and I’m so tired I can’t think straight. Driving or riding the course in advance is a good idea if it’s possible. Another option is to download the route to your Garmin device (this is what I do) but make sure you’ve tested all the navigating and auto-recalculation settings in advance.
  5. Work out how far HQ and signing on is from the start. Figure out how long it might take you to ride there and how easy it is to find.
  6. There might be special instructions about which roads you’re allowed to use to get to the start (to avoid dangerous junctions and busy roads). So make sure to read the instructions.
  7. In the middle of pre-race stress it can be easy to get lost and miss a start time. No matter how easy I think it is to find, I always plan a route to the start and upload it to my Garmin in advance.
  8. Timeline: Work backwards with all the things you need to do before your start, and put a time next to it so that you know exactly when to get on your turbo for the warm up, exactly when to have your last wee and exactly when to start your ride to the start (factoring in how far it is).
  9. Warm Up: I like to do a good 30minute warm up on my turbo to help get me mentally into the game, and also warm up my legs. The shorter the race, the more important a warm up is. I gradually ramp up the intensity over 10-12minutes to threshold, and follow this with some 6-10sec pick-ups.
  10. It’s good to finish your warm up within 20minutes or less of your start time, otherwise you’ll cool down again.
  11. Attaching your number. Make sure you pin it on properly. There’s nothing more annoying than a flappy number for 50 miles!
  12. Work out your target time and what average speed this is along with the time for each lap. I like to focus on 5 mile lap splits for anything longer than 10miles. This helps to keep me focussed in the moment because it can be hard to change your overall average speed over a longer distance.
  13. Have an A Target (if you’re on fire), B target (realistic) and C target (it’s gone to shit) along with a range of average speeds to go with it. This will help you to readjust your race plan if the roads or conditions or bad, and also to pace yourself on fast sections or slow sections.
  14. If you use a power meter bestbikesplit is an amazing tool for race plans.
  15. Work out your nutrition strategy and how much food and drink you will take and how often. For longer TT’s you might not be able to carry everything you need in which case you might need to organise a helper.
  16. Ask the organiser for tips on where is good for your helper to stand. Look for laybys and sections that are slightly up hill and safe for cyclist and rider.
  17. Practice collecting bottles from your helper so that you don’t drop them.
  18. Starts: Check you have the right gear for your start. If there’s a helper holding you up, don’t be afraid to ask them to hold you more straight, or to the left/right etc. If you’ve never done this before it’s worth finding a way to practice this before main race of the season.
  19. Give your helper a plan for your drinks/food so they know what you need and when. Also give your helper some spares, and work out how you will communicate with each other if you need more.
  20. Safety: Time Trials often take place on flat and fast roads which are amazing for Time Trialling, but usually have lots of traffic. A rear light is a really good idea.

If you’ve got any top tips or anything that you couldn’t have managed without get in touch to let me know.