If you’re on social media you’ve probably seen quite a lot of pictures of people riding in sunny scapes and pro teams heading off on training camps for their last bits of pre-season preparation. And with these endless images of people in shorts, you might start to wonder if it’s something you should be doing, and how you could get the most out of a training camp.
In this blog, we’ll discuss why you should consider one and some steps you can take to ensure it’s a successful trip.
Why bother with a training camp?
Training camps are great ways to boost your base fitness and build team skills. They’re also an opportunity to live like a professional cyclist for a week or so, with your biggest dilemma being picking out your ride kit for the day.
If you need a bit of a break from work or life at home and want to get yourself ready for a season of cycling then a training camp is a great way to do it. Plus, if you head abroad to places like Mallorca or Calpe, you might even come back with a tan.
So how can you make sure your training camp is going to be a success?
Train before you go
This might sound counter intuitive, I mean, you’re heading to a training camp, right? Sure, but unless you’re already a professional, your body is unlikely to be used to the load of riding constantly for a week or two. Give yourself time to prepare by building up your miles in the weeks before - even better would be to get yourself a coach so you don’t over or under cook it before or when you go.
Additionally, training in Britain or on Zwift is likely to be very different to the roads and hills you’ll find abroad. As hard as you try you won’t be able to match the 50km climb of Mount Teide on Tenerife on the British Isles, so prepping yourself beforehand is the best way to get ready for your trip.
Align expectations with your group or coach
If you’re heading on a group training camp maybe with your club or group of mates, it’s important you all have the same idea of what you want to get out of the trip. Otherwise, you might end up not enjoying yourself, or getting the most out of your time. If one half of the group wants to do lots of café rides and spend time by the pool and the other wants a daily smashfest then tensions will arise. Make sure you decide all this prior to setting off.
Similarly, if you’re going alone, make sure you plan out roughly what you want to achieve from this time. If you work with a coach let them give you some guidance on how you can maximise your camp and stick to a rough plan. You want to come home feeling tired but with a good week of training under your belt, but not absolutely knackered and wanting to fly home on day two.
Don’t go too hard too soon
Depending on your condition and training experience prior to your training camp, you want to make sure you don’t go too hard while abroad. It’s easy to get swept up in the lovely sunshine and the smooth tarmac on the hills, but make sure you stick to your plan or at least reign it in for a few days so you don’t overload yourself. Don’t run the risk of overtraining and digging yourself into a hole that can take months to recover from!
Take the essentials
Besides your bike (unless you’re hiring) there are a few things you should take with you on your training camp to keep you in top condition. Sun cream is a big one (unless you’re staying local, perhaps). Protect your skin with good quality SPF protection, and try to find some that is sweatproof. Small tubes you can fit in your jersey pocket or bar bag are great for on the move applications.
Chamois cream! Obviously…Keeping your backside feeling fresh and pain free as you ramp up the miles is imperative if you want your training camp to be a success. Don’t get caught out by saddle sores or irritation as they can be training camp ending issues. Lucky for you we have a Chamois Cream Travel Pack that comes with 10 individual sachets of our popular Chamois Cream for you to take with you. They are flight friendly and are great ways of packing your cream without taking a tin.
Other kit you should think about taking includes arm and leg warmers, even if it’s summer it will still be chillier on the tops of the hills and possibly in the mornings and evenings. A packable jacket for the same reasons, and some good quality bib shorts. Additionally, if you want to be able to ride even if your luggage gets stuck somewhere, try and fit your ride essentials like your helmet, shoes, pedals etc. in your hand luggage so your training doesn’t need to be delayed.
Ready to head to your camp? You can shop our entire range of travel packs here.