Here’s my story…
Nothing feels better than the overwhelming rush of competition. As a young adult I entered my first criterium road biking race. In my mind I had been riding quite a bit. Probably 40 miles a week. When I registered as cat 5 – beginner, I thought… “I’m not a beginner. I’m gonna smoke these guys.” I soon learned that “beginner” was not a very accurate description of a cat 5 racer. Needless to say, I got lapped twice on a .8 mile course! Embarrassment.
Someone told me that to race competitively, I should be riding at least 100 miles a week. So one day I decided to see what I could really do. I did my longest ride ever. 70 miles. I brought with me 1 banana and some gatorade for the ride. BONK! 60 miles into it I had burned through ALL my fuel and could barely pedal myself on a downhill grade. I realized that I lacked the knowledge I needed to compete. I needed both nutritional and physical education.
So, I went to California State University of San Bernardino and became a Registered Dietitian. I followed that up with a M.S. degree in Human Movement from A.T. Still University. I’ve been road biking and mountain biking all along the way. I’m here to share some key points of my formal education and personal experience that will help you prep and race with confidence. Please don’t let yourself be the guy that gets lapped twice in a 30 minute crit.