If you plan on going to the grands then you might want to consider these tips, especially the one that helped me go undefeated the entire weekend in the pro class - winning the Friday pro race, Elite Men and the Pro Open main, becoming the first and only pro every to accomplish such a feat.

There is now less than several months away from the grands and I wanted to share with you a few ideas that have helped me and my coached riders ride to their potential, have fun and win the grands…

Some of the tips might seem fundamental and my riders enjoy success at the grands when they keep things straight forward and simple. 

Here are my tips, and you may find that one or two maybe very helpful to you, let’s go!


The Grand National Week is a Marathon…

Understand that the weekend is long, the days can be long and the time between races are long. The longer the days, the more you need to manage your time and energy.

Once you enter the building for the first time, the Grands atmosphere is alive and buzzing, because there is so many people, so many things to look at and the excitement especially before the actually racing starts can be potentially overwhelming…

So the key here is to stay grounded, and be in the present moment, smile and have fun where ever you are. I know for me, as a kid, I want to do what the kids were doing, and as I got older, I wanted to check out everything from the different vendors, the track, the factory pits, and it’s excitement overload.

My point, is take it in as chunks and make sure you stay on task that you’re not only a BMX tourist, you’re also there to compete. So that means trying not to be on your feet for hours at a time walking all over the place, spreading yourself thin.

There’s an old saying from the cycling world, if you can sit, then sit, if you can put your feet up, put your feet up, if you can lay down, then lay down. You want to save your legs as much as you can for the required high performance you desire.

You want to think of yourself as only having so much battery charge, and once it starts to deplete, then you need to plug in for a re-charge. That means, chill out, have some time and space to relax, because the Grands is a marathon. And as a racer, you want to finish the week stronger than you started it. Don’t put your physical, emotional and mental energy into a deficit.

Warming up for Races:

With so much time between races it is important for riders to warm up well for each lap. The key is to have a plan and enough time to warm up properly so that you are not rushed. Look, it is a long trip to get to the Grands. You want to approach every lap as professionally as you can to maximize the opportunity to accomplish your goals for the weekend. A proper warm up could potentially be the limiting factor of your performance for each lap. I would allow for at least a minimum 30-40 minute window to get yourself configured mentally and physically before you are called to the staging chutes. Everyone has some kind of warm up routine, and for my riders and myself, I like to warm up outside for 10-20 minutes on the bike (weather typically dictates what you can and can’t do outside). Most of this time we are doing a soft pedaling technique with a few intensity building sprinting efforts. This will configure the athletes focus, stimulate the legs, and increase their chances to perform at the maximal capacity on the track. The sprints I recommend are rolling jump sprints, where you are coasting in the sprint position from 5-10 mph and you start sprinting for several seconds long (3-5 seconds).

Sample Jump Sprint Warm Up Protocol: For a 20 minute jump sprint warm up session you can soft pedal in the seated position for the entire duration and do a jump sprint every 3 minutes starting 10 minutes into the warm up session. I personally like to build the intensity for each sprint. The sprints should be as follows:

  1. Soft Pedal for 10 minutes
  2. Jump Sprint 50% of maximal effort
  3. Soft Pedal for 3 minutes 
  4. Jump Sprint  75% of maximal effort
  5. Soft Pedal for 3 minutes
  6. Jump Sprint 100% of maximal effort
  7. Soft Pedal for 3 minutes
  8. Jump Sprint 100% of maximal effort
  9. You are ready to get into staging! 

Remember: Soft pedal is defined as an easy spin with very little resistance.

BONUS PRO TIP: I would practice this routine at the local track as well. You can do this before the track practice session begins.

Fuel For The Weekend

With the weekend enduring long repetitive days of waiting around, warming up, racing, and cooling down, you will burn a lot of calories during and between your racing activities. Therefore, it is important for you to stay on top of your racing nutrition and hydration throughout the day as you do not want to be running low and be in a position where you are attempting to play catch up.

As for race fuel, your approach to nutrition should be kept to basic digestible meals. I would not suggest going for funnel cakes or heavy steak sandwiches as the grease and process to digest is too tough on the gut and as a result, slow the body down. Some examples of easy digestible fuel like fruits, granola, fig newtons, and almond or peanut butter and honey sandwiches (provided you don’t have food allergies of course) will work great for the athletes simple carbohydrate needs. There is no secret fuel, but the best secret is to eat clean and often with some of the above items that have simple carbohydrates to keep the body topped off and from “crashing” throughout the weekend. 

If you find that you won’t race for two to three hours, a complete meal with protein, veggies, and long chain carbohydrates would be fine to consume, and as needed, you can continue to snack as on your race day fuel to stay topped off.

It’s important to make sure that during the day you don’t let yourself go extremely hungry. Keeping the body topped off every 60-90 minutes with healthy snacks should prevent this from happening. 

Lastly, drinking performance fluids does get overlooked when the weather is generally cooler. Tulsa will be no exception. So get in a habit to have water bottles at the hotel and track so you can always maintain fluids throughout the weekend as well. I do understand that there are some athletes who are highly affected by sugar and may be allergic to some of the above items. Check with your registered dietician to ensure you have a plan that makes sense for you.

Have Fun

The key is to smile and have fun and be joyful. The one thing I always struggled with and bit me as a racer was not smiling and having fun. Usually this was because I felt like I wasn’t prepared well enough to win, so make sure you go in well physically prepared for the race, and if you need help with that let me know and perhaps I can assist with a preparation plan.


In Gratitude



P.S. If You're Going To Tulsa and Need Some Coaching then don't hesitate to Contact Me, I'll be Happy To Help You! Click on the contact button...

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