How To Create Your Own Spring Training Camp

March 6, 2014
Joshua Murdock climbing Old Three Mile Highway in Linnville, North Carolina.

Joshua Murdock climbing Old Three Mile Highway in Linnville, North Carolina.

Many cyclists like the idea of using a training camp as a perfect way to get into shape for the cycling season.  Yet, due to cost, work and family responsibilities, traveling to a designated week long training camp is not always a viable option.

If you are looking for a spring cycling camp to really challenge yourself and get in some great base miles, consider creating your own spring training camp.

There are a few factors to consider especially the overall goal of the camp. Sure, getting quality training miles is a goal, but more importantly, you may want to focus on improving ride skills and techniques as well as race tactics and strategy. With that in mind, you’ll need to decide how many cyclist to include in your camp.  Evaluate each other’s fitness levels, strengths, and weaknesses and commit to bringing together a group in which all participants have something to contribute, but will also leave having learned something too.

You will want to decide on a local or remote location.  Of course, weather plays a role in this but more so does your goals.  Are you looking for climbing opportunities?  What about long rides on quiet country roads for race scenarios?  Look ahead to your early season races and consider matching the topography of your camp destination with that of your upcoming races.  One way to stimulate race scenarios is to keep it competitive and fun.  Use Strava to track your progress and challenge your friends.

Optimize your time off the bike too.  Grabbing a few beers and some laughs builds camaraderie but sharing bio feedback, heart rate information and evaluating ride power analysis as a group can offer feedback and insights into your training and performance which may have been overlooked otherwise.  Take the time to discuss nutritional requirements – find out what works and what doesn’t for others and maybe add a few suggestions to your upcoming preparations as the season progresses.  And last but not least, focus on a mechanically sound bike.  Rides don’t happen if your bike isn’t it good working order.  Have replacement bike parts, tubes, and cycling accessories on hand to keep you in the saddle and benefiting from your training camp.

Creating your own Spring cycling training camp can be a fun adventure that gets you into shape.  Teaching and learning, challenging rides and  lots of laughter are all key ingredients to fuel the sprit for a successful 2014 cycling season.