Friday, January 16, 2009

Winter Training Camp

Photo: Panamint Valley, CA
First, I'd like to share an article with you from Robbie Ventura about the benefits of a Winter Training Camp. Then, I'd like to tell you about a couple of training camps that I'll be running in 2009 and 2010 with Todd Wiley and Jason Wood. Here's the article from Robbie:
Start the New Year with a Training Camp
by Robbie Ventura
For endurance athletes, regardless of athletic discipline, possessing a powerful aerobic engine is essential to success. For long-course triathletes or RAAM riders, this zone is where they will spend almost all of their time in competition. Even for criterium specialists and short-course triathletes, an aerobic foundation is vital to prepare them for more intense lactate threshold and VO2 workouts. Unfortunately for most amateur athletes, especially in the Midwest, a full-time work schedule, unpredictable winter weather, and short days make adequate aerobic preparation during the traditional base-building months a challenge.

One excellent solution is taking some time to get away for a mid-winter training camp. Any good training camp should share three common features: predictable climate, inspiring routes and an escape from the worries of everyday life. Getting away from the family or office for a week of training is challenging enough, so the last thing you want is missed training days resulting from unexpected weather conditions. Even if camp is planned well in advance, some parts of the country enjoy much more consistent weather conditions at certain times of the year, so try to target those that are most stable.

Although an excellent camp experience can be had close to home, it is also beneficial to go somewhere entirely different. New training routes provide extra incentive to put in long miles because you are anxious to take in all you can of the local countryside. For those who live in urban or suburban areas, planning a trip to more remote areas allows for better training because there will generally be less traffic and fewer signals to interrupt workouts, meaning time can be entirely focused on training.

Finally, by traveling somewhere out of the ordinary expressly to train, it is possible to get a much better training experience. Getting out of the office will remove a tremendous amount of stress, which many athletes may not realize has a significant impact on their training capacity. If the only worries each day are eating, training, eating some more and sleeping, the body can handle a much greater training load. That said, just because it is supposed to be relaxing doesn’t mean camp should be a free for all. The best camp will include a definite daily structure so that you’re not just training, rather the daily sessions should be designed and ordered so that you are maximizing the overall training load and thus your aerobic development.

Now, about the Training Camps for 2009 and 2010. For 2009, I'll be working with Todd Wiley, , to help Todd run a mini-camp (long weekend) in Lake Placid, NY on Labor Day weekend. For those of you that haven't been to Lake Placid before, it's a beautiful place to visit and train in the mountains. It doesn't matter whether you're a triathlete or a's just a great place to ride. For 2010, I'm starting to plan a trip out to California in February. Initially I was thinking about riding the Furnace Creek 508 route through the Mohave Desert and Death Valley, but then I was thinking..why not ride near the Tour de California stages and get to see the Pros race while we're there. Stay tuned!

Photo (above) of Panamint Valley, CA..where we'll be staying this year, during the 2009 Desert Training Camp w/ my friend Mitch Lesak & Co.

If you have any questions on either training camp, email me at: and I'll do my best to answer them. Cheers Rob

No comments: