Visualize riding your bike or running, concentrating on avoiding the rocks, stones, roots and branches, a rough terrain, cenotes, ups, downs, caverns, tall trees and an overwhelming vegetation, mangroves, beach, narrow trails, the humidity of the jungle, the overwhelming sun and possibly much mud that will lead to a messy affair, flies, and slippery curves.
As a child I loved the mud and get dirty….but will I still love it as an adult?
Change narrow road bike tires for studded ones for greater traction; change the swim in calm water for swimming against the waves while enjoying the most beautiful reef passing by under you! Running not over paved roads, but over small challenging trails covered by jungle trees. In short, a change to nature trails, immerse yourself in the jungle and this is how you get the Mayan X-Tri
The Mayan X-Tri Triathlon is an Eco-Extreme, Off-road and Adventure triathlon, which takes place in the Riviera Maya. Perhaps one of the toughest triathlons in Mexico, but also one of the most beautiful.
Mayan X-Tri is a triathlon for champions, for triathletes who want to challenge themselves even more than the usual, be one with nature and go beyond the simple and raise the bar!
If you are tired of chloral filled pools and paved straight roads, then this extreme off-road triathlon may be something for you. But be prepared, this triathlon is not equal to the rest!
Perhaps because of the distances you consider it as easy, as just a triathlon “sprint”, but in reality, you will have to push yourself a lot more, you will need a lot more strength and even more resistance.
There are far more differences with a normal triathlon than similarities, we give you The Top 10 Differences of a Triathlon on Pavement and the Mayan X-Tri.
10. ATTITUDE: It is much more fun, it is impossible to get in the rhythm, surprises everywhere. You are just in that moment.
Off road triathlons like the Mayan X-Tri are a challenge, but as professional triathletes say: “You will have the time of your life.” Surely it is taking place in a very beautiful setting, in an environment of people very similar to you, in search of bigger and more extreme challenges and above all DIFFERENT, in a friendly relaxed atmosphere. You’ll be running, jogging, walking and running again, changing your path, you’ll stop for a moment at the drink station, you can even cool off in a cenote and you will be spellbound seeing the natural wonders….
It takes perseverance mental and physical to complete this challenge.
In an off-road triathlon the majority of the time the goal is to FINISH and to be part of the elite athletes who complete this kind of extreme triathlon. To be a triathlete with the ability to achieve any goal.
9. THE RUN: “Surviving the end of the triathlon” is how the vast majority of elite athletes defines the run leg of an off-road triathlon. The intensity of mountain biking is so high that it requires a lot of effort to develop this kind of strength, so surely starting the run leg, you’ll have a lot less muscle strength and will already be exhausted.
Imagine slowing down to enter a mud pool, or a section of loose stones, curve after curve, perhaps burying your feet in the sand, but still trying to keep your pace, something nature will not let you achieve that easily.
Finding a constant rhythm, like in normal triathlons, is extremely difficult, which makes it very attractive, different and more difficult at the same time.
8. THE BIKING: Thinking about the bike leg of an off-road triathlon and automatically to the word “FORCE” comes to mind. It takes great strength, power and technical skills. You work each and every one of the muscles in your legs, and unlike the pavement cycling in triathlons, you also work abdomen, shoulders, arms, neck, and every muscle in your body that you did not even knew you had. You will need all that power to pass over rocks, roots, mud and sand.
There will be sections where you have to get off and carry your bike, drafting becomes impossible because the wheels can throw stones and you could swallow a lot of dust and mud if you’re really stuck to another competitor. On a road or triathlon bike, there is that moment where you have the rhythm and can relax on your aero bar and just let yourself go.
With mountain biking you need to stay alert and focused all the time, which makes it a true sport of adrenaline and effort.
And if you think that’s all …, NO!, There is much more, for example, passing is not a simple thing, here you have to literally “scream” because of the narrow trails, taking advantage of a competitor lowering his/her speed or having lesser skills in rough sections or find a stretch wide enough to overtake!
7. THE SWIMMING: During the massive outflows in the vast majority of off-road Triathlons, competitors do not swim around you they pass over you! Massive outflows mean only one thing for competitors: “Total Chaos “. You can also find all kinds of swim legs from chocolate color lagoons, almost frozen lakes, open sea with waves to high current rivers. Of course always swimming in nature wonders.
