How to make the most of your recon ride

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How to make the most of your recon ride

Learning the route, judging your effort and pacing

It’s likely that with a quick internet search you’ll be able to find results from previous years to act as a general guide in terms of finishing times and performance measures.

Whilst this is useful it’s also important to take into account any course changes that may have occurred and remember that we’re all individual so it’s best to concentrate on your own ability as a rider and not a result sheet when judging your effort.

Recording sections with a GoPro to review at a later date can be helpful (pic: Media-24)

When undertaking a recon try to work at the same level of exertion that you will on the day of the event. If you’re using a power meter or heart rate monitor stick to the levels that you know you can sustain, even if you feel you could go faster.

The objective here is to really simulate how you want to ride on the day so it’s important to have a plan and stick to it. Try timing yourself over set parts of the course, for example how long it takes to get to the foot of the main climb, how long it takes for you to ascend it and your overall duration.

Make a note of these times and commit them to memory. Knowing this will allow you to focus all of your attention on the day of the event and give you a realistic guideline to work to based on your own personal ability.

Don’t forget that conditions on the day can help or hinder, if you’re lucky you’ll have a tailwind and fine conditions but be prepared for every eventuality and if the elements are against you then taper back on your exertion to account for this.

Pay particular attention to your surroundings, recording voice memos that can be listened to at a later date (or turned into top tube notes) or using a GoPro to film certain sections can be a real advantage to remind yourself of the important points along the way.


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