Adventure Racing Resources
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General

What is adventure racing? (video answer)


Adventure racing (also called expedition racing) is typically a multi-disciplinary team sport involving navigation over an unmarked wilderness course with races extending anywhere from two hours up to two weeks in length. (What Is Adventure Racing Video) Some races offer solo competition as well. The principle disciplines in adventure racing include trekking, mountain biking, and paddling although races can incorporate a multitude of other disciplines including climbing, abseiling, horse riding, skiing and white water rafting. Teams generally vary in gender mix and in size from two to five competitors, however the premier format is considered to be mixed gender teams of four racers. There is typically no suspension of the clock during races, irrespective of length; elapsed competition time runs concurrently with real time, and competitors must choose if or when to rest. (from Wikipedia) Here's are two videos that do a great job of explaining adventure racing: What is AR? AR 101




Where can I find motivation AR training and racing? (video)


One of the most difficult parts in training for and participating in longer adventure races is maintaining motiviation. Here's a great motivational video to help out.




What are some online resources about adventure racing?


There are a lot of facebook groups, message boards that are very active with AR related information. Here are a few:

Adventure Race FB Discussion Group - Very active
AR Cooperative FB Page - Up and coming
Attack Point AR Web Page - in-depth analysis by some hard core racers




Where can I find a calendar of adventure racing events?


Events are listed on a few different places online. Here are a few popular AR calendars. AR Hub - Probably the most comprehensive list of US races USARA - Only includes USARA sanctioned races AR World Series - Expedition events part of the AR world Series Attack Point AR - All kinds of endurance races + orienteering events




How/where can I find a team to race with?


There are a lot of different resources online to find a team, but also recruiting your friends and family is a great way to start. If you are a member of a gym, bike, club, running club etc, see if you can convince someone to come out and join you for an adventure race. If you have a particular race in mind, reach out to the race director and see if they have teams that need members or post to the event's FB event if they have one. If you are already on the scene and want to find a team to join or are looking for members to fill out your roster, the AR Team Mate Finder Facebook group is a great palce to look.





Mountain Biking

What the best way to build/disassemble your bike during a race?


In progress... Building a bike video - Shane




Where can I find a box box to use for ARWS races?


In progressd...find pics (MarkL) and plans (JasonM)




Should I be using clipless pedals or flats for AR?


It depends on a number of factors. Some of them are what you’re comfortable with, the course design, the length of the race, and number of TA’s involving the bike. Here’s one racer’s opinion.




Which is better: tubes or tubeless tires?


Is it worth changing to a tubeless setup? REI’s expert advice weighs in.




I see a lot of racers with map boards on their bikes. Where can I get one?


I’d recommend either purchasing one of the major brands like AutoPilot or Nordenmark or building your own to try one out. Here are some DIY instructions.




What is the preferred bike for AR: full suspension or hard tail?


Here is a great thread on that exact topics. It also touches on tire size and tubeless setups.




How can I make a bicycle towing system?


Here are some step-by-step instructions for making a couple of different bicycle towing systems.




How do I ride through loose flattish corners?


Here's a great 15 minute instructional video on body position while riding your mountain bike through flat corners. It'll make you feel safer and quicker through corners when mtn biking. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spbl1WvzlMY





Sleep/TAs

What are some common sleep strategies?


Sleep Strategies

Everyone is different, Some people require more sleep and some can go with a lot less. But consider you are racing as a team and need to be flexible with your sleep strategy. Often times it is better to sleep when the entire team is tired vs a pre-planned spot. Your tiredness level will ebb an flow depending on the time of day and the situation you are in. People often postpone sleep or the urge to sleep by taking supplements that include caffeine.

Typical sleep strategies for different length of races

Sub 40 hours of racing:
1. No sleep.
2. Sleep 15 minutes 2-3 times as needed.

40-72 hours of racing: 1. Sleep 30 minutes to 2 hours the second night.
2. Sleep 15-30 minutes 2-3 times as needed.

72+ hours of racing:
1. Sleep 2hrs each night starting on the second night. 15min naps as needed
2. Sleep 4hrs the second night and 2hrs the remaining nights. 15min naps as needed

It is typical for teams to take 15 min naps along the race if team members judgment starts to deteriorate.

Where to Sleep
The main thing to focus on considering places to sleep is how restful your sleep will be. Sleeping in a TA might allow you to sleep in a warm tent or sleeping bag with ample supplies around but it can also be noisy and distracting. This can also greatly slow down your transition times.

Sleeping on the trail allows you to sleep when it is needed by the team. However, it can easily become cold and restless.

Sleeping for 2 hours so you can wake up with the sun in a great way to trick your body into thinking you had a full night of sleep but beware this is often the coldest part of the night which can detract from a restful sleep.





Trekking

Trekking speeds: roads, trails, bushwhacking


Info goes here





Paddling

Where does the middle person sit in a two-seat canoe?


While not specifically geared toward adventure racers, this article offers several great options for the person stuck in the middle of the canoe. Another easy option, not listed here: an upside-down milk crate, ideally latched to the boat with bungees for added stability.




