Adventure Race Training Plan: Step One

Frothing to put together your adventure racing calendar for the year? Or maybe you've never entered an adventure race and you're dying to sign up for your first.

Either way, don't wait 'til the month of your race to start executing your adventure race training plan—best to begin six months in advance. No matter how fit you think you may be, the multi-sport, multi-terrain nature of an adventure race can take anyone by surprise and it's best to be prepared.

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Training for an adventure race entails several stages, though: base, build, peak then race. Structuring your training plan accordingly can be easy to plan, even if you have several races in mind.

And before launching into the later stages of training, it's important to remember how important base training is for your body and for laying the groundwork for an entire season of fitness.

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Plus, base training can help in preventing injuries and provide a foundation that the rest of your season can build on. If you run out and start doing hill-repeats and sprints with no foundation, because you're pumped up, you'll risk injuring your body. In addition, if you only do short, high-intensity workouts and take a couple weeks off for an injury, you'll lose your fitness and gains.

But if you establish a strong base and foundation, your "base" fitness will help you maintain your gains, even when you have to take time off for something.

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How Much?

Workouts during your base phase will depend on your goals and available time.

If you're a beginner and just want to have fun in a race with a decent showing, you need to put in at least three training days a week. An intermediate to advanced competitive athlete should put in four to six days a week. A racer that is going for the podium should put in six to seven days a week.

It's best to spread out workouts as much as possible and put in a couple days during the work week and a day or two of training on the weekend—give your body parts a rest so they can recover for the next workout. Remember, each person is different and your body may respond differently than others—so listen to your body and if you're training too frequently, you should adjust your workout times to challenge but not hurt you.

More: Offseason Training