Why Cool-Down Laps are a Necessity 

Since entering the world of road racing I’ve had to learn fast. Apart from the races I’ve done, the most I’ve been out on the road with is me & Ryan. 

Apparently if you initiate the breakaway, it’s ‘your’ breakaway, so you’re in charge.

If you get given the number 13, you put on of your numbers on upside down. (With road racing you have two numbers on your back.)

This weekend we went up to Tameside for some Cat 3/4 races, where there was a women’s race as well as a men’s race. I’d done two races previously at Rhyl, but both meant I was racing against the men. So I was just riding on my own really! This was the first race I could potentially be able to race, although I was worried I’d get dropped early on in the race.

We started off and I had no clue what was going on. The pace was fairly slow and we were all bunched up on a fairly narrow track. I wasn’t entirely confident going into an upcoming tight corner in the middle of a big bunch, so I decided to head off ahead of the bunch…

It didn’t last long, but I somehow hadn’t been dropped by the other women racing. Through the 30 laps positions were constantly changing and I was at max effort for the hour we were riding. Sprints out of corners and generally working hard to hopefully keep a top ten position. 

Crossing the finish line I was done and completely bailed on a cool-down lap. My body and brain had taken a beating throughout the race and I needed to get some fluid back into me. On such a tight track and fast-paced racing, getting a drink would basically be like me pausing and trying to enter the race again.

I quickly got changed, but my quads cramped and the adrenaline from competing again had kicked in. Trying to hold any form of conversation was a challenge!

So…er…next race I do I’ll make sure I fit in a cool-down lap. Feeling rough after that race wasn’t fun, but was there really any surprise when my Garmin told me my training effort through the race was 5 out of 5. I was overreaching basically…oops!

Being the aircraft nerd I am, we also ended up at the cafe at Manchester Airport.