The Wightlink Challenge – event preparation

In a few weeks we are due to participate in the Wightlink Challange, a triathlon type event consisting of mountain biking, kayaking and trail running as a team of 3.  Sounds tough?  Well it is, but it’s much easier with the right preparation.

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So how do you train for such an event?

Most events like this are based on endurance, involving the body’s ability to work for long periods.  Training for any event is obviously specific to the distance and type of activity.  In this case initially we need the basics – to be able to complete an 18 mile ride, a 2 mile kayak and an 8 mile run.  Typically you would train these separately on different days.

That’s the easy bit.   Sometimes this is all someone has time for as they may need a number of months to build up to those distances.  It just takes some time.

How to improve performance..

Here’s the fun part.  Simply doing those disciplines and distance over and over is limited (and tiring).  Once the endurance is there it’s often more effective to improve efficiency, strength and speed.

Take the run.  Instead of running regular 8 miles it pays dividends to run 4 x 1 mile at a quicker pace.  This improves strength and speed training the body to run quicker.  4 miles is plenty at this intensity and definitely time well spent.

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A typical training schedule..

Monday –  Easy 20 mile ride

Tuesday – 4 x 1 mile runs

Wednesday – off

Thursday – Rowing machine and circuit training

Friday – Combined 3 mile run and 10 mile ride (90% tough pace)

Saturday – easy 8 mile run

Sunday – eat and sleep!

Looking at this schedule simplifies things and hopefully illustrates where the smart training is as well as the race distance.  This could be applied to most events and sports.  The event intensity and duration is important but often gains are (once again) made through doing less with emphasis on quality.

Having seen how hard we are working here’s the plea for sponsorship – anything you can is great!