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Off-Road Triathlon: Pro Tips And Advice

  • By Paul Moore
  • Published August 24, 2010

Off road triathlon is one of those things that a lot of us talk about doing, but not many of us actually et around to doing it. But as we head towards Autumn and Winter, maybe now is the right time to start thinking about training for – and racing – off road.

But how should you prepare for an off road race and what advice would the pros give for any off road newbies? We thought we’d find out:

Pro Tips For Off-Road Triathlon
“Xterra racing has a tinge of adventure that makes it unlike its more predictable road triathlon sibling. The feel of an Xterra transition area before and after a race is just as different; there’s far more a surfer’s vibe.” Dan Hugo.

“Get in, swim around, get used to the tightness [the cold water temperature] causes in your chest and get that ice cream headache during the warm-up. Once I get one, I never get a second one.” Julie Dibens.

“In Xterra racing, you’ll have much higher spikes in heart rate intensity depending on the terrain. There will be places on the course to recover, so don’t panic and push yourself past the red line. If you get stuck in a single-track bike line, be patient and put the energy somewhere else on the course.” Joshua Middaugh.

“Most Xterra pros and racers in general are very friendly and approachable, so don’t be afraid to ask questions and gather all the information and advice you can for a particular race course. Otherwise, just go for it and you’ll discover how much fun it is.” Danelle Kabush.

“Try out new stuff during base training, but don’t experiment within two weeks of a big race. Whether it’s tyres, shoes, bike set-up or nutrition, get it all sorted two weeks ahead of time.” Conrad Stoltz.

Three Tips For Off-Road Success
Off-road racing is serious business when it comes to being prepared. His three tips for making a successful transition to the off-road world:
1. Mountain bike with mountain bikers whenever possible. Ride behind a technically advanced rider and note the lines he takes. Learn about tyre pressure, play with your suspension and be prepared for a few spills.

2. Trail run whenever possible. It will strengthen your ankles and the stability muscles and improve coordination on tricky footing sections. Trail running is different, and many courses have gradients too steep for the best of runners. Different strength and conditioning is needed, so train as race specifically as is practical.

3. Do a few runs off the mountain bike, perhaps off a longer ride. Your back position is different than in a road tri, and it’s incredible how much one’s body can adapt. It just needs to experience the stimulus a few times.

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Paul Moore

Paul Moore

Paul Moore is the Online Editor for Triathlete Europe. When not glued to a computer he can be found writing books - most recently Ultra Performance: The Psychology of Endurance Sports and The World's Toughest Endurance Challenges. Both are available on Amazon. Paul has also written Ultimate Triathlon: A complete training guide for long-distance triathletes which is also available on Amazon.