Racing and Training Tips
The Basics of Multisport
Credit for these training tips goes to Vivienne Jerschke.
Listen to the body
And get in tune with it. It'll tell you when it's tired and you're overtraining. If you have symptoms - sore throat, aching muscles/bones, temperature, headaches - take the day off training. If you're keeping a training diary and feeling on the dodgy side, refer to it and see what you've been doing over the last 3-5 days. More than likely you've been doing high intensity intervals, maybe double dipping (exercising twice daily) alongside late nights, work stress etc.
You aren't a professional athlete yet, and we're all doing this hopefully to have fun. So try not to lose focus and balance whilst training. Sure dedication and commitment with your programme and training are important, but if your life doesn't have a balance, a BAD days racing can ruin your whole life. Try not to be so regimented with your training that you miss out on fun social events and other happenings in your life. In other words, try to prevent tunnel vision.
Sounds easy. A lot of people get it wrong. A good healthy balanced diet is essential. Especially when you're training hard and your immunity does drop. I keep up Vitamin C in winter -1 - 2 grams Daily. Ensure after each training session to consume plenty of protein (fish and eggs) to repair damaged muscle. I also make an effort to eat plenty of Complex Carbs (Porridge) prior to training so I don't get sugar lows. I prefer the 5 smaller meals as apposed to just three - I never last!
During training and racing it is essential to have complex carbohydrates readily available in your body - I find Squeezies the easiest. Ensure to drink plenty of liquids when taking in carbs, (for one squeezy you need 250ml water). If you don't have food you simply hit the wall.
Keep the body guessing
Practise two disciplines in one training session wherever possible and get the body used to CHANGE. In winter I hop on the wind trainer for an hour and then dash straight out for half an hour running and then back on the wind trainer. MTB in the forest and run afterwards. Always think how you can fit two disciplines in. Your muscles need to learn to adapt quickly to physical change.
Effectiveness and Quality
Every session should have a result in mind - whether it be lengthen your running stride, to increase your speed up hills, increase VO2, focus on paddling technique. Visualise what you need to achieve and do it. Make sure every session contains quality. Ask yourself, what Is today's purpose? What do I want to get out of it?
Training for the Race
So find out as much as you can. Hills? Flat? Distance? Etc. Implement specific training that will align you with race day. Simulate as much as possible so your body doesn't let you down and there are no surprises!
Train with People that are Fast!
A famous golfer once said, if you play with shit, you play like shit. Same applies here. Train with people more experienced and faster, and you'll become faster. Simple. You'll always be pushing yourself - just ensure though, that your easy days are easy so you're well rested for your hard days. Training with people better than you can do your head in if you're forever chasing them up and down a river, so make sure you do go out with others to vary it, and slower people are good for your head!
Bored? Lacking Dedication?
Don't worry we all do it every now and then. If you know that you're feeling down right lazy and just want to go home and lie down, visualise yourself standing on the start line with everyone around you, do you want to be thinking "gosh, wish I did more training". The answer is NO, I find it gets me up and out faster than lightening.
Preparation is key
Spreadsheet your Support Crew list and requirements for each transition. Practise your transition with your support crew so they know exactly what to do. Make everything really clear ie. no grey areas.
Eat properly on race morning
Ensure to get up and eat a substantial breakfast (porridge with protein powder\ & toast). This meal should be around 2 hrs before your race so you don't spew it up. I always have another snack 40 mins before my race and drink small amounts right up to the start. Don't start the race dehydrated. During the race I try to take in squeezies or bananas every half hour to hour. Always trial food before you race with it.
Get your bike and gear checked before the race. Mechanicals suck. Never change your seat height or adjust your equipment prior to the race, go with what you know well. Use elasticated laces - these save amazing amounts of time.
Vaseline under your arms to prevent chafing and use Chamoix Cream and Sunscreen.
Pace Wins The Race. Consistency is key
Try not to go out to hard at the beginning, otherwise you'll never recover for the rest of the race. Remember pace is what wins the race, stay focussed.
If you need a boost, take a small pouch of Coke or Energy Drink for the last ½ hour, works wonders. Ensure to sip it regularly to prevent a sugar low, and don't take this too early in the race.
Ideas for making the most of health
Credit for these nutritional tips goes to Linda Gibbens.
