Here’s a few pointers to help you get the most from a training camp or simply away riding more then you usually would at home.
It’s great to get away for some warm sunny miles early in the season. The motivation is high, the weather is usually good and everyone’s looking forward to the first ride of the year in shorts and short sleeves. Don’t get carried away though, a little preparation before you go and common sense when you’re there will reap dividends and help you enjoy the camp even more.
Bring spare tubes and chain links and an inner brake and gear cable as they weigh nothing. Multi tool at the very least, as well as pump. Mini pliers set always handy as cables stretch during the week. You’ll do a month’s miles in a week so it will take its toll on you and your equipment.
Be canny with hand luggage
If you know you can hire or borrow a bike locally then carry your pedals, shoes and lid in hand luggage. If your bike is delayed then at least you have the basics and can get a bike easily. You can always buy cheap shorts to do you for a day or two and someone will lend you a jersey if you promise to wash it before returning.
Don’t take new stuff
Don’t leave it until the camp to try out new stuff, break shoes, shorts and saddles in beforehand.
Sort your nutrition beforehand and don’t try any drastic change of diets while there.
Bide your time
Build up the mileage; don’t do your biggest ride on the first day no matter how good the roads are.
You don’t have to ride every day
Don’t be afraid to miss a day if unwell or the weather is horrible. Also don’t be afraid to shorten a ride if the weather turns or it’s a bit grim.
Relax – you’re on holiday (sort of)
Have a rest day or at least a very short ride day.
Enjoy it! Don’t be afraid to have a bit of larking about.
Sample the local cuisine
Have a cafe ride and eat cake.
Keep it clean
Clean and maintain your bike especially after wet days, and we don’t mean dunking it in the pool.
Don’t expect to be flying the day after you come back. It may take a few weeks to feel the full benefit and take it easy the week after you come back as you’ll be run down after the camp anyway. It took me three weeks to recover from a hilly training camp last year, the longest it has ever taken me but felt so good when I did.
Wait for it…
See how much better you’re going a month after