Like the thousands before you, you have tried this Adventure Racing lark and you caught the bug. Only thing is now you want to up the ante and move to the middle distance but haven’t a clue where to start! well…read on!
We constantly get questions about the different aspects of adventure racing and one of the most common ones are…I have done the challenge routes but want to step up to the next level, Sport. What do I need to do?
THE LAW OF AVERAGES
The typical sport route will be around the 40k marker. That’s about twice the length of a challenge. They will also have of one or two more transitions than you are used to.
You will need to up your running distances. We would recommend 10-15k (at any one outing). Try and keep on trails. Likelihood in a race, this distance will be split in two. e.g. a 6k and 9k. Run on trails or fire roads if possible. It’s better for you and your body reducing the chance of repetitive impact strains and also it’s more fun! You will soon begin to improve ascending and descending technique but a good pair of trail runners is a must now your upping your game.
You will need to be comfortable cycling for at least 30k at any one outing. So while the sun is shinning get out on the bike and clock up those km’s. Be sure to add in plenty of hills, practicing going up and building confidence coming down too.
In more races than not, the kayak distance will not have changed too dramatically so there will be no great changes here. Although with the rigours of completing
the now longer running/cycling routes, the impact on your body overall will be greater, so we would recommend possibly doing some strength and conditioning/gym work with emphasis on your core. This will pay dividends in all areas of the race.
Yes, this is a thing…this is basically a method of transition training that will help prevent or at least reduce the “Heavy leg syndrome” that you will encounter when moving from bike to running. There is a blog we have done, which you should look at if you are unfamiliar with the finer aspects of it…why it happens and how to help overcome it. Click here
Yes, this is so important. Unlike challenge routes, sport routes can last anywhere up to 4 hours (depending on your fitness levels). Try not to get caught up in the moment and bolt for the starters gun. You will be burnt out in no time. You have now entered into the endurance side of things where strategy is key to your survival and ultimately enjoying the day.
The word endurance does exactly what it says on the tin. Your body is going to have to ‘endure’ more than it’s used to. You need to keep your body fuelled with the right food. We advise you train with these food sources. There is a plethora of resources out there to keep you trucking e.g. carb drinks, gels, protein bars but some may not agree with your bio-system. It’s vital you find out what works for you and what doesn’t.
Do your research. One we in Team Kayathlon use is Tailwind and would recommend you at least try it once. A lot of people suffer from whats commonly known as ‘Gut Bombs’. These are stomach cramps that when your gut is trying to absorb the gels etc produces cramps that can literally stop you in your tracks. Tailwind has been designed to work in tandem with you digestive system and is a fine powder that is mixed with your drink.
Make sure to know the course you are about to tackle, the distances, the hills, the valleys, the transitions, the water stations etc. Don’t come in blind, hoping all will be OK on the day.