Make sure you focus on these few things and the last 34 miles of the Quad will be a breeze….
1. Train the distance - Obvious one, but make sure you can cycle 34 miles. Training the distance and maybe longer will give you the mental strength of knowing you can do it and keep going to the end of the event.
2. Brick training - In the Quad you transition from kayaking to cycling. If you are in the fortunate position to be able to practice this then do it once a week. If not then try going from a rowing machine to cycling at the gym or from a hill walk into a cycle. You will be cycling on tired legs in the race so practice with 2 activities combined together to replicate this as best you can.
3. Hit the hills - Build that all important leg strength by riding hill repeats. These are tough to do by yourself so team up with your partner for this session. As part of a long cycle ride, find a hill that takes 3-5min to cycle up. Cycle hard uphill and slowly roll back down to recover, repeat 4 times the first time and add on an extra climb each session.
4. Bike fit - Make sure your bike is the right size for you, the saddle and handlebars are adjusted correctly and the seat is comfortable. Bikes are not one-size-fits-all! Take yours along to an expert to get fitted to your body shape and you’ll find training and racing much more enjoyable.
5. Nutrition - Being the last of the 4 Quad disciplines everyone will be running out of steam! Don’t forget to stay hydrated and keep eating your snacks or energy bars and gels. In training, be sure to practice what and how often you will eat on the bike and throughout the race. This will make the difference between enjoying the last few miles or hating every minute!
This month we checked in with Cameron, HR Director for Mercy Corps, to hear how he’s ramping up his training and kick-starting his fundraising as the Quad looms closer. Can you believe it’s just a little over three months until we all gather on the shores of Loch Tay?!
“My training is going well” he told us, “I feel pretty confident about each sport individually and as July approaches I’m trying to take my training to the next level by transitioning from one discipline to another.
For me, the most challenging part of my training right now is linking it up so I’m prepared for multiple sports at once. I’ll be honest, the thought of all four disciplines together seems like an enormous undertaking right now - going on a run after a 1.5km swim defies logic! It’s time to welcome that stage of preparation though, and I know it will be made all the easier as I’m spurred on by my fellow contestants on the day.
I grew up in the US Pacific Northwest, so being cold and wet comes second nature to me and I would rather be cold than hot when exercising anyway. Having said that, the arrival of nicer spring weather is great motivation to get outside. I like to train in the morning and it’s been a highlight to run through South London, where I live, and enjoy great views of the London skyline as the sun comes up.
When I’m running, I think of the Mercy Corps teams that I’ve visited in some of our most remote locations, like Wajir, Kenya or Karamoja, Uganda. It’s very easy to take opportunities like the Quad for granted but thinking of the people I met there reminds me it is a privilege to even be able to do the training. Even if I’m exhausted from training, I’m motivated by the fact I am in a position to take part in an event like this - it’s easy to lose sight of that.
Although I’m pretty happy with how my training is progressing, I will admit that fundraising doesn’t come so easy for me so I’m still trying to find my path with this. To get started, I took a few minutes to set up my Virgin Money Giving page which was very easy to do.
I shared the link on Facebook and Instagram which turned out to be well worth doing. I was surprised by my friends’ generous response and I managed to reach £250 by sharing on social media alone! To keep me ticking towards my goal, I’m planning to be personal and honest about my training so that family and friends can follow my story and celebrate my decision to enter the Quad by sponsoring.”
Thank you for your insight Cameron! If you too are finding fundraising a fifth challenge in itself, remember Sophie at Mercy Corps and Morven at Mary’s Meals are always on hand to chat through ideas and inspiration. Just get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or UKFundraising@marysmeals.org. Sometimes, the thought of getting started is the most daunting part!