The area of exercise and nutrition can seem complicated at times, there's a lot of information and conflicting opinions out there, so it's good to get a handle on what works for you and what doesn't.
(By the way - this article is not intended to be a nutritional training plan, it's what I have found works, so please take note of anything useful and ignore the rest!)
Hopefully you'll agree that nutrition can be summed up in a few basic principles:
- Take in as much fuel as you're burning up - without having a nervous breakdown trying to work out quantities and calories!
- You are what you eat - quality is important (a good thing to keep in mind when dreaming about that cheeseburger...)
- It's best not to eat when you're stressed or upset - digestion goes on strike when emotions get involved.
Read on if for a bit more detail...
a) Take in as much fuel as you're burning up.
We women tend to worry about our weight more than necessary - we can easily end up denying ourselves or feeling guilty for eating...but let's get real here - you need to re-fuel regularly when training or keeping fit! Any athlete will tell you if you get to the point of hunger during a training session then it's too late - you should have stocked up before hand so there's enough energy to keep you going.
Fuel for the engine.
If you're heading out to exercise, make sure you have some gas in the tank before you leave home. That means eating sustaining food a couple of hours before hand, or if you're heading out for a big training session the next day keep that in mind when dining the night before. During the session have something delicious and nutritious on hand for when hunger does strike, and be sure to fuel up afterwards.
To avoid that nervous breakdown thinking about how much, what and when, don't get into too much conversation with yourself about it - simply ask yourself if you have earned the food, eat with enthusiasm, then move on - your precious headspace is better left for thinking about more pleasant things!
Spare tyre or can't get enough?
If you're not feeling energetic and trim then try tweaking your diet (more fruit and veges and less big macs!) until you feel an improvement. Or if you're always feeling hungry no matter what you eat, then maybe your digestion needs help or your diet isn't as balanced as it could be. If you feel like you are really out of touch with what your body needs, talk to someone with nutritional knowledge and get help drawing up a nutritional guideline, one that takes into account your lifestyle and training plan.
b) You are what you eat - and not all food is created equal
Keep in mind that the food you put in your mouth is then turned into muscles, eyeballs, intestines, etc...and of course you want muscles, eyeballs, intestines that are healthy and work well, right?
Good quality whole food creates good quality whole body tissue (and good quality moods too!). Clean up your diet by eliminating as much processed food as possible and you will definitely clean up your health. You'll find that niggly injuries, aches, pains and stiff joints will disappear too. If you can stick to this style of eating and you're far less likely to get these niggles back or develop new ones.
The goss on sesame.
Some foods can be nutritional powerhouses, especially if prepared a certain way, and including a variety of these in your diet can make a real difference to your overall health and wellbeing. For example, take the unassuming sesame seed - an excellent source of calcium, iron, protein, fat, plus many other minerals and vitamins. But the hard seed cases are difficult to digest, so the seeds are at their most nutritious lightly toasted and crushed to let the goodness out. They're very tasty mixed with salt and sprinkled on dinner, and can add a good dose of nutritional value!
Resist the peanut slab.
Interestingly, if you're craving certain foods then these may contain the nutrients your body needs. Try eating the foods and see how you feel. But be discerning and mindful of quality - that means questioning cravings for things like burgers or chocolate! Ask yourself Is it the salt, fat, or protein that your body wants and is there a better way to get it than a peanut slab or hot chips? Maybe what you're needing is some comfort after an especially hard training session? (Try a hug from your beloved and see how you feel!)
The enhanced flavour and speediness of convenience or proccessed food may make it seem appealing at times, but there are consequences to stocking up this type of food. You'll be building muscles, eyeballs and intestines that can't do the job as well, and you'll feel the effects in the long run.
c) Aim to avoid eating when you're stressed or upset.
You won't process your food nearly as well if your mind is focused on stressful things when you're eating - digestion will slow down and you will miss out on absorbing some of the nutrients. If this happens too often it can add up and compromise your health, which could lead to colds, flu, or injuries in training. Not a desirable outcome, right?
Do what you gotta do...then relax and have dinner.
The best thing you can do is avoid eating if you're really feeling the pressure. Honestly, it's worth taking a walk or taking time out to relax, then eat when you are feeling calmer. Your body will thank you by having more energy and feeling stronger if it doesn't have to digest dinner at the same time as fighting fires or slaying dragons.
