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Old 01-02-11, 02:36 PM   #1
forrest_m
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where does training camp fit?

Was wondering if someone could discuss how a week-long training camp fits into a training season. I'm currently putting in about 10-12 hours a week. I feel like if I went out next week and tried to ride 25 or 30 hours, I'd just end up exhausted...

Is the main idea with winter training camps that going someplace sunny and riding on new roads is a motivator to log a lot of saddletime in the base period? Or is there some special benefit to completely depleting your system that you don't get by just being consistent with your training at home?
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Old 01-02-11, 03:22 PM   #2
pjcampbell
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probably what you said. I would do training camp when you are about to go nuts from the trainer/indoor/cold. i usually go to florida in february.

think im going to go in march this year.
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Old 01-02-11, 03:26 PM   #3
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Usually whatever dates your daddy's frequent flier miles aren't blacked out.
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Old 01-02-11, 03:32 PM   #4
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I've been going to SoCal for a few years now, usually in late Jan or early Feb. It offers me a few things:
- total focus on riding, at least during the day. No work, no errands, no nothing. Just eat and ride.
- shorts or knickers weather, rarely under 45 degrees. Also allows me to do longer rides without worrying about losing digits due to frostbite.
- mental recharge hanging out with good friends (the couple who host me). The husband was my best man, former leadout man, and is the reason I'm here on bikeforums. He's also the reason why I blog. A lot of that stuff started over long talks we had while I was out there. I still haven't gotten around to doing stuff we talked about a few years ago.
- training - goal is to do 25-35 hours one week. With a race at the end of the trip I'll have to take it easy for a few days.
- variety of terrain. Many of my rides involve at least a few 30 minute climbs. I don't get those around here. The 2 hour climbs are brutal.

I have some benefits with my set up.
- I stay at a friend's house. We all get along - me, him, his wife, their son, their daughter, and even their dog.
- As a former shop person (he worked with me) he has a full set of tools. I can do minor fixes on my bike.
- As an bike industry person we'll go visit local shops. The eye candy is pretty impressive - Nytro and the like.
- I give the evenings and weekends to them, babysit, try and cook dinner each evening, etc.
- This means most of my riding is M-F so I'll do mega miles M-W-F and do harder rides Tu-Th.
- They have a washer and dryer so I can wash even my one-off pieces every day (like my LS jersey - just one team one now).
- Group rides available but usually only on weekends. Sometimes I can get in a group on a weekday.

I should add that the main benefit for me is that I can ride my brains out and not worry about anything at the end of the day. I can be the zombie I normally become (after 4-5-6 days) and it's okay. The couple understand what it's like because they've been there. He used to be a 3, she a 2, and both have done some training camp type stuff. So when I'm totally bleary eyed or insist on having steel cut oats they know what I'm going through.

I think that long rides benefit everyone, even those that may not enter a race longer than 30 minutes. I find that I relearn a lot of riding tricks and techniques when I push that time barrier past 4-5 hours. A rider is forced to become more efficient simply because the rider is too tired to be flagrantly wasting energy. To be able to go faster in Hour 6 than in Hour 1 means you're doing fine, especially if (like me) you have waypoints and time goals throughout the ride. Therefore I'm riding moderately hard even at the beginning of a 100 mile day.

During the season I typically ride 5-8 hours a week, and for me 10-12 is a lot lot lot of hours.

Last edited by carpediemracing; 01-02-11 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 01-02-11, 04:06 PM   #5
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What he said.

I put in 15hr weeks year round, but by March, indoor trainer miles have just about started to kill me. Spring training is when I can ride my bike for real for the first time in months, in nice weather, while having no other concerns besides training. This recharges my mind, makes me love cycling again, and allows me to put my indoor training to the test (prove to myself that I didn't waste a whole winter) before competition. It is also hard work/large training volume, so is a great way to come to a peak as long as training camp is followed by a bit of a rest week.
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Old 01-02-11, 08:09 PM   #6
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I usually train very little for the following 3-4 weeks. Then races start, and since I'm exhausted after the weekend, I usually train very little until the middle of April.

Although 10 weeks of low hours is a bit extreme, it's very important to recover from the big volume week/s.
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Old 01-02-11, 09:37 PM   #7
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Yep, that sounds exactly like my trip to CA. I think I have about 5 hours scheduled for next week, with a few hard efforts--I'm returning to normal lifting though too.
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Old 01-02-11, 11:50 PM   #8
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The team I work for is going to FL in February. Yes there is a lot of riding but it's also for the guys to get acquainted, distribute all of the equipment from sponsors and team building exercises.

I know all of us: staff, sponsors and riders will be looking forward to some sun and palm trees by then and leaving our trainers at home.
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Old 01-03-11, 12:30 PM   #9
pjcampbell
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i have motor scooters and 50 miles of straights with like 6 traffic lights if anyone is in vero beach area.
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Old 01-03-11, 01:06 PM   #10
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I wouldnt go from 10-12 hours a week to 25-30... The rest you would need after that hard week would negate any gains that were made IMHO.
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Old 01-04-11, 09:08 AM   #11
Jim Bonnet
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I have to agree with wfrogge... Thats a huge jump in time and miles... If you use training peaks I'm sure what you'd find is that you'd have dug yourself into a deep hole... Why not build 10-15% in time/distance per week through the month then hit that big week... You'd most likely hit a much better level of fitness...

--jim
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Old 01-10-11, 10:37 AM   #12
forrest_m
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yeah, the "digging a deep hole" issue is basically why i asked the question. Was just wondering if there was some physiological advantage to digging a huge hole and then recovering from it that, in itself, gives some benefit down the road. It sure sounds like fun to just go someplace new and ride around for a week (and maybe that's reason enough), but since it would require a lot of rearranging of life to make it happen, probably better to just try to squeeze in some extra hours over a series of weeks.
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