Adventure racing has become such a popular activity that it has an adventure racing world championship which attracts a considerable following. Despite its popularity, adventure racing is still not a sport for the faint of heart, because it can test your endurance to its limits. Adventure racing is characterised by up to 12 hours, or even days, of non-stop races or inter-disciplinary activities for teams or individuals. These activities test not only the limits of your physical endurance but also your brain power. Here are a few useful ideas and tips to help you prepare for an adventure race.
Prepare for Mountain Running
Running on tarmac is easy because there are not many obstacles in your path and the road is even. However, mountain running is another experience altogether, as underfoot is very unpredictable. Thus, it keeps you on your toes. If you have never run through a forest, field, or boggy path, then it would be a good idea to start by going for a jog in the local woods or on a mountain path. As you run, start slowly and increase your speed gradually, as you learn to use your peripheral vision to see ahead, as well as around you. You will also need to learn how to relax while running and maintain your balance on the uneven terrain.
Sign Up for Adventure Race Training
You can sign up for adventure racing training at either a training camp or a training clinic. Some trainers offer flexible classes which can be taken over the weekend. This is a worthy investment, as you learn various new things like: race planning, orienteering, nutrition, and some even offer kayaking lessons. Even the greatest adventure racing professionals that participate in the Adventure Racing World Championships will tell you that training is important.
Prepare for Mountain Biking
When it comes to mountain biking, your skills on navigating on foot using a map and compass will be slightly beneficial. It is better for you if you learned how to read your map and navigate while on your bike. The speed of the races can make map navigation quite hard and end up slowing you down. To help you in the navigation, you need to make or buy a bike map board to hold your map for you. Another tip worth remembering is to go at full speed until you are about 200 metres from the next checkpoint. At this distance, you can now navigate to find out where the next checkpoint is located.
Get the Mandatory Kit List in Advance
Every adventure race will have a list of mandatory items which you need to bring. So make sure you print it out at least a week in advance so that you have time to check out your running and bike gear and even food and drinks for the race.
Plan Your Race Well
In every adventure race, each team or person is given a chance to plan their race after the pre-race briefing has been done, and all checkpoints have been highlighted. At this point, it can undoubtedly be very tempting to charge off into the race without any planning whatsoever. Avoid this temptation and take your time and plan for the race to make it as smooth as possible. Also, listen carefully to the pre-race briefing and make a note of issues such as race rules, re-supply points, out of bounds areas and checkpoint locations.