So, that's a brief outline of the approach that works for me. Overall it's pretty simple - go for quality, variety and balance, don't deny yourself, fuel up when you're active but not when you're stressed, and aim to choose fresh whole foods over processed or canned foods when possible.
Listen to your body, be open to new ideas but be wary of over-analysing your every nutritional move. You'll know if your diet's working when you're bouncing off the walls and full of the joy of life, but it might need readjusting if you're feeling flat, achy or your muscles are consistantly fatigued. Get a professional opinion if you're in doubt about your health, you've only got one body and it's worth looking after!
I've included an example of a daily menu in case anyone's interested. I go for variety where possible and vary the quantity depending on my training schedule and how hungry I'm feeling.
Breakfast: Fresh fruit salad, muesli, spirulina/banana whip
Snack: Handful of dates and cashews, fruit and nut bar, or fruit.
Lunch: Falafal pita pocket with hummus and salad. Something sweet like a couple of dried figs or some fresh fruit.
Snack: Corn thins with vegemite/avocado, or honey /tahini (sesame paste), or a banana.
Dinner: Baked veges, avocado dip, chickpea and tomato stirfry or tofu and spinach stirfry, green salad with olives, peppers, sprouts, etc.
A balanced meal usually includes some protein (maybe tofu or beans and rice), some leafy greens, cooked veges with tasty dip or sauce, and some nuts/seeds or maybe seaweed for minerals and vitamins.
Any comments,etc, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Building an Adventure Racing Training Schedule
(from urban adventure racing website).
Among the first questions you will have as you pursue adventure racing is "How do I train for the sport?" Because adventure racing often involves four or more disciplines, the training can initially appear daunting. So let's look at a few considerations and see if we can't make the training process manageable.
The first thing to consider when approaching the sport is how much time you have to train and how you can fit adventure racing into your life. You will quickly realize that adventure racing is a "jealous mistress" and can dominant your world, if allowed. So, be honest with yourself and determine how many hours you have to train on a daily and or weekly basis. The time you have to train will determine two things; the length of race you should attempt and how competitive you will be. Below is a table of the minimum recommended training time on a weekly basis for the corresponding race type:
Training Hours per Week Race Type
The above table presumes that you have some sort of a fitness base. Keep in mind that while you do not want to overtrain, an optimum amount of training will go along way toward an enjoyable race experience and subsequent recovery. The key is to realistically evaluate your athletic background and know how much training your body can take without injury. Also, we advise that you work your way from sprint distance to expedition length race. Sprint races are generally the least expensive, require the least gear and take the minimum amount of skills training and endurance work. Hence, if you do a sprint race and decide you don't like adventure racing, your investment will have been minimal.
For most people, skills training will take up a good portion of your initial training schedule. Let's take a look at what are we talking about when we refer to "skills training":
Navigation: You probably can not spend too much time learning land navigation. Start by reading some books, then look for some local instruction at an outdoor retail store or university. Finally hook up with the nearest orienteering club and compete in as many local events and R.O.G.A.I.N.E.s (Rugged Outdoor Group Activity Involving Navigation and Endurance) as possible.
Mountain Biking: If you've never ridden on dirt before, try some day-long clinics or books and videos that can provide some valuable insights and perhaps lessen your number of "endo's." Once you have the basics, the key is putting hours in the saddle and riding progressively more technical trails.
Ropes: Most races have some sort of ropes and may include rappelling, traversing or ascending. If you have no experience, it will take you the better part of a day to become familiar with the equipment, figure out what type of setup you want to use and establish an initial comfort level. Ascending proficiency will take the most work and should be practiced at least three times before a race. Unfortunately for those who suffer from it, a fear of heights it will probably never go away, but if you practice consistently you will become more comfortable on ropes. It is recommend that you get local qualified instruction for your ropes training.
Flat water and Ocean paddling: Most people can easily pick up canoe or kayak paddling. However, learning the finer points of paddling will add efficiency over the typically long distances covered in adventure racing. We recommend doing some reading and if available, get a half-day or so of instruction. Ocean kayaking can present unique challenges when moving through the surf zone and if especially if you are in big water. If you are not on a coast, you will want to get to an ocean and practice in big surf conditions. Again, a half day or so of professional instruction is recommended.
