Robert Nagle has since retired from competing in adventure races however it is difficult to forget that his team Eco-Internet, one of the most successful adventure racing teams in the history of the sport, won nearly every event they competed in, including the Eco-Challenge numerous times. The information he shared with us then, is just as relevant today.
I have three macro periods in the year - base/endurance (when I'm not racing), race & recovery time (about 6 months) and then a couple of week's recovery. The training objectives are different in each. During the "base" period (a bit of a misnomer actually as there's plenty of high intensity work) but during this I'm working on re-establishing a huge base, building my strength in various disciplines and usually trying to work hard on a few skills.
The when it gets into race time, I am concentrating on the disciplines and skills required for those races. Normally I get into a long period of focus on race (and a little on the following one), race, recover, repeat. Fun!
Everyone brings something different to each team, differences in attitude, thinking, particular skills, endurance, and sponsorship connections. (I picked that order somewhat carefully). Certainly everyone has to have a basic level of ability but how the team works together is what you should worry about. Be sure everyone on the squad has the same vision for the team first (it's easy for that to be overlooked or assumed). Then start putting together a program that will minimize your team's weaknesses.
I had zero difficulty in the Sahara. The sand (sometimes amazingly fine) did get into shoes and cause pinching but it was never really an issue for me. I used FOX RIVER Coolmax socks (brillo !!!!) and Adidas Terrain Lite shoes. Excellent.
The "struggle" is that each race we seem to find "an answer" so we get lots of it for the next race and then find we can't touch the stuff after a certain point. -) When you're in serious deprivation (or should that be depravation?) the mind plays funny tricks and one has all kinds of weird cravings (oh, depravation again)
But by ensuring lots of variety we can usually find something. Of course we don't always have enough with us. In British Columbia, we seriously underestimated the amount of food we needed and lived on berries for about 20 hours.
Diversity first: savory foods, dehydrated foods (Alpine Aire (yes, another sponsor) makes all kinds of great meals, some spicy, some bland (you never can tell which you will want)). We used GELs extensively in Australia, especially on the last few days. We must have gone through hundreds; everyone felt they could get them down easily.