How can I get my bike into a canoe for transport while paddling in a race?


Here's a short article on how to do it.





Navigation

Where should I put my checkpoints? (for RDs)


Setting checkpoints requires more than just hanging an orienteering bag in the forest. Here's a guide.




How can I improve my navigation?


1) Compete solo in some rogaines. There's a calendar of 6+ hour rogaines in the US/Canada maintained by Mark Lattanzi. 2) Join your nearby orienteering club and go to meets. OUSA has a list of all the clubs around the USA. 3) Buy (and read) Squiggly Lines.




Where can I get a compass?


Need a fast setting, stable AR compass? Moscow compasses are the best in the world. Members get 10% off at tanZNavigation.org.





Other/Misc

How should I organize my AR team roles? (research article)


A research article on AR team effectiveness.




What are some good tips for doing an expedition adventure race?


Mark Lattanzi has a collection of tips about doing expedition ARs.




How do I get into adventure racing?


Robyn Benincasa wrote a web article called Adventure Racing 101.




How do I handle blisters on my feet?


John Vonhof has written the bible on keeping your feet healthy. His book is called Fixing Your Feet. He also maintains a blog. 361 adventures put out a good video as well.




What's a good backpack for adventure racing?


There are numerous packs out there that work well for adventure racing and what racers like, is really a matter of preference and fit. One of the more popular packs and designed specifically for AR is the OutThereUsa pack by Mike Kloser. Outthere designs packs for all lengths of races from shorter to longer expeditions. The packs are designed with AR in mind so there are a lot of great features on the pack such as extra pockets, clips, bladder hole, and straps for gear. However, they are a bit on the heavy side. There are also some good AR packs made by Osprey, OMM, Macpac, and Salomon.




What is the history behind adventure racing?


The Adventure Racing Euro series has a nice writeup on the history of adventure racing. Wikipedia also has a good article on the history of adventure racing,.




What do I need to know about racing in higher elevations - above 8,000 feet?


Some people experience altitude sickness when in higher elevations even when they are in good physical shape. Altitude sickness could include headache, nausea, sleepiness, and flu-like symptoms. Undoubtedly, when you begin to climb higher, you will feel as though your legs are heavier and your breath will become more labored. To deal with these moments better, slow down, take more breaks, stay hydrated, and try to eat food to keep up your strength. If you begin to feel poorly, determine the best route to descend at least 1,000 feet if not more. You may start to feel better as you reach lower elevations. If you are in the middle of a race and are not ready to quit, look for the routes that keep you at lower elevations. This may mean skipping checkpoints, but staying healthy and safe for the next adventure race is more important. See wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altitude_sickness




What type of food should I pack for training/racing?


It is recommended that you bring "real" food rather than bars and gels for longer races. Real food could include cheese, eggs, burritos, chips, sandwiches, ravioli, and cookies. Foods with complex carbohydrates, protein, and fat are best. Sugars are fine for quick pick-me-ups, but will not be good for sustained energy. Make sure you bring a variety of foods to feed yourself during those tough times when your appetite is suppressed due to fatigue and not much sounds good to eat. Check out this blog on good hiking foods: http://www.wildlandtrekking.com/blog/best-foods-to-eat-while-hiking/




What should I pack in my gear bin?


There may be a mandatory gear list per discipline, make sure you have room in your bin for those items as you switch from discipline to discipline. Most likely, you will have your extra food in the bin as well. Often bagging your food in 12-hour bags or per leg bags is a useful way to quickly transition without needing to sort through your food each time. Other items you may want to pack in your bin are additional layers of clothes (such as gloves, hats, socks),sunscreen, sunglasses, bivvy sack, chemical hand/feet warmers, extra straps or bungies, medication (like allergy and heartburn medicine), trekking poles, extra pair of shoes, gaters, spare/extra items to repair broken bicycles, and toilet paper. Keep in mind, most race directors put a weight limit on the gear bins.





Training

What are some good ways to train for adventure races?


There are many opinions out there, and in the end it's important to find an approach that works for you. Your training will likely differ depending on the length of race you are training for (e.g., shorter, high intensity training for sprint-length races vs. longer, endurance training for expedition races).

Cy Sack of the Adventure Race Hub hosts a blog specifically oriented towards AR training with a data-driven approach to maximizing your physical fitness for AR.

Some adventure racers choose to work with coaches to really hone-in their fitness. Jen Segger and Sarah Goldman provide AR-focused coaching to athletes all over the world.




How do I find an AR training community?


Racers will find a supportive and motivational online community at Attackpoint AR. The discussion forum is a great place to find information about training and gear, while perusing the logs will give you a good idea about what other racers are doing to prepare for races of various lengths. Posting your own workouts will help keep you accountable and boost motivation!

Other options include reaching out to racers in your local community, such as by meeting people at races. Trail running clubs, mountain biking clubs, and paddling clubs may also provide helpful communities focused on improving specific disciplines.





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