Sunday, February 24, 2013

Training camps.

This is a big lake. Covered in ice.
Training camps are a really great way of getting lots of volume in training. They can really put a bang into your training and lift you out of a bit of a hollow. Yet they can put you in a big hole if you don’t get it right before and after! 

Key points I find important with training camps

      1. Hit the camp fresh
      2. Know your limits
        3. Recover well out of the camp

These are 3 really simple things to remember – but what a difference they make!

My wife had a course to attend in the north of Germany in a coastal place called Timmendorfer Strand, and she wanted me to go with her. I thought this would be a great chance to have a small “training camp” by myself and rack up a few good kms. 

I made this plan before we went and before I looked at where it was. I must say not the ideal place for me to train…. And the weather was a little against me. 

There was not many trails to run on and the few there are were covered in ice and hard frozen snow. This made running slower and harder than I would have liked. Germans also love putting as much road or paved road down as possible. Still I headed out to try and get the km’s. Oh, and the temperature was a wonderful warm -3 to 1 degrees, plus wind chill. 

Waves! First 3 days sea was like dead flat.
I got out and ran, it was cold yet ok, I racked up over 120km running and 25km walking (we were about 1-2km from everything and had to walk to get food and drinks). And this in 4 days of training. 

In the past whenever I did a training camp it was always with other people and that is fantastic, everyone brings so much to a group and the whole process is so much easier and nicer. Doing this alone I realized just how much difference that makes. This added to the cold weather was tough, yet I believe that the time on my feet will have done me some real good.

So for the future, doing more of these focused training camps can have real benefits. If you are heading to an organised camp, make sure you are in a group that will push you, yet not kill you.  If you are doing one by yourself then try and get a couple of friends to do it with you. Also really remember to plan your goals you have for the camp before you go. 


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