With the first Quest event of the year just over four weeks away many of you will already be well into your training. Here’s some tips on training mistakes to avoid which should help ensure you arrive to your next Quest adventure race fighting fit!
Many newcomers to adventure racing don’t know what to expect on race day and end up over doing it in advance. This often leads to injuries. Ensure your training plan has adequate rest and recovery time. Listen to your body when it’s tired and stiff. And seek advice from a doctor or physio if any pains/injuries persist.
It can be hard to stay motivated to do a stretching routine before and after a tough training session. Spending 10-15mins stretching after exercise can help loosen tight muscles and improve range of motion as well as preventing aches and injury. Foam rolling is a great way to massage tight and sore muscles.
Wearing the wrong gear
Never use new gear such as runners, socks or t-shirts for the first time on race day as it may cause blisters, chafing and discomfort. Avoid wearing cotton and invest in a good pair of trail runners that are well worn in before the event.
No food plan
You may not need to follow a very strict food plan while you are training but it’s important to eat a healthy and balanced diet. Importantly you should try the gels or food you will use on race day to see what works for you well in advance so as to avoid upset stomachs or performance issues. For the longer distances have a plan as to when you will fuel up – if you do so earlier in the race you may avoid hitting the wall.
Don’t be fooled into thinking all your training must involve cycling, running or kayaking. Introducing cross training such as swimming, yoga or strength training can help balance your body by training other muscle groups which helps reduce the risk of injury.
Training up to race day
Remember you should reduce the intensity and volume of training at least 2 weeks before race day. Nothing you do in the 2 weeks before the race will increase your fitness. Do the basics but use this time to rest and recover in advance of the big day.