Normally the swimming is done in two or three rounds, depending on the event and where the swimming is done. But do not think you stay in the water after the first round or the first part, you have to leave the water run a few meters and get in there again to finish the first stage
6. HUNGRY, THIRSTY?: What do I eat? when do I eat? For triathletes these are important questions and a real pain if you want to be competitive! For off-road triathlons there exists only one answer: “Eat all you can, when you can and however you can”. But do not think it is as easy as reaching the back pocket of your jersey to take a small snack while jumping over rocks and curve after curve, it will be complicated. The bike leg usually requires total concentration, so that surely you will have to stop to eat something, or drink.
For an event like the Mayan X-Tri, a suggestion is to tape some gels on the horizontal tube of your bike. When you get a chance rip it off and take it. When you stop during the run leg at a drink station, drink as much as you can and if you take gels, this is the time to use them. Take advantage of the situation.
5. GLOVES AND SLEEVES: Generally triathletes competing on pavement, Ironman, or Olympic sprinters, should not use gloves for reasons of practicality and aerodynamics. During off-road triathlons these are basic. Who doesn’t uses full finger gloves during cycling is fried, the sun makes you sweat a lot, sweat covers your arms and hands. The only way to prevent that your hands slip and you losing control over your bike, is wearing gloves. (Plus they are an excellent companion if you fall on rocks, greatly help to avoid getting hurt). Most competitors do NOT even remove them for the run, because they serve moving trees and branches and as extra protection when you fall.
Many athletes use sleeves against the sun, but off-road it is also great to cover yourself from scratches or trillions of branches out to get you.
4. TERRAIN: as triathlons like the Mayan X-Tri are over natural trails, surely you will stumble across obstacles made by nature, big rocks, loose rocks, fallen trees, holes, puddles, mud, uphill and exciting descents. You’ll even find parts where the trail is slippery or rough, sharp stones, and sand… totally different from a triathlon on pavement.
3. EQUIPMENT: In an off road triathlon it is virtually impossible to “BUY” higher speed. That is, unlike pavement cycling, investing in aerodynamics and less weight will not help at all. To excel in an extreme triathlon you have to learn how ride and run on natural terrain, off-road. A High quality $ 2,000 wheel set will not get you anything if you cannot apply force nor have the skill and ability to ride on hostile terrain. In addition, the equipment and its maintenance is an important issue. Things like tire pressure depends on the type of terrain, spare parts and of course the tools can make the difference between reaching the transition riding or carrying your bike, even if you have a bike of $ 10,000 USD.
Mountain bikes use bigger tires, which means you will have to carry more weight in your back pack, in addition to carrying spatulas, tools, pump and everything you need to repair any unforeseen. A hydro-bag is one of the most indispensable items of the Mayan X-Tri. You can carry everything plus your water to keep yourself hydrated or just wet your lips to remove any dust that you will be swallowing.
As for footwear for the trekking or run: running shoes for all terrain have the virtue of having more traction, are usually lighter, airy, fast drying and more enduring and resistant. For cycling, the vast majority of cyclists use as in road triathlons, shoes with clip, allowing you to better apply the force needed to get ahead and over any obstacle without your feet jumping off the pedals.
2. TIME: Although the distances of all-terrain triathlons and sprint triathlons “standard” may be very similar, it will take 40% to 70% more time to complete an all-terrain event. Although your swim and run times can be similar, the mountain biking is usually slower! Obviously narrow bicycle tires can keep a great pace and cadence on the pavement then when you’re trying to master dirt roads, rocks and many many curves: you will never get that rhythm nor speed!
1. FORCE: Most professional triathletes in the world, choose the “strength” as the number 1 difference between all terrain triathlon and triathlon on pavement.
“Whether biking, running or swimming, once on the trails, you have to deal with very different types of challenges. Whether you are cycling or running, you’ll find sand, rocks and a series of obstacles to overcome. You’ll Need to be fit and ready to react immediately to dominate these obstacles, needing a lot of strength going up and down hill, as well as constant force for the rest of the event.
Experts recommend to train for an all-terrain triathlon, prepare for that specific effort. Incorporate more uphill and hostile terrain in your running and off-road biking. In your road bike workout try to use more force, meaning use the front big plate and pedal at a lower cadence at a slower pace.