There has been an uprising of popularity in Enduro Races and here in Northwest Arkansas, the popular Arkansas Enduro Series. What exactly is Enduro? As the name hints, it is about endurance. That may sound daunting, but wait, it isn't (always) as bad as it sounds. While you may be riding anywhere between 3-7 hours, depending on the course difficulty and length, only the descents are timed. Here are some key features you'll find in an Enduro Race:
You've got to go up before you can go down. In most Enduro races you've got to earn your descent. However, you won't be timed for the climb. Some races will have easy climbs, some will be brutal, and others will give you a lift to the top. These climbs are referred to as "transitions" between each timed "stage." Transitions are a great way to ride with your friends or family, create a sense of community. The pressure of performance is gone, and this is the chance to take a breath, enjoy the view, fuel up, and work your way to the next timed stage. Pace yourself.
Fast descents, here is where time matters. Once you've completed your transition to the next timed stage, you'll find yourself in a line waiting your turn to start your descent. This is where you'll focus, tap into your skills, have fun, and fly.
Pre-ride is key. Before the day of the race, riders will be given a day to pre-ride the course. Don't blow this off. This is a chance to get out there and see the lines you'll want to take to stay safe and blast through the descents. You don't want anything to catch you off-guard or slow you down. So, take this time to check out the course and make a plan.
Plan to be self sufficient. Expect to be out riding for several hours in varying weather. You may not have opportunities to fuel-up or fix your bike up at a main hub before hitting your next stage. You don't want to loose steam after a brutal climb and bomb your descent or blow a tire and have no way to fix it. Don't over pack, but you need some essentials. A basic flat kit, multitool, water, and nutrition should do the trick.
This is just a summary of what to expect from an Enduro Race. A good way to get more insights is by contacting the Mojo staff, fellow riders, and of course YouTube has a wealth of footage. If you want to get into it here in Norwest Arkansas, Mojo has several riders who have experience and can help you get started, show you bikes meant for this kind of riding, gear you'll want to have, and tips for race day.
If you are looking for a nutrition and hydration for those long rides, but want to keep it natural, Skratch is the way to go. Dr. Allen Lim, a sports scientist and coach, created his own sports drink for cyclists after seeing how the other products were laden with artificial ingredients, saturated with sugars, and lacking the right electrolytes and sodium that athletes needed to replenish. Here began what is now Skratch Lab. They have all the nutrition supplies you'll need on those Enduro race days such as:
Hydration: Using Skratch's simple formula of less sugar, the right electrolyte profile, and real fruit their hydration mixes replace the electrolytes lost in sweat while providing a bit of energy without messing with your stomach. Oh, and it tastes good too.
Snacks: When you need to keep full, fueled, and a boost of energy, Skratch can get you going with their energy bars or chews. They all have great flavor, won't affect your gut, contain no artificial flavors, and are gluten free, dairy free, and vegan.
Recovery: Skratch's recovery mixes are designed to quickly refuel, rehydrate, and rebuild after those super tough, workouts and you are totally spent. Their 4 to 1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein formula, laced with lactase and probiotics for the gut is perfect for restoring those muscles when you don't have access to your personal chef. As always, Skratch keeps it free of artificial ingredients and it's non-GMO, Kosher, vegetarian, and gluten free.
Make sure you keep up on your nutrition as you train and race. Mention this blog and curing March 19-25 receive 10% off all Skratch products at the shop. Now is a great time to stock up on for the warmer weather and upcoming races.