5 Top Tips For Adventure Racing

So now that Christmas and the holiday period is over you are probably thinking about your upcoming adventure race and how to best get prepared for what lies ahead. Here are 5 tips to help you work out where to focus your attention and to see if you are on track to success.

  • Treat it as an adventure rather than a race. If you treat it like this, you will love it. Yes it is a competition but first and foremost it is about team work, personal challenge and achievement a connection with nature and adventure!
  • Start Training. Many people leave this all important component to the last minute. The more training you get in before the race the more confident and comfortable you will feel going into it and the more enjoyment you will get out of it. Anna Dean has put up some training plans on the Spirited Women website and she is also available for more personalised training programmes. The key thing to remember is that adventure races generally require a level of technical skill and always lots of hills, so get off the pavement and out over rough ground on foot, up and down steep hills on foot and bike and work on your single track skills to improve your riding confidence. Summer is also the perfect time to jump in a sit on top kayak and work on your paddling.
  • Learn What’s Involved. Adventure Racing is a lot about skill rather than straight fitness. The core disciplines remain the same running/trekking, mountain biking, paddling and navigation. Navigation being the most important skill you can work on for improving your performance. Look for and enter any orienteering or rogaine events you can. There are also permanent courses set up in different areas, contact your local orienteering club to find out if there are any in your area. Also just printing out a map of your local area (preferably bush or hills) and exploring that while keeping track of where you are is very good practice.
  • Work on your team dynamic. This is what makes adventure racing so unique. The team aspect can add limitations or opportunities. The better you know your teammates and their strengths and weaknesses the better you will be able to support each other and perform. Try and train together where you can or plan a weekend catch up before the race if you are from different areas.
  • Make sure you have the right equipment and use it prior to the event. Many leave this until the last minute and get caught out when they can’t locate or buy the items they need. Especially at the moment there is often a shortage of some items so get onto this early. It is also important to train with the gear you are planning to use in a race to know that it is not going to rub or chafe and that it feels comfortable for each activity for the length of time you need to use it.

To find out more on the upcoming courses go to:

Kym is a mum of 3 energetic boys, trains and races in multisport and adventure racing (currently as part of Tiger Adventure NZ). She is the co-creator and retreat leader at NZ Adventure Retreats and is part of the team that has won the Spirited Women Adventure Race long course for the past 4 years.

Kym along with Rach Smith (NZ elite orienteer) from Navigation North and Nic Leary (NZ elite mountain biker and physio) will be running a specific Women’s Adventure Race Skills weekend in Auckland Feb 13th/14th to help with up-skilling in different aspects of the race and helping you become a more confident and competent adventure racer.

Contact: kym@nzadventureretreats.com or 0272500435 for more information.