You’ve got all your ducks in a row.
Team goals and expectations are sussed, training dates locked in and you’re raring to go. Now for the real meat and potatoes – it’s time to get stuck into training for Spring Challenge. The best place to start is to take a look at the training programme for your event on the Spring Challenge website - South Island version and the North Island version.
Use it as a guide for how much time you can expect to be putting in to training overall each week. Don’t get too hung up on the exact day and activity, just get out there and work up a sweat.The programmes start in June but you can get a head start and get going now. Maybe scout around for some local training routes that you can use regularly throughout the winter months. Have a go at what’s in the plan for June, and see how you can work it in with your schedule.
The idea over the next couple of months is to build up or maintain a base fitness level, and to figure out what it takes for you to be just generally active. It might seem like winter is only good for hibernating but there are still plenty of options – tramping, skiing, swimming, spin class, Zumba (is that still a thing?), yoga, roller derby, boxing, tag with the kids.
Whatever you find the most fun – do that!
But – always a but – make sure you do some event specific training too. Unfortunately this type of fitness doesn’t just magically happen or appear overnight – you’ll need to put some work in. Whenever you can, practise carrying the amount of gear you’ll need on race day. You might be surprised how different your pack feels with the additional weight of extra thermals and a day’s worth of snacks.
Adventure Mountain Bike Rides
Roughly 1-4 hours depending on which event you’re competing in. Make sure your bum is happy for these longer rides and that your backpack is comfortable. Gravel roads, farm tracks and 4WD routes are normally good places to train. Singletrack riding is also a great option to practise your technical skills – cornering, riding over rocks and tree roots, etc but these tracks are often closed in winter to avoid damage to the tracks.
Hiking in the Hills
From what I’ve read in the Spring Challenge newsletter it sounds like there will be some decent hills included in this years South course. So if that worries you a bit just spend some time walking in the hills so your body is well prepared for it on the day. And if you pick the weather right you will be rewarded with some stunning views!
Keep an eye out for rogaines, and mountain bike and running races. I find that entering these helps with motivation along the way – the end of September always seems so far away – and the events themselves are fun, fast and good for fitness.
Take a peek at Make it Dirt on Facebook and Instagram where I’ll be adding more and more visual inspiration from my own adventures. Feel free to post your own photos and use #makeitdirt to spread the adventure vibes.