Where does the beginner adventure racing start out, what plan for adventure racing should I use? What adventure racing equipment is needed? What will race day be like? These are some questions answered by Beginner adventure racing advice.
Some racers will come from a tri-athelon background and for them the conversion is easy. It is just a matter of replacing swimming with canoeing or kayaking.
A workout plan for adventure racing will need to be scheduled for 6 – 8 weeks prior to the event putting in training on the three basic disciplines, running, mountain biking and kayaking. A lot of beginner adventure racing leave out training in Kayaking and canoeing. Most times kayaks or canoes are supplied by the race organizer.
Running and Mountain biking should be practiced on trail gravel roads and single tracks, starting off with 30-minute sessions and building to 90 mins remembering to put in some countryside and hills in there.
Navigation is another area that is overlooked; if you have an orienteering club near you it is well worth joining. You can then practice your running and navigation at the same time.
A beginner adventure racing does not need special clothes to start with a race vest and shorts or leggings will do fine for the first races, together with the right shoe whichever are the most suitable footwear for both for the running and mountain biking sections. You will also need a hydro-pack or bottle carrier for water and snacks such as energy bars or gels plus a compass and map holder.
The biggest expense will be a mountain bike. Remember you also have a toolkit with patches and gas inflators together with spare tubes.
You will need to put together a small first aid kit, with plasters, sterile strips, antiseptics, scissors, tweezers and don’t forget you will need Vaseline or Bodyglide to help prevent saddle sores and the like.
Beginner adventure racing involves passing through checkpoints and control points, at these points, the beginner adventure racer is going to need to have their time recorded in a passport or to clip a race card. Care must be taken not to lose the card or passport as it is the only way of proving you have followed the course right. Except in Score races, where the competitors are given a set time to reach as many checkpoints as they can. It is important to move through the checkpoints in the right order.
What type of race should a beginner adventure racing enter you may ask? The sprint race lasts from a few hours up to 24 hours. Lots of people assume the sprint race is the easiest, but that is not the case.
The longer the race the slower the pace for the beginner adventurer and the slower pace allows one to take in and enjoy the great outdoors which is a big part of what the beginner adventure racing is about, meeting people and discovering new places while learning about yourself.
On race day remember to drink lots of water to fully hydrate your body and get to the race area as early as possible. As soon as you track down the registration area and get the formalities out of the way. Double-check the start time and then go to the starting area, check out the lay of the land.
Competitors will gather in the starting area to pick prime positions. Once you have done all your checks, Sort out where you will start. I always suggest picking an area on the side, so you do not get overrun in the middle. Try to get a clean start but keep to your own pace, if you have a plan stick with it
The field spreads out quite quickly after the gun goes off and within fifteen minutes everyone is settled into their racing pace, now is the time to take your first drink of water (you should be drinking every 15 minutes) Although you should be racing your own race it’s nice to have company.
Some of the races have courses laid out with marshals, markers, and tapes to keep you on course, others require you to navigate with compass and instructions from point to point. In the latter races, you may benefit from being with someone else, however, be wary of following the person or team in front they might be lost.
When you reflect on Beginner’s adventure racing, you will look back in pride having taken on nature, the course designer and challenged yourself and won, yes that’s right everyone is a winner! Rather than sitting in an armchair watching others, you have gone out and done it yourself and gained some healthy exercise at the same time.