There's a lot of garbage on the internet with headlines like this one . . . click bait.  Not wanting to be left out, we took a run at a fun piece of click bait to call our own -- but this is legitimate advice, just presenting in this internet list format that makes it look more like junk Wink

All Terrain Humans (and Moose) at Untamed New England

Without further ado, given that it's October 2017, here are our 4 ways to undermine your preparation for Untamed New England with the race 9 months in the future:

  1. 1) Wait to really start thinking about the race until 2018 rolls around.
    • This is a classic oversight.  With 3 months left in 2017, there's plenty of time to build fitness base, learn something about bike mechanics, practice more map & compass skills, validate your gear works in cold or wet conditions, the list goes on.  Consider Fall 2017 a gift you've given yourself: the gift of time.  It's an opportunity you should make the most of, and next July you'll be glad you didn't discard the final 25% of 2017


  1. 2) Keep silent about your race intentions
    • This is another classic mistake.  Studies show how valuable it can be to share your goals and intentions with others in an event like this.  Your family and friends can better support you if they know you're prioritizing this big event in July 2018.  Maybe your goal is to finish the race as a team on the Full Course, or to finish ranked in the Top 20, or to make it to work the following Monday without needing a wheelchair . . . post these goals on a bulletin board for all to see, and tell your social network what you've got going on.  That can be a fabric to support you when you're tired, not motivated to train, or even on the actual race course.
    • Selfishly speaking, publicity for the race is in short supply, so consider sharing your story with a local news outlet, or running club, or gym (and if you want some materials to share there like postcards or a poster, let us know we may be able to send you some stuff).


  1. 3) If you're not the "map person" on your team, don't worry about navigation skills
    • I think this is tempting for the non-navigators out there, but Untamed New England is a long race where fatigue or other circumstances can often make the "lone navigator" approach an untenable one at some point.  There is the orienteering relay on the race course, an Untamed New England mainstay, so brushing up with some orienteering practice is already a good idea.  But why stop there?  A team where each member can contribute to the navigation, in a pinch, is going to be much better off as 4 heads can often be better than 1. 
    • Developing those navigation skills can be as simple as bringing a printed topo map with you on your next bike ride, paddle, hike, or trail run.  Track your progress so that, if you stopped moving at any point, you'd have a good idea for where you're located on the map.  It's cool to realize what details you may be taking for granted all around you, and come race time you're certainly going to notice those subtle hills, ridges, or other features if you've been training with a map all this time.


  1. 4) Focus on pure cardiovascular fitness
    • This is a common point of advice we give newer participants in Untamed New England.  Cardio fitness is important, certainly, but be sure to mix in some all terrain human sessions to develop a more complete set of adventure skills.  This means getting out when it's rainy or dark, not skipping a workout just because you forgot your "good" backpack or shoes or whatever.  Mud . . . bushwhacking . . . crazy winds . . . the variety of the real world is what you should be looking to capitalize on here, so at least once per week skip the exercise bike at the gym or the perfectly flat asphalt run and deal with some imperfect circumstances as you prep for the race.
    • Adventure racing can be an exercise in ingenuity and perseverance, so don't neglect the muscles behind most ingenuity and perseverance: your brain.  The more accustomed you are with overcoming adversity in your routine exercise or training for the event, the better you'll be in the race when things always get hairy for one reason or another.  Always.
    • Just one final anecdote on this point, from a training bike ride our team did a few years ago.  We were part way through a 20 mile technical bike ride when the eggbeater pedal snapped off from one of our teammates' bikes; it was a stress break, and there was no way to repair that pedal out on the trail.  Instead of that rider walking out solo or canceling the ride, we decided it was all terrain human time and so we took turns pedaling the bike with a single pedal for a good 10 miles or more.  It was a great exercise in teamwork, and we learned how to quickly adjust the bike to fit different sized riders and to communicate about this unfortunate adversity.  That adversity was a great bonding experience, though, and it turned a routine bike outing into a special opportunity to learn more about ourselves and how we might tackle a problem in a real race.

That's it for now.  Four great ways to undermine your prep for Untamed New England.


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