As the Communications Manager for the Taiwan KOM Challenge I spend a decent chunk of my week answering all sorts or queties and questions about the KOM, so I thought a series covering as many topics as I can remember would be a good idea.
If I’ve missed anything do let me know in the comments section below.
Part 1 / BEFORE YOU LEAVE HOME
- REGISTER for the race.
Check the Taiwan KOM Challenge website or indeed check here. Due to reasons that are too meandering to go into, the KOM registration always opens on a different date, and sometimes in a different month, rather than always on a set date. I will though post here and on my FB (find me here) as soon as I know when it will open.
One way to guarantee – yes, GUARANTEE! – your Taiwan KOM even before registration is open is to sign up for my KOM TOUR through my company, Taiwan KOM Tours. We still have two slots open for the 2023 tour, hint hint.
2. GET TRAINING.
This one is a big one, no two ways about it. You need to get fit. Lots of long rides, lots of hard rides, mash them all together and feel great – and you will still suffer. One way to guarantee – yes, GUARANTEE! – your success in the KOM would be to find a coach who knows his stuff, such as… me.
It’s a proper one stop shop is this…
Seriously though, if you’re looking for coaching, contact me here, happy to have a free chat about it all.
Of interest might be my article on how I trained Jake for the Mt. Washington hill climb race.
3. BIKE SET UP is very important for any event, especially long ones.
WIth all my clients who are training for Everesting attempts, we make sure that anything to do with the bike is tested and tried way before their EV day. The last thing you want to be doing a week before the KOM is trying out a new saddle, bar tape or a new tire brand. These are your main contact points and if these aren’t right, it’ll impact your ride.
Also, check your cleats before you leave too, a good 2 weeks beforehand at the latest. Running around Taipei looking for your brand will not be great fun. Also you have to dial in the position and test them out for a good few rides too. Any undue strain at 3000m with 1km at 15% ahead of you will likely bring forward that replacement knee surgery…
4. KIT is equally critical.
Shoes, socks, shorts, gloves, gilet, jersey, under vest, all of what I said about the bike pertains here also. Ride long, in the same kit that you plan to use at the KOM, a few times before you finalise your decision. And by the way, it doesn’t matter how good you look,, if it don’t fit, it’s gonna annoy the heck out of you…
On the mountain on race day the weather can be hot, or not. And when it’s not hot, it’s usually pretty darn cold, particularly up at the top. You won’t need a snood or a thermal jacket on the ride but a warm long sleeve undershirt or arm warmers are recommended to bring just in case.
5. NUTRITION & HYDRATION? Yep, best to bring.
These days there are some great bike shops in Taipei but not many sell gels, energy bars or drink mix, and if they do they might not be the right ones for you. If you only have a day in Taipei it’ll be a hassle jumping out of Ubers and going into shops to see if they have what you need. Also, though some places have staff that do speak English, many don’t however.
Test out your feed and drink strategies on your longer training rides, work out what you need, pack it and bring it over.
Bananas though, we have a-plenty…
6. BIKE BAG should be a good one.
Unless a new Giant or a Merida is on your shopping list…
7. NORMAL CLOTHES are important too.
Generally late October in Taiwan (if not Taipei) is still warm and you can get away with shorts and a tee shirt most days, but sometimes it can be cooler, so bring jeans / long pants and a sweater or a light jacket. After the race, you will collect your dry bag (provided by us), which will have your change of clothes in it. Here you will likely need a sweater or a hoodie, possibly a warm hat and a pair of long pants.
Even when it’s warm and sunny up there, it just takes a few clouds to change that, and after 85km and 3275m of racing, you will need to be wary of your core temperature dropping.
Hope some of this is useful. Part 2 coming soon.