Training and Preparation

For many people, the idea of doing an off-road triathlon race is a bit extreme however with a little training and preparation… anyone can do it.

At Rapid Ascent we’re all about encouraging people to get into adventure racing and keep fit whilst enjoying the great outdoors. We’ve compiled a list of training tips, equipment advice, course recommendations and other information below.

If you have any additional links or local training groups to the below, please let us know and we’ll post it on here! Email [email protected] 

Free Training Plan From Triathlon Adventures Geelong

Kate Bramley from Triathlon Adventures Geelong has prepared a FREE training plan for all athletes participating in XTERRA Dunsborough. Kate Bramley is a Aus Triathlon professional athlete specialising in off road triathlon. Her business Triathlon Adventures Geelong helps athletes across Australia and overseas complete a variety of endurance sporting events including triathlon, off road triathlon and endurance running. Focus is on a personalised service to enable athletes to develop at their own rate with the support of group environment. 

Athletes will need to download Training Peaks app and create a free account to access the plans. Click on the links below to access the Training Plans and use the code XTERRAPARTICIPANT to receive 100 % off.

XERRA Workshop Session

Kate Bramley an elite XTERRA Athlete will be running a workshop at the Dunsborough Country Club on Thursday 18th April 3pm-4pm and Friday19th April 4:45pm-5:45pm for all competitors (kids and adults) where she will include a quick course recap, a ride recon including skill focus and athlete transition set up. The session will include the following: Practice T1, Short bike, T2, Short run. Q+A at the End. Please bring your cap and goggles for extra fun, as well as your bike and running shoes to get the full experience and to fully prepare yourself for race day.

ZAP Fitness Australia

Zap Fitness are one of our Prize Sponsors and will be at the event expo around the registration tent, please feel free to engage with them about their fitness clubs which they have Australia-wide. Please see more information below

At Zap Fitness, we’re committed to motivating more movement for Australians. Starting as a humble club in Tasmania, Zap Fitness has since expanded across the country into Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland with over 85 clubs nationally.

Zap Fitness membership includes:

  • Convenient 24/7 access to all Zap Fitness clubs
  • Over 85 clubs Australia-wide
  • Supportive Personal Trainers and fitness experts
  • Dedicated customer service team

In a bid to motivate more Australians to prioritize the importance of regular movement, Zap Fitness offers a range of convenient training solutions including 24/7 access, personal training and affordable membership options.

Our team of passionate health and fitness professionals are always on hand to help ensure you feel comfortable, confident and committed to your health and fitness goals, every time you visit the gym.

Facebook Network

Connect with other participants of the via the  WA Adventure page on Facebook. The page will play host to all adventure-style events run by Rapid Ascent which are based in Western Australia, such as XTERRA and our adventure races.

All are welcome to post stories, images and fanfare – it’s a place to connect!

Train with the local clubs and groups

There are more and more (trail) running, mountain bike and triathlon groups out there, all of whom are very welcoming of new people. Listed below are a few of the more active WA groups.

Wild Ones Adventure trail runs

Designed with inclusivity in mind, Wild Ones Adventure is a community of outdoor-adventure seekers that love to support and encourage each other. Whether you’re a newbie to the sport, or a trail-running junkie, Wild Ones cater for all levels of fitness. Covering some of the most beautiful trails and beaches around Perth, you’ll get a chance to build your confidence and endurance on all kinds of terrain. You can even join them on niche weekenders and social events, where you can work your way up to some of the most popular trail and adventure races across WA. Check out their website, Instagram or Facebook Page for more details.

Margaret River Trail Runners

Margaret River Trail Runners is a club formed to take advantage of the trails in the Margaret River region, to encourage more people to run and to meet and socialise with other runners. The club organises a social run most Saturday mornings at 7:00am and the occasional larger event. To run with us all you need to do is email us, and we will let you know where the runs are and any other details or learn more from their website or facebook page.

PHAT Runners

The Perth Hills And Trails is another Perth based trail running group who run the trails around Perth every week. They usually conduct at least two group runs per week (midweek and weekend), which vary from around 1.5 hours to 8 hours, from 12km to 50km+… They have a supportive and inclusive environment and welcome experiencd trail runners looking for a regular group. Check their website for more.

Manning Park Trail Runners

Clint and Sarah from Manning Park Trail Runners conduct a session every Thursday night at Manning Park in Hamilton Hill. Each week there is a range of up to 7 different groups, from hikers through to highly experienced fast trail runners. There’s a Kids session from 5-6pm, then the main session runs from 6-7:15pm. The main session includes a whole group warm up, then 1hr out on the trails at Manning Park with the different paced smaller groups, before regrouping for a cool down as a whole group. Check out their Facebook page and Instagram for more!

Dunsborough Running Club

Local athlete Jessica Reynolds leads a couple of great “off-road specific” trail running training sessions each week: 

Jess will also be running some kids sessions closer to the event.
For more details head to the Dunsborough Running Club Facebook page.

