Great for a Triathletes Fitness: A Training Guide For An Adventure Race

Great for a Triathletes Fitness

If you’re serious about Triathlon then take a look at the attraction of an adventure race, and the unexpectedness that comes with it; you may not be aware of the destination, the transportation, or the challenges you could face until the race commences.

Will the course be paddle heavy? Is the race director going to make you swim? Is your fear of heights going to be tested? It is not usually known until the day of the race…which is a thrilling experience in itself.

Though it is a great unknown to some, newbies can be uncertain of how to prepare for an adventure race. How can you train for your first race if you haven’t identified what abilities are required?

Have no fear, future adventure racer! This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the fundamentals of preparation for any individual wishing to pursue a successful first foray into adventure racing.

Training for an Adventure Race

It is beneficial to prepare for an adventure competition by enhancing stamina and might in all associated sports, both on their own and in the union.

For adventure racing, that equates to being able to put together the vigorous demands of hiking, riding bicycles, and paddling with the technique and cognitive capabilities required for finding directions without a map.

The sport of adventure racing sets itself apart by testing physical and mental strength in navigating unforeseen difficulties or obstacles during competition.

Train Individual Disciplines

You should strive to become more fit and skilled in all the facets of adventure racing by practising each area independently from time to time. By focusing on particular workouts and honing in on them, you can optimize the physical results of any workout session.


A lot of thrill seekers will ready themselves for the foot journey that is part of these events by doing running-specific practice. Some people might opt to concentrate solely on hiking or walking. We suggest you become accustomed to standing for extended periods.

Take a walk off the beaten path and explore your surroundings in either trails or other rough terrain. Running on either a treadmill or the sidewalk is ideal for increasing one’s base level of fitness.

But exercising specifically to trails will help improve equilibrium, body awareness, and strength in the lower limbs/ft. These are all things that can stop you from stumbling over roots and falling flat while on a trail run.

Mountain Biking

Another type of adventure racing consists of mountain biking. Novice adventure racers who are joining sprint competitions don’t have to be extremely proficient in mountain biking, yet having a decent amount of fitness and the capability to ride a bike is necessary.

It’s essential to supplement your indoor/stationary bike training, as well as spin class workouts, with some outdoor bike training. Where possible, practice on terrain similar to the course you’ll be racing on, to build endurance and strength.

Engaging in cycling often will make sure that your bicycle fit (including the seat height, extension length and bar width) and its relevant pieces of equipment (biking trousers, shoes, helmet) suit you comfortably, and function appropriately.

You will also find out what steps to take when something goes wrong (as it inevitably will at some point).


A common saying in the world of adventure racing is that no one really prepares for the canoeing portion.

Although this may only be a joke, we would advise you to gain the ability to get ready for the paddling portion of an AR if you can do so. Navigating a kayak or canoe may look straightforward but it requires some practice to be able to paddle the boat fluently and proficiently.

Sharpening your paddle abilities will make it more enjoyable when you unexpectedly wind up paddling 15 miles down a river with no reasonable places to rest.

Obviously, a lot of racers either don’t possess the necessary paddling gear or can’t practice paddling since they reside in an area where it isn’t possible. In such a situation, strength exercises can be an excellent alternative to paddle training if real paddling is not feasible.

Brick Training for Adventure Racing

Brick training, a common technique for triathlon preparation, involves transitioning between two activities with no break in between during one training session.

The primary goal of brick training is both psychological and physical: it instructs your body and mind on the way to swiftly move from one activity to the next.

Brick workouts can help you move quickly between disciplines when competing in a race so that you don’t spend an excessive amount of time in transition zones.

Deciding which sports to include in a combination workout for adventure racing since there isn’t a predetermined ranking of events can prove to be exciting. But, there is no right or wrong. We like to:

  • Ride our bikes deep into the forest, chain them to a tree, run a few miles out and back down the trail, hop back on our bikes and ride home.
  • Paddle for an hour, then hop on our bikes with wet feet, and more than likely, wet bike chamois from sitting in a wet kayak.
  • Head to a permanent orienteering course that you’ve never been to before. Try to navigate and clear the course as quickly as possible, while wearing your AR pack and gear, simulating race day.

