Advice from the Fledglings... Adventure Racing!!!
- Eat real food! There's certainly a time and place for sugar and gels but it is important to have some real food in your bag. And the longer the race the more important it is to get real food in. For a race longer than two hours it's always a good idea to have a decent sandwich on hand, or a grunty muesli bar to get stuck in to when the energy tank starts getting low. Not only is food imperative, staying hydrated is a must too. Identify where you will be able to get more water (TA's, clean streams or lakes). Estimate the time for each stage so your team know how much food and/or water to pack.
- Communication. It really is key! More often than not if someone has been a bit quiet for a while they are in the hurt locker. Keep the communication up and this can really help get this person out of there! Your race will run smoother when everyone is on the same page and who doesn't love a bit of banter?
- Pacing. Knowing not only your pace but the pace that your teammates, and your team as a unit can travel at, is really important for not blowing up during the race. It's great to push the pace (and necessary when you want to be competitive) but pushing the pace too hard for too long can be detrimental. Conversely there's also risk in being too conservative, no one likes to be too slow! Talking about your pacing strategy before and during the race is essential to having a good race.
- Navigation. Take the time to plan your route well. Identify "catching" features on the map that will let you know if you have gone too far. These are more obvious landmarks that can recognised easily. "Handrail" features are also handy to give you confidence that you are where you think you, such features will let you know that you are on the right track and approaching a CP. These features can be shelter belts, fence lines, prominent trees... Don't be afraid to add notes on the map either!
- Have you found yourself lost? It happens to the best of us... The only way forward is to keep moving. Agree with your team on a course of action and go for it! Stopping to check the map all the time is only going to slow you down so the key is to keep moving until something changes.
- Have good gear. The last thing you want when you're out on course is a gear failure from something you could have prevented in the week leading up to the race. Have your bikes checked, your kayaks all set up properly and make sure you're using the right kit for the type of race you are doing. Get ion to Further Faster if you want the best of the best!