Whitewater: The whitewater legs of races are fun, especially if you stay in the boat. Depending on the race, you may encounter whitewater in either a canoe, kayak or raft. Since whitewater training can be time consuming, we recommend allowing the race to dictate which discipline you get training in first. The nice thing is that the basic principles of whitewater do not change appreciably from craft to craft. Rafting is probably the easiest to get a handle on and a couple of weekends spent getting professional training will go a long way toward keeping you and your teammates safe while on the water.
Horseback Riding: Horses always provide excitement in an adventure race because it introduces an animal component into the mix. The key is to spend as much time as it takes for you to get comfortable on a horse. While the finer nuances of riding can be worked on with instruction, if you do not feel comfortable on a horse, the horse will figure it out and give you a more exciting ride than you want. Our general recommendation is two to three hours of horseback riding before each race that has this discipline.
A great way to receive skill training in a packaged, adventure race specific format is to attend an adventure racing camp. We have a very complete list of camps from which you can choose. Regardless, skills training can take up to half your training schedule until you achieve a comfortable proficiency level.
Your athletic background and fitness level will determine your start point for endurance training, but regardless of where you start, you will end up in great endurance shape. The backbone of your endurance regimen falls into three main categories: running/hiking, biking and paddling.
Running/Hiking: This is generally the easiest, most convenient and least equipment intensive way to build your endurance. We recommend getting away from concrete and hit the trails whenever possible. This is because most adventure races are in a wilderness setting and your joints and legs will take less abuse on trails. (See our article on trail running). Once you have a good base, you should start adding weight for selected runs and even load up a good size pack and do some long distance hiking. During those hikes you will want to practice using trekking poles as they will decrease leg fatigue.
Biking: Biking is another common element of adventure racing and spending a good deal of time in the saddle will enhance your adventure racing experience. To build a strong biking endurance base we recommend road riding. For technical training and a change of scenery, hit the dirt and get comfortable with the challenges of mountain biking. If you only have the resources to buy one bike, then go with as high a quality mountain bike as you can afford.
Paddling: Paddling is often the most inconvenient and equipment intensive of the three endurance activities, but is no less important than the biking and running. If you have the ocean out your door, then take advantage of it. Realistically though, because we don't typically have a canoe or kayak sitting in our garage and a river or lake in our backyard, paddling often gets short changed. With that in mind, plan your paddling carefully and maximize the time you spend in the boat per training session.
How do you put all these elements together in a comprehensive program? As a general rule of thumb, plan to spend about 40% of your time running, 40% biking and 20% of your time paddling. Plan on doing one "long day" on a weekly basis and perhaps some speed work once a week. The other four days should be moderate intensity and you should try to have one rest day per week, or one day in which you do low exertion skills training. The particulars of periodisation and more detailed training techniques will be discussed in other articles.
Now integrate your skills training with your endurance training by modifying the table used earlier and adding one more layer of detail:
Total Training Hours per week Skills Training Hours per week Endurance Training Hours per week Race Type
2 2-4 Running
1-2 Paddling Sprint
10-15 3 3-5 Running
2-4 Paddling Stage
15-20 4 4-6 Running
3-5 Paddling Weekender
20+ 5 5-7 Running
4-6 Paddling Expedition
Use these numbers as guidelines. Some weeks you may be weighted more toward one area. It is always a good idea to work most on your weak areas. Once the basic skills are learned, you can spend more time building your endurance. For those of you who are more mileage oriented, you can convert the time guidelines into miles according to your pace. The reason we delineate training by time is that you want to condition your body to doing an activity for long periods of time. When you do this, the mileage becomes irrelevant. Also it can be difficult to measure mileage on trails or on the water, so time measurement is more convenient for adventure racing.
As you can see, adventure racing is a time intensive endeavor. In future articles we will delve into more specific training techniques, but for now, get used to putting in the training hours.
Sleep Deprevation and Adventure Racing
(taken from AR website)
Sleep deprivation becomes a factor in any adventure race that lasts over 18 hours. We won't go into the physiological components of this beast, but rather look at the signs, its effects and how to minimize the impact.
