How to nail your cycling training camp

If you're planning to take a week out and go on a training camp, An Post-Chain Reaction team general manager Kurt Bogaerts has some advice…

A week in the sun is about more than just smashing yourself to smithereens. An Post-Chain Reaction team general manager, Kurt Bogaerts, explains how to do it right...

1. Evolution, not revolution

The biggest mistake is to go on a training camp and think you’re going to make the difference only at that training camp. It’s not possible.

It should be an evolution of your training, so you need to train at home and then maintain that at your training camp. So many cyclists train okay at home, but then they triple their workload at a training camp because they think they are there only to train. And then they crack, because if your body is used to doing two hours a day, and you go on camp and do six hours a day, you can’t maintain it because your body is simply not used to it.

2. Chill out

Riders also think that because they don’t have work or school and have more time to train that they need to double their training, but that’s wrong.

You would be better to use the time you would usually be working to recover so that you can make more progression.

3. Keep going afterwards

Some riders come home from a training camp and don’t want to see their bike again for a week, but then there’s no point in having done the camp.

If you see the curve of fitness building up, it is gradual, but when it comes to losing your form it is a steep drop. So, you need to come well prepared, do a good camp that is well balanced and then be able to maintain the training afterwards to benefit from the condition you get on camp.

4. Pick your group

You need to pick the group that you feel comfortable with, and not just join the fastest group for the longest ride and then be dead the next day.

Cycling should be enjoyable, at any level, so you feel that you have done something, but you also need to be able to have a chat and a drink in the evening: that will help you to love cycling more.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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