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Pre-season Preparation Series: Joanna Rowsell’s 5 Top Tips For Road Racing

As the days get longer and the warmer weather means you can get out on the open road, you’re sure to start thinking about the upcoming race season, whatever that means for you. That’s why we’ve put together the pre-season preparation series, where Wattbike experts and ambassadors offer advice on how to prepare for your upcoming event.

This week, we’re all about road racing. Whether you’re intrigued about getting into road racing, or you’re looking to move up a category this year, this guest blog from track cyclist and road racer Joanna Rowsell is sure to give you some helpful tips: 

As the track season ends the road season begins and as an endurance track rider my “off season” consists of a week off the bike at the end of February following the Track World Championships.

Road racing is an important part of my training as a track rider so the build-up into the road season has already begun as I look to find my road legs. I recently spent a weekend with the girls from my new road team – Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International – which included an afternoon at the CNP factory tasting some of their new products and some group rides on our new race bikes around the Cheshire lanes. My first race will be in April and as that fast approaches I have written some of my top tips for preparing for the new racing season.

1. Pick a goal – You may already have a goal for the season but if not then choose an event you would like to target. Then work backwards from this event and set yourself targets along the way to check you are on track.

2. Plan your race calendar – sit down and plan your races at least for the first half of the season. Check the closing dates and enter races you definitely want to ride as soon as possible. Look at both the British Cycling and CTT racing calendars if you want to compete in both time trials and road races. Some bigger events have early closing dates and it is easy to get caught out.

3. Plan your breaks – it can be easy to get carried away and plan to race every weekend but rest and training are also important. Plan in recovery weeks and training weekends which will be beneficial to the rest of your season and your goals.

4. Up your training intensity – the first event of the season can often feel a shock to the system. To help combat this make sure you include race type efforts into your training. High intensity intervals and sprints are a great start if you haven’t begun these already.

5. Check your equipment – check your chain, tyres and brake blocks which will have worn down over the winter. I also like to start the racing season with fresh new bar tape.

Best wishes to everyone for a successful 2015!

Joanna