Sleep deprivation is the one aspect of an adventure race that is virtually impossible to train for. If you are interested, though, I would recommend having a baby or two and getting up for those feedings every two to four hours. Furthermore, the sleep component or lack thereof, is often one of the most sited reasons for people not being interested in adventure racing. While you may find it hard to train for sleep deprivation, I would recommend structuring your training such that sleep becomes a factor. The reason for this is simple-everyone reacts to a lack of sleep in their own way and some people handle it better than others. Regardless, several symptoms or signs of sleep deprivation are rather common. At first, you may become silly or giddy. That will give way to becoming easily irritated or impatient. You will yawn a bit and have a hard time staying focused You may lose your appetite or at least not feel like eating. Eventually you will start droning or zoning out. You will probably get quiet & withdrawn and eventually feel veeerrrry sleeeeeppppppyyyyy.
When this happens, the effects vary in their degree of magnitude. Your pace will be among the first things affected as it will slow considerably. You may have trouble with navigation and could get lost. If you are in boats, the effects are magnified and you will probably fall asleep more easily since you are sitting down. If you are riding mountain bikes, you may crash more frequently. The trick is that ideally, everyone does not get hit by the sleep bug all at once. Hopefully one person on the team will have his/her wits about them and be able to recognize the signs and offer a solution. Generally this is the case, although from around 3 am to 5 am in the morning, most people are very vulnerable.
There are several things you can do to combat the sleep bug. If you are into taking stimulants such as caffeine or products like No Doz or Rip Fuel, then give them a try. This is where training comes in though. Do not take anything in a race that you have not first tried in training, to see how you handle it. Another possible remedy is to eat food. One guy, swears by eating 5 packets of GU one after another. Afterward, he would be bouncing off the walls, but it would bring him out of his funk so that he could then eat and drink something more substantial and recover. Perhaps the most effective remedy is to take a 5 to 20 minute power nap. Ultimately, your body is telling you that you need sleep and at some point give it at least a taste of the rest it needs.
In any case, you should try to plan for sleep in races which you expect to last over 18 hours. Obviously the length of the race will determine your sleep plan and even the best laid plans will be modified. My experience is that you will want to sleep a minimum of one hour for every twenty-four hours and you should start your schedule from day one. Do not try to push the first 36 to 48 hours of a race with no sleep as many people have found that their ability to recover is greatly diminished. Ultimately, the more yo
Biking Pre-Ride Checklist
by Ally Davey.
Tools/Pre-Ride Safety Check
It is important to check your bike over before your next ride. You can prevent an accident or a long walk home if you just take a few minutes and follow these items.
MANDATORY TOOLS TO CARRY WHILE RIDING:
1.. Tire pump (make sure it fits your valve Presta or Schrader)
2.. Spare tube (Presta or Schrader, what size tube?)
3.. Patch kit (for your tubes)
4.. Tire lever
6.. Allen wrenches (2, 4, 5, 6mm)
7.. Chain tool (spare Shimano chain pins)
8.. Small crescent wrench
9.. Small first aid kit
Before every ride every bicycle rider should do a pre-ride safety check on their bike. This is very important to do before every ride because it can turn a good ride into a nightmare on the trail if everything on your bike is not adjusted correctly:
1.. Checking the braking system:
Spin the wheels to make sure the brake pads are not rubbing on the rim or tire. Check the centering of the brakes making sure it has an even pull on both sides of the cantilevers. Make sure brake pads are tight by grabbing the brake pad and try to pivot it on the cantilever, also check brake post bolts making sure they are secured (5mm Allen wrench). Last take a look at the brake cables and housing to make sure there is no fraying or splits.
2.. Checking the headset:
The best way to check your headset is by grabbing a handful of your front brake and rocking your bike back and forth. If there is any play or movement coming from around the headset area this will require an adjustment and tightening to the headset. Try not to ride on a loose headset because it can cause more damage to the bearings and bearing surfaces down the road.
3.. Checking the bottom bracket:
When checking your bottom bracket grab a hold of your crank arms down by were the pedals are attached and pull the crank arms side to side, if there is any play around the bottom bracket it should be adjusted immediately, if not this again can do damage to the bottom bracket cups, spindle or bearings. Also you should check your crank arm bolts to make sure they are secure.
