Training and preparation for X-Adventure Dunsborough
For many people, the idea of doing an X-Adventure race is a bit extreme however with a little training and preparation... anyone can do it.
Rapid Ascent is all about encouraging people to get into adventure racing and keep fit whilst enjoying the great outdoors. That’s why we’ve compiled the below list of training tips, equipment advice, etc. .
If you have any additional links or local training groups to the below, please let us know and we'll post it on here! Email [email protected]
Train with the local clubs
If you're keen to do some training on the X-Adventure course we recommend the local Dunsborough Running Club and Dunsborough Cycling Club.
Local athlete Jessica Reynolds leads a couple of great "X-Adventure specific" trail running training sessions each week:
- Tuesdays: Trail sessions inc. hills and tempo runs.
- Fridays: beach running, technique and speed work
- Sundays: Long Run
Jess will also be running some kids sessions closer to the event.
For more details head to the Dunsborough Running Club Facebook page.
Train at the Dunsborough Country Club
The Dunsborough Country Club has a superb network of trails that is open and accessible at all times of the year and is obviously ideal for training on prior to race day.
It is also the home of the Dunsborough Cycle Club.
The Dunsborough MTB Skills Development Park is mostly single track, and includes jumps, berms, log rides, and other technical trail features using natural obstacles (e.g. rocks and logs) and engineered features such as ramps, bridges, log rides, and dirt jumps. There are A and B lines around more difficult obstacles, look out for the signs. Track surfaces include gravel areas, sandy areas, and clay. Don’t forget to appreciate the terrific views over the bay as you ride.
Click here to visit their website for more information or click here for a copy of their trail map.
Head to the Dunsborough Cycle Club - on Facebook, email the club - [email protected] or call (08) 9755 3250 for more information.
Trail running training
Compared to road running, trail running places different demands on your body compared to road running. Surprisingly, it can actually be less wearing on muscles and joints.
As with any form of running, cardio vascular training is important. You should be able to comfortably cover the distance you plan to race (given these are shorter races).
Importantly, if you’ve only ever run on road, shift at least some of your running to the trail. Get used to different trails, different environments. You’ll be surprised at how much more tiring it can be, as your body moves over the terrain with much more variance than road running.
Road runs are still good for keeping cardio fitness, but running trails will also adapt your rhythms. With road running, it is easy to get into a rhythm in terms of your cadence, your breathing and your mindset. While trail running, the pace and exertion levels change constantly, making it hard, initially, to find a rhythm. This makes some runners uncomfortable. There is a rhythm to be found in trail running, but it’s more about the natural rhythm of changing pace constantly and attuning to your environment.
You’ll use many more muscles overall when running trails. Your movements will be more varied as you constantly twist and turn, weaving between trees, stepping over roots and rocks, learning where and how to place your feet and shift your centre of gravity to remain upright while also maintaining pace.
You’ll also improve your reaction times and co-ordination as your responses get used to the constantly changing terrain.
Importantly it is important to build your base fitness. If you are starting from a low base, DO NOT go out there and suddenly put in marathon efforts. You will only end up injured and not able to run. Better to start off slowly.
To prepare for any race shorter than a 10km, plan a long run that lasts around 60 minutes. For a 10km or longer, work up to 90 minutes or more. Don't feel discouraged if you're running slower than you do on road; that's just the nature of trails. Obviously the more kilometres you get in your legs, the better – to a point. Overtraining can be more harmful than under training. Never up your total distance for a week by more than 10%.
Intro to mountain biking
So you ride up and down beach road most weekends and get around on a bike a fair bit - so why should you do this event? What does mountain biking have that road riding does not? Let me explain…!
There are a whole lot of things missing when you’re riding your mountain bike; like traffic and traffic lights, fumes and road rage, there’s no car doors to watch out for and there is no funny hand signals to indicate there’s a pot hole ahead of you because the only thing you can see is the guys arse in front of you – nope we don’t have any of that.
Mountain biking is all about a bunch of other things; it’s about the trail and the adventure it takes you on, the roll of the track and the flow of the turns.
Mountain biking is about getting away from town and into the beauties of the bush with a bit of mud and the odd snake thrown in! We’re still into café’s and riding with your mates – we all know there’s few things better than that, but we’re also about the toothy gins and woops of joy you get when you’re tearing down a roller coaster line of single track with the wind in your hair and the trees just centimetres from your handle bars… yeah baby – that’s when you feel alive!
It doesn’t take much to get into mountain biking, Perth has heaps of tracks both inside it and all around it. Your road riding fitness will take the worst of it away and you’ll be left with the joys of rolling through the bush with a grin from ear to ear.
How do you get into it?
Borrow a mate’s bike or pick up a demo bike from a shop and go for a spin along some of the trails around Kalamunda. There’s enough trails not too far from town to keep you riding for ages. There are also plenty of mountain biking clubs out there to help and give advise so feel welcome to just call into a bike shop and ask them where to ride – they’ll be only to happy to welcome you to the fold!
Bike hire, repairs and sales
If you need to hire a bike for the event, give your bike a tune or upgrade your ride, we recommend the Bike Shed Dunsborough:
T. 08 9759 1495