Training for Adventure Racing

  • Creator
  • #23665

    Thank you for the great resource to discuss training.

    How would you suggest going about training for adventure racing? The duration and wide range of skills required make effective training fairly difficult. Apart from a solid aerobic base, it would be very interesting in your thoughts on how to train for 80-100 hour events with the aim of being at the sharp end of the field.

    I have a solid base of racing and training but also have to hold down a full time job so can not spend every day outside for hours on end.

    Looking forward on hearing your thoughts.

  • Participant
    TerryLui on #23671

    1) Training/developing a broad range of skills is doable however, depending on the skill level required and your base of existing knowledge, expect that it can potentially take a long of time to build up proficiency.

    2) 80-100hr races, I expect will require a lot of time in training in your aerobic zones. This becomes a matter of training time volume. Lots and lots of time spent on your feet, in the trails, at low/moderate intensity levels. Majority of people have FT job and family commitments so you’re not alone however, at the end of the day the training volume that they CAN commit to…will greatly influence their abilities to perform and therefore, so it should inform their expectations on how well they can expect to place in races/events/etc.

    So what I’m saying is, if you do not have much time to carve out for event specific training…it’s going to be tough to achieve extremely demanding goals. The training needs to be in alignment with the goal/event…and vice versa.

    Incongruent example, “I train 3 hours a week and want to complete the Barkley Marathon”
    Congruent example, “I train 20+ hours a week and want to complete the Barkley Marathon”

    Here are some links to previous similar discussions, they may provide more details for you:

    Overdoing "it" weekend warrior days

    Overdoing "it" weekend warrior days

    Overdoing "it" weekend warrior days

    All the best!

    Anonymous on #23715

    I agree with Terry about trying to train diverse capacities. It’s a tall order to elevate them all during one training cycle. What we have had best luck with alpinists who have to have a very wide skill set and specific strengths along with a big aerobic base is to train 1-2 capacities at a time. The others are in a maintenance phase. It is much easier to maintain a capacity than it is to build it in the first place. The long duration, low intensity training has to be present throughout all phases though since without that the specific skill segments won’t matter. This is the classic alpinist problem. If the climber who can climb M10 becomes too fatigued during the long approach and easier sections of a big climb they will not be able to climb well on the very difficult sections.

    This approach we propose takes a long time to develop a high level in all the components that make up your event. Typically years and years for a top alpinist.

    There is no short cut.


    andregie on #23955

    Thanks for the replies Scott and Terry. I should probably have added a bit of a more detailed question and some background. I have a pretty big training and racing base and am pretty competent at all the disciplines, our team has placed as high as 4th at a world champ level. But none of us have ever had a focussed or structured training program tending more to get out and do lots of outdoor stuff. I am interested in adding a little more thought into my training and have added a little structure. How much emphasis would you place on ME type workouts versus just putting more aerobic hours in the bank?


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