Six adventure racing tips from absolute pros

Three of Britain’s leading adventure racers reveal their beat ’em-all tricks 

1. Learn to navigate

Photos | Andy McCandlish

Photo | Andy McCandlish

“Navigation is key on a proper adventure race.” says Haglöfs Silva UK captain Bruce Duncan. “It doesn’t matter how good you are at mountain biking , running or kayaking, you need to go in the right direction! There are plenty of places to learn, and loads of friendly orienteering clubs who will help you out.”

2. Eat right

Adventure racing teamwork

Photo | Andy McCandlish

Good nutrition is a must, reveals Team Adidas TERREX Prunesco’s Sally Ozanne. “On longer races being able to eat real food is a big advantage. Too many gels and energy drinks can cause stomach upset so mix it up with sandwiches, rice pudding, dried fruit and nuts. Experiment with different foods and see what works best for you.”

3. Train wisely


Photo | Andy McCandlish

Tom Owens from the Salomon Trail Running team says: “Train with clubs wherever possible, whether it be your local running group, or kayak club. It will make multi-sport training much more enjoyable if you can learn and share your training with others.”

4. Look after yourself

adventure race runner

Photo | Valerie O’Sullivan

On an adventure race you need sort any issues sooner rather than later, says Sally Ozanne. “The smallest blister can turn into losing the entire sole of your foot (I’ve actually seen this happen!). It’s often not about moving the fastest but being most efficient over the terrain and in transitions.”

5. Know your equipment

adventure racing

Photo | Andy McCandlish

There’s no room for “all the gear, no idea” according to Tom. “Familiarise yourself and practice with all your equipment including bikes, kayaks, head torches, rucksacks, hydration systems, tents etc. Best to be comfortable with them rather than having to try new things during a race for the first time”

6. Be friendly

adventure race

“Adventure racing is almost always done in mixed teams of three or four people. Find some mates, go out, have some fun and try doing something a bit different to your normal trail run or bike ride.” recommends Bruce.