Strength Training for Adventure Racing

Including strength training as part of their sport-related workout plan can be advantageous for athletes. Nonetheless, in adventure racing, strength training can help make up for the uncertain elements.

For instance, you possibly had no clue that a rope climbing event would be a part of the race.

Your improved upper body strength and grip strength from strength training mean that you won’t have any trouble getting up the rope.

Gaining strength and overall endurance will aid in training you for the race and any unexpected surprises you may encounter along the way.

Practice Navigating

Navigating is unquestionably the chief component of adventure racing. Even if you don’t have the role of navigator on your adventure racing squad, it is suggested that you be knowledgeable about the fundamentals of orienteering, so you can lend a hand if needed.

Suggested basic navigation skills include:

  • Knowing how to read a map (understanding topography lines, symbols, etc.)
  • Knowing how to use a compass
  • Shooting a bearing
  • How to triangulate

In the end, it isn’t essential how strong you are if you can’t discover the markers. Developing proficiency in navigating is one of the most important aspects to focus on when prepping for an adventure race.

Practice Race Day Nutrition

If you’re just beginning to take part in long-distance endurance competitions, it’s a good plan to begin working on your nutrition for the adventure race immediately. The more extended the running distance, the more important it is to make sure that you are fueling your body correctly to prevent from “bonking” and reach the end of the race.

Find out which foods are convenient to consume while travelling.

Experiment with how often you eat and decide how much food your body can process well, as well as which calories are best suited for you. An athlete’s opinion on the optimal foods for adventure racing may not be suitable for everyone.

A successful adventure race begins long before the starting gun sounds

Choosing a Race

The champion racer, Robert Nagle, keeps an email list for people involved in adventure racing and those on the list often trade reviews of events. To join the list, go to To get the full list of adventure races that take place in North America, check the USARA website at

Think about how the label “adventure racing” is given to activities of all different sizes.

Events in the Hi-Tec Adventure Racing Series typically last from three to five hours and happen in an urban environment, whereas the Endorphin FIX takes place over a couple of days in the country regions around West Virginia’s New River Gorge.

Need a few more suggestions? See the “You’ll Never Forget” facing page. Picking a Team

The usual form of an adventure-racing team is typically a team of four that consists of both male and female members, however, most races nowadays provide categories for single-gender teams and teams with only two people.

How to recruit? Don Mann, the author of The Complete Guide to Adventure Racing, released by Hatherleigh Press in April, states that the most important attribute a teammate can possess is a positive mindset that won’t dwindle when facing adversity.

Find teammates who have similar physical fitness and abilities that would match yours. You’re a strong biker? Ring up your expert-paddler friend.

Choosing a Support Crew

Many weekend adventure competitions allow participants to have a group of close friends come along for help (no matter the amount chosen it’s by the event). This group is in charge of ensuring that their team’s gear is prepared for every designated stopping point.

Typically, the racers are supplied a swift, heated meal, basic medical attention is provided, and any useful tidbits (weather information, liquid levels, the group’s rank, etc.) are communicated. According to Nagle, one should prioritize searching for organization, followed by a good attitude, and then technical abilities when looking for applicable skills.

The primary skills necessary for adventure racing are proficiency in land and water navigation, the ability to carry a backpack, a simple rope useful for both rappelling down ropes and traversing a Tyrolean traverse, as well as knowledge of basic bike maintenance.

Nagle emphasises the importance of having a diversity of abilities on a team, for the members to be able to teach one another. It might be advantageous to all of you if none of you has any navigation knowledge to get joint instruction in that area.

Don Mann suggests that for anyone wanting to get into this sport, the first step is to determine the amount of time that can be devoted to it each week. If you can dedicate six hours or more each week to prepare, you can finish a 24 or 48-hour race, according to Mann. He believes conditioning and skills should both be worked on when training for any race.

