Coaching for Journey: Insider Tips about Trekking, Biking in Journey Races

Journey racing is a real multisport pursuit that requires a large skillset of out of doors disciplines. On this article, we take a look at ideas and strategies from the USARA for the 2 commonest disciplines within the sport: biking and trekking.

Introduced by

Editor’s notice: This text was initially revealed on and has been modified for GearJunkie.

Every journey race is completely different and might embody disciplines together with paddling, operating, street and mountain biking, and climbing. They often even embody esoteric “bonus” actions like caving or group challenges the place you’re examined bodily or mentally on the spot.

When you study to navigate, arguably, the 2 most necessary disciplines are primarily based on foot (trekking, path operating, bushwhacking) and bike (street, path, or singletrack). Runners must be ready to depart paths altogether and head overland, typically bushwhacking throughout technical terrain. Bikers must be snug driving all types of roads and trails.

Right here, we provide some context and some ideas as you put together to coach for the foot and bike sections of ARs to come back.

Adventure racers running through some wooded trails.
(Photograph/Randy Ericksen)

Time to Trek!

Environment friendly foot journey in journey racing is extraordinarily necessary, and we imagine folks generally take this “talent” as a right, particularly in longer occasions. How arduous can operating, jogging, and even strolling be?

Anybody who has participated in a multiday race is aware of that extra skilled, environment friendly, and expert groups can open up large leads on a foot part. Having the ability to transfer effectively by way of technical terrain requires each talent and artwork. And simply piling up the miles on a treadmill or your native trails received’t essentially translate to an journey racing course.


What must you do to higher put together for the distinctive challenges of journey racing foot journey?

First off, spend time in your toes. Toughen them up. In most journey races, your toes will get moist, and even when you don’t cowl large mileage, you’ll spend a good bit of the race in your toes. Be sure they’re prepared for it. Working, climbing, strolling — every thing counts. Bear in mind, although, that longer periods are necessary to assist your toes prepare.

See also  Stiff, Quick, Aero: Pinarello Grevil F Is a Pure Gravel Racing Steed

Whereas many journey racers practice by operating, ensure you combine in some climbing as properly; trekking is typically all of the terrain will permit for. We’ve seen loads of savvy groups end races efficiently with out ever shifting quicker than a gentle stroll.

Add a pack to your runs or hikes and apply carrying weight. Doing so will even enhance your leg and core power.

On that notice, attempt to squeeze in some core and higher physique power. Working quick on an area path is nice for pace, however AR isn’t a path race. It is advisable to carry weight, you received’t be shifting as quick, and also you want your core to be prepared for this additional work.

Distinctive Challenges of Journey Race Trekking

There are various obstacles in journey racing that aren’t current in most different sorts of races. Right here’s how you can navigate them.


Get your hills in. Until you’re racing within the flatlands, count on hills. Plenty of them. You don’t essentially must run the hills when getting ready; climbing them will do the trick as properly. And don’t neglect coaching for descents too. Giving your quads an excellent pounding on a coaching run can pay dividends on the racecourse by constructing power and holding off fatigue.


Being snug shifting rapidly overland will repay. Nobody must go practice in a thorn bush or a thicket of mountain laurel, however you’ll encounter these obstacles with frequency in journey races. And the extra snug you’re with off-trail journey, the extra environment friendly you and your teammates might be. Observe figuring out previous path beds or animal trails that permit for quicker journey when off established trails.


If you depart trails, you’re certain to search out rocks. Be ready for technical terrain. Discover a native boulder subject. Don’t draw back from rockier trails. Observe climbing and even operating on uneven terrain to assist enhance your dexterity, power, and pace.


Don’t forgo pace coaching, particularly if you’re specializing in dash races. However keep in mind that journey races are endurance occasions, and infrequently ultraendurance in nature. Be sure to get in some lengthy coaching periods on foot. Get in some additional hills and attempt to do a minimum of a few of your coaching off the pavement or treadmill.

