Asking Yourself: Can I Really Do This?

Can I Do This?

Untamed New England can be intimidating . . . but also inspiring. Here are some responses we have to those wondering if they can do this . . .

While it's impossible for us to answer, not knowing your particular circumstances, here's a few considerations:
  • "More adventure than a race" is not just a tagline we use; it's the reality. There are no orange cones leading you through the race course, your team will use map and compass to guide you through the event. This is as much a mental challenge as a physical one. Of course, you do need a good base of fitness and the more fit teams often fair better in the event, but it's far from a guarantee. Moving more quickly in the wrong direction can be far worse than moving slowly, but deliberately, in the correct direction.
  • Teams compete to complete the course much more than they compete to beat one another. It's common for different teams to join together on a section of the race, organically collaborating; they may share route decisions, food, or just comraderie in the wilderness.
  • It's easy for new competitors to focus on the cardiovascular side of preparation for Untamed New England. Map and compass skills are paramount, but don't discount the importance of other skills like bike maintenance, foot care for long hikes, filtering water from streams, managing stormy weather, or other demands the New England terrain can throw at you. The steps necessary to keep a team of people moving, eating, and communicating through a 4 day course is under-appreciated.
The pace of a 4-day race is different than a running marathon or a triathlon that lasts for a few hours. Using foot travel just as an example, teams work to move as quickly as they can in Untamed New England, but it's common for heavy packpacks or difficult terrain to make running entire sections unrealistic. There are super-human teams out there with more ambitious goals . . . but those aren't the ones asking "Can I do this?" here.

One common strategy is for teams to hike any up-hill sections, jog any down-hill sections, and evaluate the flat sections based on the circumstances.

While every person is different, the amount of training one might commit for a running marathon can be a reasonable guideline for Untamed New England. One marathon training target is to run 50 miles each week (gradually building up!); 50 miles at 9 minutes per mile = 450 minutes = 7.5 hours per week. That equates to 1 hour per day, maybe a little more. I think this would give you a fitness base for Untamed New England that is unlikely to put you on the race podium, but sufficient to give you a good shot at getting to the race finish line. There's really so much more to be said about navigation, team dynamics, nutrition, equipment -- we're just talking general physical fitness, here.

To be clear: I'm not suggesting you prepare only by running. Continuing the example above, exercising the 7.5 hours per week with a combination of biking, running, paddling, or doing most anything that's building your physical fitness can help support your race goals.
We're developing this content at the moment. There's a lot of material to cover when it comes to adventure racing. For those new to the sport, I'd say if you wait until you feel 100% comfortable that you're "ready" for a race you should probably start looking for a different challenge. The point is: it's rare to feel fully "ready" because part the ethos is to explore the unknown, overcome adversity, and push yourselves to the limits.

We're ramping up a Coaching Program to help bridge the gap for those new to adventure racing or Untamed New England in particular. Look for details about that soon, or contact us about this topic if you just can't wait.




Who



What

  • 4 day non-stop expedition adventure race
  • Trekking, Paddling, Biking, Orienteering, and more
  • Experiences to last a lifetime


When

  • Summer 2018 (official dates TBD)


Where

  • Not telling (yet!)