Why not get your racing season off to a flying start with an individual or team training camp? A week or even a long weekend of dedicated training time can take your fitness to that next level and help your team form the cohesive bonds that can make a big difference in any kind of race.
We have all read about the great training camps that some of the biggest and most successful pro teams hold every winter. These events have many goals and are designed to make the most of the time the team spends together. Team building, fitness testing, media training and equipment distribution are just a few of the things that can happen when a team decides to hold a “training camp”. Managers spend time with their riders and the riders spend time in the saddle and sometimes doing things completely separate from cycling, learning about each other’s strengths and weaknesses and building those important team bonds. In order to work effectively for a teammate in race, a rider needs to really care if that teammate wins and trust that their work will not go to waste. That trust and sense of caring are built at training camps.
That is great for the pros, but what can the average Joe Bike Racer get out of a training camp? That will depend on the kind or camp that Joe decides to participate in. A training camp in its simplest form is nothing more than a rider choosing a block of days to dedicate to training and resting. No outside distractions is a big reason most camps happen away from home, but if Joe is super motivated and disciplined his camp can happen without leaving home at all.
Choosing to do a camp at a remote location can make it much easier to put aside the everyday distractions and can allow you to concentrate on the three things that are required in order to get stronger: training, resting and refueling. If you're away from the usual emails and traffic and work calls etc, you can get much more out of your training mostly by allowing you the time it takes to recover. We can all train extra miles and hours, but if that extra training stress is not matched with an increase in recovery time then the training will not be as affective.
What ever you decide to do, a training camp is a great way to get in some solid training that will most likely help to take your fitness to the next level. Making a good plan and having a clear idea of what you want to gain will guide you to the best way to run your own camp or in choosing a packaged camp run by someone else. Lots of extra training stress with plenty of solid rest and recovery is the path to faster and stronger riding.