See also  Climbing in Sandals Isn’t New, However the Chaco ‘Canyonland’ Sneaker Is

For these beginning out with beginner-friendly races, you possibly can count on roughly 5-10 miles of foot journey in a dash race and roughly 10-20 in a half-day race. The mileage will increase with 24-hour races and longer. However keep in mind that the mileage could also be damaged up into a number of phases.

You don’t must be educated to run a gentle marathon to complete an journey race, even a daylong one. When you can run 5-10 miles at a pop with out killing your self, you in all probability have sufficient of a base to a minimum of end beginner-friendly races. You may not be aggressive, and it would damage extra, however you possibly can end!

Adventure racer riding in the dark during a USARA Nationals race.
(Photograph/Randy Ericksen)

Get on the Bike

In journey racing, you will want to be ready for all kinds of driving. Even in a shorter race, you’ll possible encounter completely different flavors of biking.

Sure, the part could also be known as “mountain biking,” however AR driving can and does contain a ton of selection. There may be paved surfaces, grime roads, previous jeep tracks, and singletrack trails, together with easy, groomed trails and gnarly technical ones. Some races even have sections the place one merely desires about driving the bike they’re hauling on a shoulder, shoving from behind, or throwing right into a ditch. Briefly, be ready for something and every thing!

Coaching Issues

Most significantly, all biking counts. Highway driving, singletrack, indoor trainers — all of them do the trick in serving to you construct endurance on the bike. As is true for all AR disciplines, ensure you spend high quality time within the saddle. Construct up your sit bones and attempt to sneak in a protracted experience or two every week.


As with foot sections of ARs, get your hills in! Be sure to do some hill driving. Discover a steep hill, a protracted one, or each, and do some repeats!

Path Using

If you’re new to AR and mountain biking, build up your abilities on the paths will change your race expertise. You don’t must grasp bunny hops or get snug dropping off a brief cliff face. However you’ll need to have the ability to deal with the standard rocks and roots that you simply discover whereas path driving.

See also  Inaugural Loam and Gravel Society President Drops First Video: Get Stoked

From our expertise, driving quick, easy, flowing trails in an journey race is an exception. Extra typically, you’ll find stretches of the course that require an intermediate stage of consolation with rocks, roots, and elevation.

You don’t must experience it quick, but when you find yourself getting on and off your bike each couple of minutes, you received’t have a lot enjoyable. And you could have to skip different components of the course. It’s OK when you do, however getting snug on trails is likely to be the one smartest thing you are able to do for your self as you put together for biking in an journey race. You simply must make regular progress!

Pound the Pavement

Journey trails, however combine in some lengthy rides on pavement too. In daylong and multiday occasions, races typically embody lengthy stretches of street driving to attach extra fascinating components of the course or to navigate round non-public property.

Racers who’ve a small armada of bikes generally want this type of coaching on glossy street bikes. However we encourage you to experience no matter bike you can be utilizing on race day (possible not a glossy street bike).

Endurance, Terrain

When gearing up in your first race, contemplate {that a} dash race often contains roughly 15 miles of biking. A half-day occasion would possibly embody twice that quantity, perhaps a bit extra, and you may count on 50 miles or extra in a 24-hour occasion.

Terrain and course design are likely to correlate with distances. A course with vital quantities of street driving would possibly embody greater mileage on the bike, whereas these which can be extra rugged can have fewer miles however require extra grit.

Workforce Work Makes the Dream Work

Be a part of an area mountain biking membership or discover some associates who experience. Getting on the market with fellow mountain bikers, studying from them, and dealing in your skillset whereas attempting to maintain up is, maybe, the easiest way to study.

When you can take an area skill-building course from an teacher, nice. However simply getting out and practising with different riders goes a good distance. And it’s a helluva lot of enjoyable.

This text is sponsored by Toyota. Discover out extra in regards to the 2022 Toyota Tundra on-line.