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Discussion: Tackling a 24hr AR

in: Adventure Racing; General

Mar 1, 2018 4:54 PM # 
I’ve done long endurance events such as a Goruck HTL which takes up an entire weekend, but those are not races. I’ve done one 10 hr AR which was non stop work for the entire event. My question is what is the approach to the 24hr event? All out for 24hr? Built in breaks/sleep? Steady wins the race or all out pushing it for entire race?
Any help or examples of how you go about your longer races would be much appreciated!
Mar 1, 2018 6:00 PM # 
No sleep... caffeine :)

I think you'll find that it's pretty rare for teams to sleep during a 24-hour race. It's really not until over 48-hr events that sleep happens. As far as pace goes, a lot has to do with your overall fitness going into the event and comfort with pushing yourself for extended periods. Many teams will push hard for the full race, but personally it took me a couple of 24+ experiences to feel comfortable doing that. What you will probably discover is that you can push harder/longer than you originally thought, especially with changes in discipline. That said, I suggest going into your first 24 hr race with a plan to move steady and with accuracy, which you will already find quite challenging since night-nav is a whole new thing, and then you can push harder/faster in future races.
Mar 1, 2018 11:44 PM # 
GoRuck Heavy, and arguably GoRuck 12hr Challenge, is harder than any 24hr adventure race you'll do unless there is crazy 110 heat and no water involved or something.

The similarities are many. You're only as strong as your weakest link, and you want to communicate with teammates (log-mates!) nonstop about navigation and objectives.

Just like a GoRuck Challenge, it pays to be a winner. Focus on navigation. Poor navigation and you will pay the man (not finish or be forced to short-course or even worse miss a CP).

You won't be carrying the mandatory 40lbs in your pack which is nice :)

If you already did a 10hr adventure race and GoRuck Heavy Tough Light, you don't have anything physical to "worry about". No adventure race will be that brutal, not these days... If the race is coming up soon, beyond the run bike paddle training I would focus on/practice skills, fast organized transitions, towing systems, equipment is bomber, fuel/hydration plan and most of all -always- navigation.
Mar 1, 2018 11:48 PM # 
For any adventure racers reading who have not done a GoRuck Challenge (12hr) or Heavy (24hrs), or Heavy-Challenge-Light (all three!? nonstop) trust me they are very very hard. And mental weaknesses are exposed even more than physical...

Yes 60yo 100lb women can do it, but you carry as much weight as you are able and contribute to the Team according to your ability and will. You'll see some super strong dudes fold while the older women are carrying their logs, laughing. HIGHLY HIGHLY recommended for any athletes of all abilities.
Mar 2, 2018 6:33 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
I was concerned about my first 24 hour race, having done max 10 hrs prior. At that 10 hr race, I overheard someone say, "These short races are awful, you have to go fast the whole time, I like 24s better." I thought they were nuts, but now feel the same way. You can catch your breath, fix a flat or a's not necessarily going to kill you in the rankings. Very refreshing.

Personally, I don't like to start much faster than I think I can finish, which usually puts us in the bottom 10% five minutes in, and then we whittle ourselves up to a satisfactory-for-us-given-lifestyle-and-M&M-aisle-choices finishing position. If you are fitter or have loftier ambitions, adjust to suit.

Nothing will be faster than navigating well. Try to incorporate that into your training as much as anything. Hike/run with a map, bike with a map, paddle with a map, sleep with a map...
Mar 4, 2018 12:25 AM # 
Navigation is on the top of my list, thanks for the insight!

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