Most of your time should be devoted to conditioning, while the rest should be focused on honing skills.

You must have the physical ability to participate in a marathon on the day of the event; that is, you need to be able to last for three or more hours during a running, mountain biking, or paddling activity with a considerable degree of effort.

Ideally, aim to have a period of gradual and continual exercise over four months (if you possess an existing endurance foundation, this may be reduced to two months).

Don’t worry excessively about the small details—you don’t need a heart-rate monitor—just focus on maintaining a steady pace, dividing the amount of time you spend in each discipline equally; but spend a bit more time on the activity you struggle with the most. Periodically, go hard; periodically, go long. If you have eight hours to commit to training each week and are a not-so-great paddler, your plan should look similar to this: Take a break on Monday. Tuesday: one-hour mountain bike ride. Wednesday: one hour of kayaking. Thursday: one-hour trail run with the pack. Friday: one-hour nighttime mountain bike ride with the pack. Saturday: two hours of kayaking with the team. Sunday: two-hour orienteering race with the team.

Hard to the Core Training

Add an oblique twist to your resistance-training workout, courtesy of world-class paddler Eric Jackson

Having a six-pack is attractive, but it doesn’t compare to having washboard obliques. Those would be the muscles around your sides, referred to as obliques, that assist when making twisting motions.

It is essential that paddle boarders, surfers, mountain bikers, climbers, and those attempting to become Twister champions, pay attention. Strengthening one’s oblique muscles should be a regular part of any fitness routine, not an occasional activity.

Eric Jackson, who recently earned the title of the national freestyle kayak champion at the age of 37, explained that people are less likely to injure themselves during the later parts of the season when their obliques have become extra strong. At the start of the season, when you have not been utilizing them, it is always like that.

To make any resistance-training session more challenging, include Jackson’s favourite exercises for a world-class workout. These are sure to make even the toughest workouts more difficult. Your abdomen will soon be more than just visually attractive. Table Twist Lie flat on your back. Raise both of your arms to the sky and hold onto the legs of a bulky table or something that won’t move. Lift both of your legs up gradually until they are making a 90-degree angle with the ground.

Bend your knees and move your feet to one side until they almost reach the ground; then lift them and lower them on the other side.

Start with: three sets of 30. No problem? Attempt Jackson’s three sets of 75 a day. Still, feeling burly? Cut reps to 30 but add five-pound ankle weights. Lie on your back with your legs bent inwards, your left foot flat on the floor and your right ankle situated on top of your left knee. Hold your right arm out to the side and tuck in your left arm behind your head.

Lay on the floor with both of your hips touching the ground and move your left shoulder towards your right knee. Roll up your spine as if you are doing a regular crunch, just don’t try to do a full sit-up. Repeat with the other side. Start with: three sets of 15. No problem? Try three sets of 30. Still, feeling burly? Do them on a Swiss ball. Attach either a Sports Cord (rubber tubing with handles) or thick surgical tubing to an anchor at shoulder height, or grip a handle attached to weight stacks. Position your hips forward and clasp the tubing or rope with both of your hands behind you.

Bend your elbows slightly and draw your hands in an arch motion over your head and down to the outside of your left leg. Keep your hips steady. Repeat on the opposite side. Start with: three sets of ten. No problem? Do three sets of 30. Still, feeling burly? Do them one-handed. Introduce yourself to your latest buddy: the twisted torso apparatus at your exercise centre! Secure your feet and embrace the part of the apparatus that is in motion. Jackson advises beginning with a lighter weight than one might think necessary; the focus should be on completing multiple repetitions.

Turn your body around from the middle to the right side, then back to the middle and to the left side. Begin with doing three rounds of ten reps, using a weight that is heavy enough to make you feel fatigued by the conclusion of each round. No problem? Add three more reps to each set. Still, feeling burly? Do the Swiss-ball crunches described previously right away.


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button