GEAR is designed to provide an entry-level experience into adventure racing. Some training is necessary, however, to make sure you have a safe and enjoyable time during the race. Here are some tips to guide you as you prepare for GEAR 2010!
Make sure all team members have the same race goal. Are you out to win at all costs, physical and mental? Are you there to have a new experience and check out our lovely local resources? If one team member is racing to win while another is enjoying the scenery, the race will not be a pleasant experience for either. Discuss ahead of time what your goals are, what your levels of fitness are and develop a plan for dealing with conflict on the course.
Train as a Team:
Training together, at least periodically, will reveal potential areas of conflict and allow you to practice strategy, teamwork and decision-making.
Build a Fitness Base:
Developing a solid cardiovascular fitness base is very important. Your body needs to be prepared to be physically active, non-stop, for 3-5 hours for this race. Both aerobic workouts and strength training will help you become fit and able to enjoy the race. Plan on at least three months of consistent workouts to be comfortably prepared for GEAR 2009.
Train in each Discipline:
Make sure you train in all three race disciplines; running, canoeing and biking. Each discipline uses different muscles in different ways- its important to develop them all!
Train Wearing your Race Gear:
At least some of your training, especially in the last 6 weeks before the race, should be in what you will be wearing, and carrying, during the race. You will be carrying water and other mandatory gear in a small pack so get used to jogging, canoeing and biking with it!
Spend a Little Time Cycling in Traffic:
Portions of the mountain bike course may follow a highway or a village street. (Then again, they may not!) So hedge your bets. If you don't feel comfortable riding in traffic, now is the time to sharpen the skills you'll need to stay safe. Always follow the rules of road. Ride on the right, with the flow of traffic — not against it. But don't hug the curb: in particular, give parked cars a wide berth. And be sure to obey all traffic signs and signals. Want more hints? You'll find them at these two sites: Bicycling Street Smarts and Bicyclesafe.com.
Incorporate More Than One Discipline in a Workout:
A vital part of your training will be multi-discipline long workouts. Once a week or once every two weeks, plan a team workout involving two or all three disciplines. For example, your team might complete a 1 hour trail run followed by an hour of biking or canoeing.
Brush up on Map Reading Skills:
Competitors are given a packet right before the race which contains a description of the checkpoints on the course and all the maps necessary to find their way along the course. Good map reading skills are essential to getting through the course quickly. Practice looking at maps and finding landmarks in unfamiliar places using only the map. A compass, although not necessary, might be helpful to accompany the map. Now is the time to brush up on your compass skills or learn how to use one. If someone on your team is good at reading maps and navigating, it might be a good idea to appoint that person the navigator and abide by his or her decisions on the course. Click here to view the course description and maps from GEAR 2008!
Fuel the Machine!
Eating after a workout is an important component of developing strength and fitness. Eat protein and carbohydrates within a half hour of finishing your workout to replace glycogen stores.
Consider a Personal Trainer:
Advice from a personal trainer can help you get the most from your workouts and ensure that you will be physically fit in time for the race.
The content on this page is for information only. It does not constitute professional medical, nutrition or fitness advice. Inactive individuals should speak with their physician before starting any new fitness activities.