Full disclosure: We host a lot of camps, so be advised this could include a blatant sales pitch. That being said, though, the reason we do winter training camps is that we know how effective they are in boosting your foundation training fitness and setting you up for a season of success. I could give you a thousand reasons to attend a winter camp, but I'd like to suggest four main ones.
Planning MotivationAs you build your 2015 season, you’re looking at spending a lot of time building your base foundation. The ability to take a nice “winter break” goes a long way to planning and building the best annual program. Whether your goal is to win Nationals or just finish the local century, nothing is as motivating (or rewarding) as building toward a nice week in the sun, riding in exotic places.
Workout MotivationI can tell you from experience that scheduling a winter training camp in February, March, or April is excellent motivation. The positive pressure of knowing you’ll be riding with fifteen people you haven’t met tends to keep you on track to make all your scheduled workouts in order to kick off the camp with solid base fitness.
Training LoadFor most of the winter, those of us who don’t not live in the south spend a lot of time on the trainer or riding on the weekends in enough clothes to look like Mikey from A Christmas Story. Planning a high volume camp week is the key to maximizing all that effort by closing the base training period with a big change to your body. We preach to our athletes that our bodies need change, even at times aggressive, short-term overload. A spring training camp comes at just the right time to “confuse” the system with a week of over-reaching that will produce big results a few weeks later.
LearningTraining camps are amazing places to learn! From the instructors to fellow attendees, you’re surrounded by a wealth of knowledge and experience, and the ability to share this knowledge is huge. I’ve been part of numerous camps, and I’ve never seen a rider (no matter how experienced) walk away without learning something.
These are all great reasons to sign up and enjoy a camp. But I’ll give you one more tip: camps are for cyclists of all levels. So many people call us wanting to sign up for a camp but are afraid they “can’t keep up.” I can only speak for our camps, but we run fully guided rides for multiple levels every day. We aim to have one coach for every five athletes on the road so we can truly work with you individually, regardless of your pace.
There are lots of cycling camps out there, and we'd be honored to have you join one of ours. Click here to see our current schedule.
Photo: Some of our campers at PCG Camp Mallorca 2014
Tim Cusick is a USA Cycling Level 3 coach and the president of Peaks Coaching Group. He and his coaches create custom training plans for all levels of athletes. Tim can be contacted directly through PeaksCoachingGroup.com or email@example.com.