Our XTERRA European Tour director Nico Lebrun, who won the 2005 XTERRA World Championship, and his wife, nutritionist Alexandra Borrelly, wrote a letter to the European athletes headed to Maui. Below are their top ten tips all athletes can benefit from.
- Acclimate to heat – As we head towards winter, our bodies naturally want to rest. Try to keep your workouts in the middle of the day, to prepare your body as best as you can for the heat and humidity of Maui.
- Prepare for waves – In swim workouts, focus less on gliding and more on working your arms so you can fight the waves.
- Prepare for hills – The course at XTERRA Worlds is steep. Try this workout: 4-6 five-minute surges at 90 percent VO2max. Recover for 90 seconds in between each interval.
- Take advantage of the downhill – The downhill on the Maui course is long, and is a good place to make up time. Try this run workout: 3-4 x30-second surges. Do three uphill and at least one downhill.
- Travel smart – the journey to Maui is long. If you are coming from Europe, it’s at least 25 hours. Make sure you hydrate well on the flight. Compression socks are also a good idea.
- Take naps – When you finally arrive on Maui, don’t let your taper get the best of you. Make sure you don’t overdo it and train in the morning when it’s cool. (The advantage of jet lag is that you will already be up early.) Take naps so you can stay up until a normal bedtime.
- Train smart – if you have nervous energy on Maui, work smart. Focus on entering and exiting the water so you can get used to the waves.
- Strategize – The mountain bike course is a single loop. If you arrive early enough, ride the course slowly. Take your heart rate monitor so you stay under 75 percent of your maximum heart rate. If you plan to arrive a day or two before the race, skip the mountain bike course and conserve your energy.
- Practice self-care – Eat lots of fruits and veggies, drink lots of water, stretch, bust out the foam roller, and save the hamburgers and pizza for a post-race treat.
- Have fun! Enjoy your accomplishments, have a blast, and soak up the aloha spirit of Hawaii.
Alexandra Borrelly Lebrun is a pharmacist and has studied sports nutrition and natural medicine. She works alongside her husband, a former professional XTERRA athlete & 2005 XTERRA World Champ, Nico Lebrun, at Organicoach, where they create optimized nutrition plans for athletes of all levels. For more info please visit www.organicoach.fr