Lynda Wallenfels is Cat 1 USA Cycling coach and owner of LWCoaching.com
Visit her site for mountain bike training plans, coaching and consulting.
Question: Iím thinking about doing a training camp but not sure when the
best time to fit it into my schedule is?
Answer: Attending a training
camp can be a great way to give yourself a fitness boost if used in the right
places in your training schedule.
The two best
uses of training camps are to generate super-fitness
before a peak race or for an early season fitness boost during base training. These are different uses of training
camps and fit into your training calendar in different places.
camp can be used by athletes in both the groups mentioned above. The peaking athletes will be riding a lot
faster at these camps than the training
athletes. It is essential to know which group you fall into before you get to
camp in order to keep everything in perspective. If your peak race is 6 months
away, donít expect to perform as well at camp as those athletes peaking 2 weeks
post camp. Camp is for training, not setting performance benchmarks.
Athletes using training camps to peak for an
TIMING: Place your training camp
2-3 weeks before your peak race. Go into the training camp rested and take a
rest week post camp.
CAMP GOALS: A training camp should be training, not
racing! 2-3 weeks before a peak race you will be riding strongly (a.k.a. feel
like a rock star). A risk in this
situation is to spend your peak form at camp and end up flat at your *A* race.
You must enter training camp with specific training goals. Use a heart rate
monitor and power meter with specific power level governors in place to keep
your intensity levels in check. When you are near peak form and feel like a rock star it is all too easy to get in a
drag race at camp and start spending fitness instead of building your final
Athletes using training camps as early season
TIMING: Schedule your training camp any time
during your base training period. The best timing for a training camp is at the
end of a training block immediately prior to a rest week. Schedule a rest week
CAMP GOALS: Enter camp rested. Ride conservatively
for the first half of the camp. Gradually build up effort level and fatigue
during camp. Finish camp on empty. Go home tired. Enjoy the time on your bike,
meeting like-minded athletes, and hopefully catch some sunshine.
winter of solo indoor training, a destination training camp to somewhere warm
and sunny with the camaraderie and motivation of other campers can make for a
season highlight. Training camps done right will boost fitness, confidence and
motivation for the season.
camps are the perfect venue to get to know other athletes and solidify
friendships while away from the race venue. I run a 3 day
training camp every January, scheduled 3 weeks before 24 Hours in the Old
Pueblo. The timing of this camp is perfect for athletes aiming to peak at Old
Pueblo and also for those in their early season base training period. My
favorite post camp quote from one of my campers sums up the training camp
"I met a
lot of really cool people this weekend! It was a great opportunity for me to
ride with experts and pros in a non-competitive atmosphere; it was totally
inspiring, thanks again!Ē
Wallenfels is Cat 1 USA Cycling coach and owner of LWCoaching.com Visit her
site for mountain bike training plans, coaching and consulting.