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Training Tips (4)

Updated November 23, 2003
 
 

Training for the event...

 

Training for the Event means incorporating into your training all the little details that will be unique to the day of the race. Think of every possible item that will be different on race-day, and make that item part of your regular experience -- at least in the final 6 weeks of training. The most obvious example is your skates: if you try to do the Défi on brand-new skates you're in for a world of hurt. Here are some other things that are equally important:
 

 Training for the event -- How will you be hydrating 

How will you be hydrating?  If you've bought yourself a Camelbak, don't "save it" for the race. Use it whenever you skate for an hour or more, so that you get used to drinking from it on the go. You'll also want to get used to refilling it in the middle of a Long Skate. If you plan on drinking from a water bottle in a hip carrier, or from one you'll carry in a backpack, use the same system in your training. Otherwise, you'll find it hard to skate while drinking, you'll swallow air, and you may drink less than you should because it's inconvenient (big mistake).
 

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 Training for the event -- What will you be eating 

What will you be eating?  Eat the same stuff in training that you plan to eat on the Défi. This gives you a chance to make sure you like it, and that it agrees with your stomach during exercise. Products like Cytomax for example can cause stomach-cramps in some people, so don't plan to race on it if you haven't trained on it extensively. If you plan to eat gels or energy bars, taste-test a bunch to find the ones you like best. These things cost money, so you don't have to use them every time you skate; your weekly Long Skate is the ideal opportunity to incorporate your racing-snacks into regular training.
 

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 Training for the event -- What will you be carrying 

What will you be carrying?  Clothes, tools, food... if you plan on carrying a weighty backpack during the Défi, make sure you practise skating with the same amount of weight in that backpack. Otherwise you may get a surprise: the straps hurt after an hour, or your back isn't used to it. "No surprises", that's the key to success. (Along with my Camelback, I wear a fanny pack large enough to hold my wallet and keys, a skatetool, a couple of handiwipes, a bag of dates, and a bag of fig newtons. If I have a jacket it's the kind that can be folded into its own pocket and worn as a second fanny pack. I train with all that in the weeks before the Défi.)
 

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 Training for the event -- Know your weather 

Know your weather.  Pay attention to how you've been dressing in different weather conditions, particularly regarding temperature. At 5 a.m. on race day, the temperature outside your door can be extremely deceiving (too darn cold!). When you look at the forecast and see how warm or how cool it's going to be -- not just now but three hours later when you're warmed up -- you'll know how to dress properly.

If you're travelling to Canada from the U.S., make sure you can relate the Fahrenheit numbers you know so well to the Celsius ("centigrade") numbers you'll see on the Weather Channel here. (The conversion formula from C to F is: C * 9/5 + 32 = F. The formula to convert from F to C is: F - 32 * 5/9 = C.) A forecasted high of 17C looks frigid indeed when you're conditioned to Fahrenheit, but it's actually quite balmy (62.6F).
 

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Training for the Course Ü Þ Equipment
 
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