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Preparing for competition - packing

On September 18th I will compete in MTB in Arizona-US, Barn Burner, 100 mile circuit race. This competition qualifies for the LeadVille race in Colorado-US which is one of my goals for 2022. To get a place I must win in the category and, if I finish in an indoor time at 8:30 am I will have a good start position.


I will detail here some of the pre-competition processes that I consider extremely important for the race. Before starting to sort the items that I will take with me to the competition, I study the route, the support conditions for food and hydration, and the region's climate.


The circuit has approximately 40 miles with only one point of support with external people (my mother and Pipa will form my support team) and the other hydration points the competitor needs to stop the bike to fill the bottle. The weather forecast is a sunny day with few clouds, high of 24°C and low of 8°C.

Sylvia, Dani Genovesi's mom e Pipa, her dog, preparing for the race
Trip preparation - my mother and Pipa will be my support team

The first stage of preparation, one of the most important stages, is the maintenance of the bike. The bicycle is subject to a general overhaul, including tires. Then I start to separate the items for the suitcase, this time, as I will go by car, I will take some items with greater volume which will bring more comfort to me and to the support team.


Suitcase items:

Clothes:

· A single change of clothes

· Windbreaker

· Warmer glove

· Winter socks

· Underwear


Items for hydration and nutrition:

· 1 backpack Camelback

· 1 bottle

· Cooler with ice

· Carbohydrate supplement

· Protein supplement

· dates

· Nuts

· Sandwiches cut into small portions


Items for athlete care:

· Pre-workout ointment

· Post-workout ointment

· Sunblock

· Eye drops

· Lip Balm

· Johnson's shampoo

· Compression socks – I wear on the trip

· First Aid and Medicine kit


Equipment:

· Oil to lubricate the chain (container to load in the test)

· Although the tire is tubeless, I carry a tire change kit (camera and CO2) · Foot pump

· Extra helmet

· Race summary



The choice of clothes, quantity and variety, is directly associated with the climate and duration of the competition. In this case, I will take warmer clothing options, but as it is a short race I will not take a change of clothes or waterproof items such as a raincoat.


Hydration and food items were defined according to the support points and their conditions along the route. In this case, I'll take a Camelback for hydration support, my bike only holds one bottle and the backpack increases my autonomy. The ice cooler at the support point is essential because my food in the competition is based on supplements diluted in water and their consumption improves considerably when the water is cold and there is ice. In addition to supplements, I take nuts, dates and sandwiches for some moments of greater hunger or desire to chew. All items are separated into small portions so that there are no breaks or these are small.


The items for athlete care, on the other hand, are elements that I always carry with me, in all competitions, and the list has improved over the years of experience in other events and exchanges with doctors such as Dr. João Filipe (RAAM team doctor 2009 and 2019). I highlight the pre and post training ointments, they are fundamental items and I have been researching in the market over the years the brands that I adapted the most. In addition, after RAAM 2019 I started to include Johnson's shampoo to wash the face and eyes in the list, the product prevents allergies and cleans impurities.


Finally the equipment. I tend to be very cautious and even exaggerated to separate these items. I'd rather take the equipment and return without using it than having a problem during the race and getting hurt due to the lack of something, especially when I go by car as I have greater freedom in the volumes I take with me. The extra helmet, for example, is an item that I only take with me when I go by car beacause it takes a lot of space in my suitcase.


One item is worth highlighting, the race summary. Even with several GPS devices and more modern features for tracking the route, I continue with this habit. On a small piece of paper I print the test graphs and add route information with tips. Writing in this papper is a psychological preparation. At the moment I start doing an exercise I learned from my master Orlando Cani, I visualize myself in the race. When I visualize myself on race, I imagine myself going through hard times and good things and there is, in the end, always a good and positive result. Importantly, I never think about the competitors, the race information and my expectations about it that are relevant to me.


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