For An Adventure Race
by Greg Hill (OUTLAST Adventure Racing)
The key to being successful in your training
program is planning ahead of time and achieving
little goals month after month. As race day
approaches, you should also consider modifying
your general training for more event specific
training that matches what you will be expecting
to do in your future races. Here are some tips.
4-6 Months Prior to Race
Day - BACK TO SHAPE
program should be based on building up your
endurance. No matter what type of activity you
swimming, squash) the most important thing you need to do
is try and train for at least an hour at a time. Your
activity should keep your heart rate at approximately 60%
to 75% of itıs maximum beats per minute (typically 140
to 160 bts/min).
should be training a minimum of 3 times a week.
Depending on your fitness level, training more
often can give you quicker results, although make
sure that you don't overload your system and that
you save sufficient time for your body to
this period, it is also time to think about the
logistical aspect of the race. The more you wait,
the less time there will be for your training
during the crucial period.
This can also be
considered as your first step into your mental
training as you will probably encounter some
logistical distractions (ie: getting a team
together, finding proper equipment, approaching
|Furthermore, 4-5 months
before the race is also the perfect period to meet with
your new teammates, get to know each other better and
start working together as a team. Meeting everyone for
the first time at the race may not be the perfect option
(but is sometimes unavoidable!) If there are some
adjustments to be made, it's best to make them sooner
|3 Months Prior
- START GETTING SPECIFIC
Even though you won't know
exactly what you will be going through until a
couple of hours before the race, you should
already know the disciplines of the race. Your
training program should include those
disciplines, i.e. biking, trail running,
orienteering, rapelling and paddling.
should compromise the majority of your training
during this period, although, including interval
training will push your capacities and limits a
|Every now and then during
your training, you should include intervals in which your
heart rate will reach approximately 75 to 90% of itıs
maximum (165 to 185 bts/min). The ratio you should use is
1:2, for example 30 seconds at high intensity followed by
60 seconds of medium intensity.
|In order to be
more efficient, always try to do a minimum of 3
consecutive repetitions of intervals, preceded
and followed by an endurance training period.
This period is also the
perfect time to get familiar with all disciplines
and the specific related equipment. Again, trying
a new discipline for the first time at the race
can be really stressful and may cause unwanted
anxiety or pressure for all of your team that is
certainly not necessary!!
aren't any races out there today that will allow
you to try rappelling or traversing for the first
time at a race. Take knowledge from experienced
people, try different kinds of equipment, bring
new situations and problems to solve; this can
easily be your second step into mental training.
|2 Months Prior
- TEST YOUR LIMITS
Your training program should be
based, at this point, on the disciplines of your
future race. All training sessions should start
with good endurance training, but intervals will
also be very important to push your limits. Try
to train as if you were in racing conditions; go
out and train on real terrain. In fact, training
in a gym is not sufficient at this point.
|You need to recreate the
same situations that you will encounter during the race
(ie: mountain biking and road biking, trail running and
not running on a treadmill, rapelling off a real cliff
and not in a gym, etc..). This is so that your body will
be trained to deal with different situations rather than
simply the stable and safe environment provided by the
You will also
benefit from working out some stabilizing muscles in your
body that are difficult to train in a gym; for example
trail running will workout muscles related to the
supination/pronation (side movements) of the ankle rather
than only the muscles related to the flexion/extension.
let's get real; time for serious matters.
Adventure racing has
nothing to do with going out on a little fun trip with
some friends over a week-end. You will be challenged a
little further than that and you will encounter many
distractions during the course.
One of the key motivation
killers for a team out on a course is getting lost. A
good exercise is to bring your team out in the middle of
nowhere and find your way out. Always leave a second
option in case of failure of the first one. This way, you
will learn a lot about decision making with you teammates
and their personal reactions in tough situations.
|Tip for the
competitive teams: if you want to build up your
mental capacities to the highest level, check out
the weather channel; when the forecast announces
the worst weather on earth, this is when you want
to start thinking about going out to train!!!
When your out in terrible weather doing difficult
training and you and your team can still smile,
nothing will stop you!
Month Prior - CRUCIAL PERIOD
Training should continue
without over-doing it as you don't want your body
to be completely drained before the race.
Endurance training will still be the most
important thing at this point. You want your body
to maintain the shape it has gained during the
training season. Make sure you sleep well and
enough to encourage recuperation and that your
nutritional intake will ensure a good and
balanced energy level.
Time to go out and
have fun with your teammates and be certain to
enjoy the time you spend together.
Finally, prepare the last minute details
and make sure you arrive at the race with the biggest smile on your
face ;-) !!!
|For further information on training
or comments contact:
OUTLAST Adventure Racing