Becky James celebrates on her bike ()Becky James celebrates on her bike () © Copyright

30 hours 'til go time. What would you do?

Team GB track cycling star Becky James tells us how she prepares to do battle in the velodrome

The day before


My prep starts the day before but it’ll be an easy day. I get up, roll out of bed and head straight down to breakfast – I don’t even get washed, I just put on my tracksuit and go.


I’ll have three poached eggs on a slice of toast, and a cup of tea. It’s mostly protein: I don’t need to eat too much carbs because I’m not doing any hardcore training in the day.


I’ll go up to my room to chill out for a bit and then I do an activation session where I’ll go on the bike on rollers. I do ten minutes of easy riding, then do a couple of short sprints to get my legs activated for ten minutes.


I’ll get showered, put my feet up and watch a TV series till lunchtime. Right now, I’m watching Orange Is The New Black. I’ll probably get through one episode, then I’ll get on my phone, catch up with the world and just read a bit online.


At lunch I eat a bit more. I love avocado, so I’ll always make sure they have it in the hotel, then I’ll have it with chicken salad and with either quinoa or couscous to bulk it up. At this point, I’m just getting a balance of good fats, protein and carbs to set up for the next day.

Becky James cycling ()



I just want to chill out for the rest of the afternoon, so I’ll go to my room and start watching another episode of my TV show and switch off.


I’ll go have a wander and get a latte because I love my coffee and I’ll need something a bit milky. Then I’ll go back to my room and Facetime my boyfriend George North] or my family, and hang out with the other girls who are competing.


I have dinner and it’ll be the same sort of thing I had for lunch. I don’t eat red meat pre-race day, so it will be chicken or a piece of fish and vegetables with rice.


It’s back up to my room to prepare my kitbag. I’ll pack race wear, spare skinsuits, crop tops, cycling shoes, normal clothes, spare socks, my portable charger and I take my own snacks like a Naked Bar or a banana.


I’ll see my sports psychologist, Ruth, who will get me to lie down in a darkened room for a relaxation session. It’s all about tensing parts of your body and thinking about your breathing.


It’s lights out and because I’ve had my relaxation session, I can fall asleep pretty quickly. If I’m having trouble, I’ll start the breathing techniques and breathe in for one, hold for one and breathe out, then continue until I drift off.

Becky James celebrates on her bike ()


Race day


My day will start the same way it did the day before. I’ll get up and go straight down to breakfast, only this time I’ll have a little more food. I’ll have two poached eggs on a slice of toast with a side of fruit and a bowl of porridge to boost up the carb count.


Again, I’ll be on the rollers warming up my legs and doing my reactivation routine – ten minutes easy riding and ten minutes of short sprints before going up to my room, washing up and getting my things together.


I need to eat at least three hours before my race, so I’ll have a bread roll with avocado and chicken to tide me over through my warm-up and the race.


I like to get to the venue two and a half hours before my race – that’ll give me enough time to get there, not be rushed and start my warm up.


I’ll warm up – 15 minutes on the rollers with three five second sprints, then I’ll sit down for 25 minutes, then do a ten second sprint with another 25 minute break, and finally an eight second sprint. I’ll chat to my coach about tactics in between my warm up.


Becky James celebrates ()



The cyclists walk out and sit down, and I’ll put my towel over my legs to stay warm. Then I focus on putting my gear on correctly.


I’ll put on my headphones and listen to some tunes – something upbeat. Most of the time, I find a song I really like and just put it on repeat.


We find out what positions we are in, then get our bikes and make our way out. I’ll clean and wipe the wheels on the way.


We get into our positions, focus in and then it’s time to race.

Images: Getty


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