4.. Checking The Hubs and Wheels:
To check and see if your hubs are loose with the wheels on the bike, grab the tire and move it side to side, it should have a solid feel, if it has any play it should be adjusted as soon as possible as again this can cause damage to the bearings and bearing surfaces down the road. For the actual wheel to be rideable the spokes should have an even tension throughout. To check the tension on the spokes grab two spokes on the same side of the wheel and pull them towards each other, they should have an even tension. Go through all the spokes in that process, if there are any loose spokes the wheel should be looked over by a mechanic to see what is wrong. If there is more than three loose spokes on the wheel I would recommend not riding it.
5.. Checking Allen Bolts:
This will require you to have available 4, 5, and 6mm allen wrenches. Go around to all bolts that have hex inserts in them (ie., handlebar stem bolt, stem binder bolt, derailleurs, brake levers, shift levers, cantilevers water bottle cages, and seat binder bolt) and use your allen wrenches to tighten them. Do not over tighten, this can sometimes cause stripping of the threads. 6.. Frame Inspection: This is very important to do because a broken frame is a dangerous frame for riding on. Look for any type of cracking in the paint were the tubes join together. This is not a usual occurrence but is something you should keep an eye on.
Visit the guys at Multisport Bikes for help or visit www.multisportbikes.co.nz or your local bike store to help you out if you are a little stuck.
Hiking Adventurer's Checklist
by Ally Davey.
The following Hiker's checklist will help to plan your next hiking adventure.
Not all items listed will be needed on every trip. Pack only what you need and leave the rest at home. Remember, you've got to carry what you pack.
Make sure you let someone know your intended route and your expected arrival time back - this is very important if in the event of something unforseen and you don't get out, they know where you are and where to start looking for you!
Try to Hike with a buddy at all times.
You'll need a day pack or fanny pack - make sure it is the correct size for you, is comfortable and suitable for your needs. The best have easy access pockets whilst you are wearing it, then you don't have to stop and take it off as much.
c.. Water bottle or hydration system such as Source and adequate water for rehydration.
d.. Electrolyte mixture such as Leppin enduro, PB or similar mixed correctly
e.. Water purification tablets depending on where you are hiking
f.. Waterproof matches
g.. Headlamp or similar, like a Petzl zippka or tikka as they are very light and effective to get you out of a dark situation.
h.. Fire starter
i.. Pocket knife
j.. Toilet paper
k.. Topographic map (good idea if you actually know how to read this also!)
m.. Emergency blanket
o.. Emergency snacks
p.. Adequate food - roughly 70g carbohydrate per 70kg person per hour Bumble Bars are great choices - they are popped rice and honey - extremley light weight, good nutritional value and yummy!
c.. Antinflammatories or pain killers
d.. Betadine or antseptic cream
e.. Sterile gauze pads
f.. Roller gauze
g.. Nonadherent dressing
h.. One-inch adhesive tape
j.. Strapping tape
k.. Large compress
l.. Moleskin or foot care kit
m.. Second Skin
o.. Bandage scissors
p.. Irrigation syringe
q.. Low-reading thermometer
t.. Emergency Phone Numbers and money for a phone call or cell phone
Clothing First Layer
a.. Underwear (make sure its NOT cotton - when this gets wet it will chill your core temp)
b.. Long underwear (tops and bottoms in either light, midweight. Synthetic is best or wool / synthetic/cotton blend , Marmot silkweight is ideal
c.. Liner socks (*one extra pair only)
d.. Wool outer socks (*one extra pair only)
e.. Sport Specific Socks (such as those made by ultimax, wigwam etc) (*one extra pair only)
f.. T-shirt (cotton / synthetic blend such as those made by Marmot, Icebreaker etc)
g.. Second Layer
h.. Wool shirt
i.. Fleece, Polartec or wool sweater
k.. Long pants
a.. Wool, A16 Bomber, Polartec hat
b.. Sun hat
c.. Fleece or Polartec jacket
d.. Parka (synthetic fill or down)
e.. Wool, polypro mittens
f.. Rain suit (jacket and pants)
i.. Hiking boots
For all your hiking and outdoor needs visit www.greencoast.co.nz - they have everytihng you could ever need and more!