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Cycling Training Camps

Do you need a training Camp? Training camps were generally something just pros did/do. So why are more and more amateur cyclist going away?

The reason being is there are a lot more ‘pros’ and ‘semi pros’ now working full or part time. The chance to get away from the everyday routine of work, cooking, cleaning, training early in the morning or late at night for a couple of weeks to get some quality training in really helps set up your base fitness in preparation for the summer.

So, do you really need to go abroad on a training camp? There are many reasons why people go on training camps in the winter. The main reason people choose to go abroad is because its warm and dry but also away from distraction. It helps with motivation as come mid-winter you have been battling with the elements for some months now and you seem very far away from being fit enough. Going away helps get you in the saddle for some quality hours.

At this time of the year, cycling training camps are particularly popular to get away from the bad weather and spend some quality time with your bike and training group. Here at PBK, we have compiled a selection of top tips for going away this season.

Where to go

The Canary Islands are always a safe option at this time of year, they are warm dry and full of cyclists like yourself! The last thing you want to do is to go on a cycling holiday to get away from the bad weather and be faced with yet more wind, rain, ice and snow. Majorca is also an option to consider, but this is better come early March onwards as it can be a tad cold at this time of year with averages around 10-12 degrees.

 

Temperature

Most of the Canary Islands area round a pleasant 20 -25 degrees at this time of year, and although they can be a little windy at times, at least it is warm wind! If you have a group of fellow cycling buddies to go with, this will help as you can all share your turn in the wind which makes it that little more enjoyable as it can be quite sole destroying battling away with a constant head wind on your own. It can be a touch cool in temperature when you send off in the early morning, so consider taking a cycling gilet and some knee, leg and arm warmers to be on the safe side. Remember the sun cream even if it feels a little fresh first thing as the sun generally always comes out as the day progresses.

Popularity

You will always find one or two places on the islands that are more popular for cyclists. They tend to group there like a flock of sheep and are hard to miss, but it’s good to ask around your local clubs and organisations to see where they are going on their yearly training camp – like we mentioned before it’s better to share. You can share accommodation, car hire, routes and banter!

 

Price

The cost of your time away all depends on what you want out of your training camp – you can do it on the cheap and go all inclusive sharing with a mate, or splash out on a spa hotel that will give you daily massages and pampering. But that’s completely up to you. Make sure that you think and plan ahead as well, whilst it will be half the price now than if you weren’t so organised.

Where to stay

As mentioned before, if you want a sociable training camp, look at the popular cycling resorts. If you are close to these, you can be sure to find a lot of ex-pats, clubs and teams that meet at 9am for the daily ride. Bit like meeting the local club run on a Sunday morning, only they do it every day and know all of the best roads. Be sure to ask them how far they are thinking and what kind of pace they are aiming for so you know you are not going to get caught out, lost and miles away from your hotel on your first day! Most of the rides tend to be fairly sensible with a nice café stop mid-way. Just be sure you haven’t accidentally tagged on the back of Tinkoff’s team training ride!

Travel Equipment

It’s all good planning your holiday, booking your flights, hotel and planning all of your cycling routes and activities, but what about packing your bike? Here at PBK, we have it all sorted for you with our range of travel equipment for your bike. Browse through our selection of bike bags, wheel bags and other transportation equipment to ensure that you get your bike to your destination as safely as yourself. If only it was as easy as wheeling it onto the plane!

Clothing

Choosing what cycling clothing to pack with you can be tricky, as the temperature and climate can be deceiving. When you leave for an early morning ride, it can be a bit nippy and breezy but come midday, you could be cycling in the blazing sun. You want to be as comfortable as can be!

We also suggest that you invest in some cycling sunglasses – we have a great range from top brands like Oakley, Sunwise, adidas and Salice that will ensure that your eyes are not only protected, but so that you can cycle in style too! Unfortunately there is not much we can do to avoid those t-shirt and shorts tan lines that you’ll get cycling in the sun, but you can always top up your tan by the pool on your rest day(s)!

It’s not all sun and games though – don’t forget about those long descents. Take a windproof and/or waterproof cycling jacket as descending can take a while with some maybe up to an hour long, and you can get quite cold!

Nutrition

Make sure that you take all of your nutritional favourites with you abroad, because you’ll find that your personal choice of nutrition you need (energy gels, recovery drinks, supplements etc.) may not be available once you are out there. Stock up on plenty here today so that you don’t run short half way up a mountain climb in Tenerife!

Also remember that you are abroad and it is (hopefully) hotter than the conditions that you are used to cycling in. So take particular notice to your nutritional strategy. Keep hydrated by drinking lots of water, maybe even attach two bottle cages to your bike, and have a look at our range of energy and recovery drinks for that extra energy boost. Also take plenty of food with you on the ride as you can be out for many hours! And, not to forget that recovery is just as important, if not more since you’ll have endured many miles in a warmer, denser climate.

Training Computers

Tracking your rides can give you a great sense of accomplishment when you later look back over your route and all the extras that comes with a good cycling computer. So why not add a route abroad to your profile? Take a look at the Garmin Edge 1000 – a GPS cycling computer that allows you to connect straight to Strava and Garmin connect to compare and compete. This particular device has a live Strava feed and a round-trip routing feature where you can enter how far you want to ride and it calculates three cycling routes with its built in maps, so you can explore the roads without getting lost – especially useful being in a foreign country!

Extra hints & tips:

  • Make sure that you take your phone with you and ensure that your emergency contact details are accessible for anyone that comes to save you God forbid anything happen (tip: if you have an iPhone, then update the Health App with all of your medical details)!

 

  • Take out insurance just in case you get yourself (or someone else!) injured. Make sure that you are covered for all activities that you are planning to partake in.

 

  • And lastly, bare everything that we have said in mind and enjoy your time away cycling – have a blast!

 

 

 



Elizabeth Demetriou

Elizabeth Demetriou

Editor

I'm a runner at heart but since shin splints became a big part of my life, I turned to cycling as a form of cross training. I love riding track and am a regular on the Manchester velodrome; on the road I ride a Trek Lexa and I call it Toby.


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