Steven writes about elements that we feel are key to the character of a successful training camp
(based on Lord Lordy column in October 2014 Triathlete Europe)
Following our years of packing up and heading out of London for our own DIY camps, tri club weekends away and our experience of being part of the legendary EPIC camps, Jo and I have developed our own take on what we want to offer on the camps that we organise through EverydayTraining. These are training camps as we would want to experience them ourselves, taking elements from all of the above, and we believe that as well as great training, our camps also provide unique experiences to help develop yourself as an athlete, and meet other crazies like yourself!
Below is an outline of the anatomy of one of our camps:
- We’re in this together – no sessions are optional. Everyone on the camp has the over-riding goal of ‘completing’ the camp. This results in all campers really supporting each other – from the fastest to the slowest, everyone is challenged.
- Limited flexibility – we provide a method whereby you can “earn” a slight reduction in the following days training. This allows a certain amount of tactics to complete the camp and provides the possibility for athletes to help each other by trading.
- Completion – this came from our experience on Epic Camp. We provide a set of daily minimums, which need to be done to “complete” the camp. It’s nothing more than being able to say you did it (there’s no completion medal) but it motivates virtually every camper.
- Competition – with high volume camps intensity is often difficult to come by. By having regular competitions it ensures some more intense work and also lets people discover they can still go pretty hard even after a tough few days training.
- Make It Social – many friendships have been forged on camp and we like to build a good group feel without cliques. We keep our camps small enough that we all have meals together. Since everyone does all of the sessions there’s a big shared experience, which helps provide some banter at the end of each day. I’m proud that each camp has produced it’s own great feel, and running “in jokes”.
- Mix Of Abilities – it’s great to get strong experienced athletes alongside newbie’s and weaker athletes. Our rides are scheduled so that the different paced groups meet on the road (often more than once) and where café stops are possible we aim to get all groups arriving there at the same time. We handicap races and competitions such that everyone has a chance to win, and therefore equal motivation to produce their best. Each of our different camp locations has a different method for this and all have proved successful. More often than not, we’ve reached the end of the camp with the fastest and slowest athlete battling against each other to win the camp prize.
- Train Like A Professional – we aim to provide the “train like a professional” experience. So we ensure that campers don’t have to worry about anything other than training and recovering. All meals are provided. Massage is provided together with sports nutrition and recovery products. We even have a physio along to help with daily stretching and to provide treatment if the need arises.
- It’s a TRAINING Camp. Our camps are six days of training. The days are filled with swim bike and run. No formal talks are given – instead advice can be gained during conversations on the road, at the café, over the dinner table. And not only from the coaches, either. Others on the camp have experiences to share on the and we encourage this pooling of knowledge, and opinions amongst the group.
This March sees the fourth running of our Lanzarote Endurance camp and we’re pleased that from each of our previous three we’ve had at least one person qualify for Kona. I’m hoping that this time I’ll be one of them!