We all like to think that we can do things on our own, until we run into a problem that we cannot solve without another’s help. Preparing for something as big as an adventure race can rarely be done on one’s own unless they are familiar with all the disciplines in a race and have had experience practicing them.
Cycling in adventure races is dangerous because it involves mountain biking primarily. Mountain biking can vary in difficulty, which is why it is important to prepare for that part of adventure races separately. As we can only do so much on our own, it is important to seek help and advice. Here are some tips on how to prepare for cycling in adventure races.
The first thing that one should do is get a mountain bike and appropriate safety gear from helmets to elbow and knee protection, as well as gloves, and get on their mountain bikes to start riding. Cycling is hard enough on its own, but mountain biking can be even harder, because it requires more concentration and the very terrain is against you.
The basics of mountain biking, like the basics of any sport, should be mastered before moving to harder challenges. One should also be informed and watch a couple of videos to see what they can expect from cycling in adventure races.
Run Trails Many Times
Repetition breeds perfection, if the motions are right. Getting the basics down is very important which is why after learning how to deal with a mountain bike and some easy mountain biking trails, one should find harder trails, some which run in circles, and do repetitions. Generally speaking, spending up to four hours on a bicycle is recommended. The more you become familiar with a tool, the more you can rely on your muscle memory and focus on the road or future challenges.
Train With Experienced Mountain Bikers
Riding a mountain bike is dangerous, as we have established. Online tips and tricks can only go so far. This tip is pretty straightforward, find experienced mountain bikers and start learning from them. They can observe your moves and tell you what you need to work on in order to improve. There are always things one could work on, whether positioning, approaching a turn, body position and more. Experts can help with the little things, all of which can benefit us in the long run. They also make training sessions more bearable, it is always good to do workouts in company.
Check What Kind of Trails Were at the Races and Then Recreate Them
Previous adventure races offer valuable information. You can check maps or recordings of previous races, to help you visualize what type of mountain biking trails you might expect at an adventure race.
Recreating a race trail is next to impossible, but finding a trail which is similar in length, terrain type and climb, should be doable. That way, we can train and do practice runs which would be similar to what you could expect to find at the next race, the one you will be attending.
The cycling parts of adventure races are often hard and endurance-based mountain biking trails, which you can practice for with the above mentioned tips. Take it slow and ramp up as you gain experience and confidence and you will be racing in no time.