|By Marc Laithwaite|
Training for an adventure race is pretty arduous. You spend hours in the saddle, in the kayak and on your feet hoping for better performances and sometimes you are fortunate enough to knock a few minutes off the previous year's time. How would you react if I told you that I could knock a chunk of time off this year's performances without any extra training and without a trip to the pharmacist!
The easiest way to boost your performance is to do your pre-race research and organise yourself well in advance. This may not seem like rocket science but a very small percentage of people actually follow this simple rule.
Have you ever found yourself arriving late at a venue because you didn't have the right directions? How about staying up until 1.00am the night before to sort out your mountain bike? These things happen all the time and we laugh about them to some extent, but having spent those painful hours in saddle, kayak or on foot, such lack of preparation is no laughing matter!
Step1: Travel and Pre-race Preparation
There are several key questions which need answers and these questions should be asked weeks, if not months before your event.
1. What equipment will you need for the event? Get everything together well in advance and don't leave it until the last minute.
2. Does everything work properly? Get your bike serviced 2 weeks in advance and check that everything else is functioning.
3. Can you cut the weight of your kit? Don't carry excess which will slow you down.
4. Don't try anything new – new paddles and trainers can cause injury or blisters, new packs may be uncomfortable. Think well ahead and try new equipment (more than once) several weeks beforehand.
5. Where is it? Find out the exact details and get clear directions.
6. How long will it take to get there? Don't arrive late, pack your stuff and leave at a time which allows you to set up camp before it gets too dark.
7. What will be there? What do you need to take with you – can you buy spares when you get to the event?
8. When can you register? Don't leave registration to the last minute, get the task done and find out any last minute changes.
9. Have you got all the event details? Print everything from the website and bring it with you, read it well in advance to ensure that you have everything you need.
Arrive at the event in plenty of time, register early and relax knowing that all your equipment is prepared and functioning correctly. Nervous energy is wasted worrying and thinking about what you have not done beforehand and this commonly leads to broken sleep.