Team CP specialises in helping you pull all of these components of the Coast to Coast together. They do this through a personalised training plan, regular communication, nutrition advice and technique coaching to help you become fitter, stronger, faster and to equip you with a great race plan.
So, on race day you can Be Awesome!
Team CP have created a training guideline that is specifically designed to get you ready for the Kathmandu Coast to Coast. However if you want to perform to your potential, make the most of the time that you spend training and maintain a healthy balance with your training, work and family commitments make sure that you contact Richard at Team CP.
Planning your build up
Depending on the goals that you have for the Coast to Coast, on your background, current skills and fitness level, the length of time that you build up for this race will vary. For example, if you have competed in endurance events before, have the skills to complete the event and your goal was to finish it comfortably, you may decide to start straight into the specific build up in November. However if you have never done an endurance event longer than a couple of hours, are new to cycling and kayaking and have the goal of finishing with a smile on your face the ideal place to start would be phase one. Our job at Team CP is to fast track your learning curve and make the most of the training time that you have so if you are feeling that you are getting your preparation under way later than you would like contact us at Team CP and we will get you sorted.
Develop your skills
To complete or compete in the Coast to Coast you need to be good across all disciplines – cycling, kayaking and running as well as having your nutrition, transitions, gear, logistics and mental toughness sorted. To help you identify the key areas and prepare properly we have put together a list of core skills that you need to execute well so you can perform to your potential and achieve your goal of either finishing or finishing as fast as possible. If you need some guidance about how to improve any of the aspects listed get in touch with us at Team CP.
This is what makes this event so unique and challenging. To develop the skills to travel efficiently and effectively over the terrain is the key challenge when preparing for the coast to coast.
Team CP specialises in technique sessions in:
- Kayaking (flat water and moving water)
- Running (flat running and rock running)
- Cycling (time trialling, uphill/downhill and bunch riding).
Spend your time and energy getting this right and you be faster, more efficient at moving forward to the finish line and will also help to prevent injury.
Gear and Equipment
There are two key points here…
- Make sure you get your gear sorted as early as possible so you can put in lots of practice with it in your build up. This includes shoes, hydration systems, paddles, your bike set up and boat etc etc.
- Make sure that you go with the safe option – eg cycle shoe choice, your kayak, running shoes etc This is especially important when selecting your kayak as they don’t go very fast upside down with you swimming beside it. You are far better off putting your energy into gaining the skills to put your boat in the fastest water and into paddling hard rather than the nervous energy spent in keeping it upright.
- If you don’t have a grade two certificate start planning this as soon as possible and ideally have it completed for October/November. As a part of this process it is great if you get a trip through the Waimakariri gorge by November/December
- Kayak technique – get a coaching session as soon as possible, winter is a great time for this. Get efficient, fit and strong from paddling on flat water first.
- Start using your event boat, paddle and other equipment as soon as possible.
- In November Nor-Westers may prevent river trips down the Waimakariri gorge therefore you need to have several trip dates organised as the weather will prevent access into the course in spring and early summer.
- Collect lots of kayak buddies so you can get out on the river safely and paddle together. Be proactive about this and take any opportunity to paddle that you can.
- Brass Monkey Kayak Race on the lower waimak is a good race to use as training (winter) as is the Waimak Classic race which is down the same course as the Coast to Coast (December – you will need your grade two cert for this)
- Rough water and river skills – can you keep your boat upright and still put the power down through the rough water? If you don’t have a river to practice on, lakes and harbours are also great options. Practice paddling side on and obliquely to the waves, as well as surfing and bracing into the waves. When doing this however make sure that you keep yourself safe and think “if I fell out now would I get blown to the side or out to sea…”
- Simulate the terrain - the Coast to Coast mountain run is more of a scramble than a run as you move over rocks the size of your shoe to boulders as big as your house. Therefore one of the key things that you need to do is to seek out rough rocky terrain close to where you live and practice moving over it. Make it as rough as you possibly can and don’t feel you need to run all the time – walking is fine but practice jumping from rock to rock.
- Running technique – there are however a number of flat sections on the Mountain run course and it is great if you are able to run these well. Therefore practicing good running technique will make a real difference to your mountain run.
- Mental Toughness – Focus on the process of how you are going when the going gets tough. Nutrition (have I had a drink lately?) and running technique (am I standing tall) are two important factors to focus on when you are on the Minga flats towards the end of the mountain run. You have probably had enough by this point and just want to be finished so this is a great way to keep yourself in a positive frame of mind by focussing on those things with in your control and not getting ahead of yourself.
- Put a pack on your back and go tramping/trekking/hiking (depending on where you are from). Focus on moving forward all the time, over rough terrain and even when eating your snacks this will help you to build strength endurance and confidence off road.
- Practice river crossings – figure out the best place to cross, crossing over slippery rocks and also running in wet shoes.
- Practice running downhill over rough terrain but go easy here – think of moving with fast feet and lots of little steps rather than big strides when running downhill ver rough terrain. Another way to think about it is to “dance downhill”. This means that if you do put a foot wrong you are less likely to injure yourself and it also means that you won’t hurt your muscles as much.
- Build up to the time that you are expecting to take but keep the intensity low.
- The course – get over the course as early as you possibly can so then you are better able to simulate the terrain in your training runs.
- Good bunch skills – make sure that you can ride in a bunch and have done it on a regular basis before the event. Also make sure that you have done a cycle race that has some element of bunch riding in it. You need to do this to make sure you keep yourself and others safe.
- Can you eat and drink on your bike and do it safely when riding with others? Consider a hydration pack as a safer easier option that using drink bottles.
- Time trial ability – can you get low and aero on your bike and ride hard for hours at a time? Just like any other component of your training you need to practice this and it will get better over time.
- Bike set up – a good bike set up will help you be comfortable when getting low and aero, it will help you to stay in control of your bike when descending and you will be able to run after cycling more easily.
- Pedal Technique – the more efficient your pedal technique is the faster that you will go, the more efficient you will be and the better that you will run off the bike.
- Bike handling – be comfortable riding downhill, add in some west coast rain and put another 50 riders around you… If you make sure that you are able to handle this situation you we be ready to go well in February.
- Aim to get over the course in December and January – before this is often difficult due to the weather
- Steady build up – don’t burn out by February. As a general rule your focus up to October is to prepare your body to train. October – December is to slowly increase the duration of your training and during January is to prepare to race. This will differ between individuals depending on your background and goals.
- Strength conditioning and mobility – are you tight in certain areas and flexible in others, strong in some and weak in others? If you know this then you will be able to correctly prepare your body so you will be able perform good running, cycling and kayaking technique and decrease your chances of getting injured.
Learning the course
- Consider guided options to stay safe and learn good skills and the best route.
Putting it all together
- A training programme for the Coast to Coast is like putting a jigsaw puzzle together as it will take into account the time you have available, your other commitments (work/family etc) strengths and weaknesses and goals for the event.
- Check out a Team CP training programme for more details.
- Team CP specialise in helping people complete the Coast to Coast and make training realistic around your other commitments. At the other end of the scale we have also coached Braden Currie to win the Longest Day so we know what we are talking about. Give Richard a call if you would like some feedback or guidance on your preparation.