The es­sen­tial facts about a sport that stim­u­lates you phys­i­cally and men­tally

Men's Fitness - - Injury -

Ad­ven­ture rac­ing hits the fit­ness sweet spot. It strikes a per­fect bal­ance be­tween the in­di­vid­ual chal­lenge of a marathon, the va­ri­ety of a triathlon and the strate­gic col­lab­o­ra­tive skill re­quired in team sports. Ad­ven­ture races can span a few hours or a few days, cover sev­eral kilo­me­tres or an en­tire coast­line and chal­lenge you to keep your men­tal fo­cus through­out.

These mul­ti­dis­ci­pline events, which typ­i­cally in­clude off-road run­ning, moun­tain bik­ing and kayak­ing sec­tions, test your ori­en­teer­ing skills to nav­i­gate be­tween a se­ries of check­points or sim­ply get from A to B in the fastest time pos­si­ble. Welsh po­lar ex­plorer Maria Lei­jer­stam, the first per­son to reach the South Pole by cy­cle and or­gan­iser of the Burn Se­ries of races in the UK, re­veals the se­crets you need for ad­ven­ture race suc­cess.



‘Kayak­ing re­lies on a strong core, back and shoul­ders. To gen­er­ate full-body, func­tional power, co­mobine dy­namic and iso­met­ric core moves. Do three min­utes of sit-ups, aim­ing to do as many as pos­si­ble, then fin­ish with a plank to fail­ure.’


‘En­durance and ef­fi­ciency are vi­tal, es­pe­cially for the bike. Use a Wat­tbike in train­ing be­cause you’ll learn to use your ham­strings (on the up-pedal) as much as your quads (down-pedal). For en­durance, I do wall squats, aim­ing for two-minute holds with a minute of rest as many times as I can.’


‘Tac­ti­cally, it’s bet­ter to get out in front and then pace your­self than to start slowly and try to catch up. To help me sprint to the front I do a mix of en­durance and in­ter­val train­ing. I do weekly 20km runs, in­ter­spersed with short 50-100m sprints. Run­ning off-road strength­ens ev­ery joint, lig­a­ment and mus­cle in your legs, help­ing pre­vent in­jury.’


‘Whether it’s a multi-stage event or a short race with quick tran­si­tions, you can’t af­ford to lose any time rest­ing and re­cov­er­ing. To stay hy­drated and keep my salts up I rely on salt and vine­gar crisps and salted liquorice. If camp­ing is in­volved, freeze-dried meals are es­sen­tial. To aid re­cov­ery in your leg mus­cles be­tween stages, sleep with your legs el­e­vated.’

For de­tails of Burn Se­ries ad­ven­ture races around the UK visit

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