Some of Dunsborough Running Club’s training times include:

  • Tuesday 5.30pm
  • Friday 5pm
  • Sunday 8am.

In addition, they’ll be doing some group rides too. Find out more on the Dunsborough Running Club Facebook page.

Kalamunda Cycles

  • Runs regular skills sessions
  • Call 9293 2115 or visit Kalamunda Cycles – 15 Canning Road, Kalamunda

Dirt Skills Margaret River

  • Running Dirt Skills Trail School – catering for anyone that wants to have more fun
  • Saturdays from 1pm – 3pm
  • Visit their website

Perth Mountain Bike Club

  • Offers a complete list of off-road mountain bike events to get you some MTB race practise
  • Visit their website

West Australian Mountain Bike Association

  • Summary of MTB events and activities in WA
  • Visit their website

Train at the Dunsborough Country Club

The Dunsborough Country Club has a superb network of trails that is open and accessible at all times of the year and is obviously ideal for training on prior to race day.

It is also the home of the Dunsborough Cycle Club.

The Dunsborough MTB Skills Development Park is mostly single track, and includes jumps, berms, log rides, and other technical trail features using natural obstacles (e.g. rocks and logs) and engineered features such as ramps, bridges, log rides, and dirt jumps. There are A and B lines around more difficult obstacles, look out for the signs. Track surfaces include gravel areas, sandy areas, and clay. Don’t forget to appreciate the terrific views over the bay as you ride.

CLICK HERE to visit their website for more information or CLICK HERE for a copy of their trail map.

Head to the Dunsborough Cycle Club – on Facebook, email the club – [email protected] or call (08) 9755 3250 for more information.

Trail running training

Compared to road running, trail running places different demands on your body compared to road running. Surprisingly, it can actually be less wearing on muscles and joints.

As with any form of running, cardio vascular training is important. You should be able to comfortably cover the distance you plan to race (given these are shorter races).

Importantly, if you’ve only ever run on road, shift at least some of your running to the trail. Get used to different trails, different environments. You’ll be surprised at how much more tiring it can be, as your body moves over the terrain with much more variance than road running.

Road runs are still good for keeping cardio fitness, but running trails will also adapt your rhythms. With road running, it is easy to get into a rhythm in terms of your cadence, your breathing and your mindset. While trail running, the pace and exertion levels change constantly, making it hard, initially, to find a rhythm. This makes some runners uncomfortable. There is a rhythm to be found in trail running, but it’s more about the natural rhythm of changing pace constantly and attuning to your environment.

You’ll use many more muscles overall when running trails. Your movements will be more varied as you constantly twist and turn, weaving between trees, stepping over roots and rocks, learning where and how to place your feet and shift your centre of gravity to remain upright while also maintaining pace.

You’ll also improve your reaction times and co-ordination as your responses get used to the constantly changing terrain.

Importantly it is important to build your base fitness. If you are starting from a low base, DO NOT go out there and suddenly put in marathon efforts. You will only end up injured and not able to run. Better to start off slowly.

To prepare for any race shorter than a 10km, plan a long run that lasts around 60 minutes. For a 10km or longer, work up to 90 minutes or more. Don’t feel discouraged if you’re running slower than you do on road; that’s just the nature of trails. Obviously the more kilometres you get in your legs, the better – to a point. Overtraining can be more harmful than under training. Never up your total distance for a week by more than 10%.

Intro to mountain biking

So you ride up and down beach road most weekends and get around on a bike a fair bit – so why should you do this event? What does mountain biking have that road riding does not? Let me explain…!

There are a whole lot of things missing when you’re riding your mountain bike; like traffic and traffic lights, fumes and road rage, there’s no car doors to watch out for and there is no funny hand signals to indicate there’s a pot hole ahead of you because the only thing you can see is the guys arse in front of you – nope we don’t have any of that.
Mountain biking is all about a bunch of other things; it’s about the trail and the adventure it takes you on, the roll of the track and the flow of the turns.

Mountain biking is about getting away from town and into the beauties of the bush with a bit of mud and the odd snake thrown in! We’re still into café’s and riding with your mates – we all know there’s few things better than that, but we’re also about the toothy gins and woops of joy you get when you’re tearing down a roller coaster line of single track with the wind in your hair and the trees just centimetres from your handle bars… yeah baby – that’s when you feel alive!

It doesn’t take much to get into mountain biking, Perth has heaps of tracks both inside it and all around it. Your road riding fitness will take the worst of it away and you’ll be left with the joys of rolling through the bush with a grin from ear to ear.

How do you get into it?

Borrow a mate’s bike or pick up a demo bike from a shop and go for a spin along some of the trails around Kalamunda. There’s enough trails not too far from town to keep you riding for ages. There are also plenty of mountain biking clubs out there to help and give advise so feel welcome to just call into a bike shop and ask them where to ride – they’ll be only to happy to welcome you to the fold!

Bike hire, repairs and sales

If you need to hire a bike for the event, give your bike a tune or upgrade your ride, we recommend the Bike Shed Dunsborough:

T. 08 9759 1495