Anatomy Of A Training Camp

I’m sitting in front of my new wood burner as the first cold snap of autumn hits. Everyday I check in on what’s going on in Kona, which renews my drive to get back there one day. This edition of Triathlete Europe is bound to be full of Kona news so I thought I’d end the magazine on a different note. Since this may have inspired many of you to chase the goal of Kona perhaps a winter training camp will help. Jo (Carritt) and I have our own take on what we want to offer on a camp and through EverydayTraining, the coaching company that we have built together, we have been able to organise just that. A camp as we would want it, and we believe that as well as great training, our camps also provide a unique experience.

Below is an outline of the anatomy of one of our camps:

  1. We’re in this together – no sessions are optional. Everyone on the camp has the overriding goal of ‘completing’ the camp. This results in all campers really supporting each other – from the fastest to the slowest, everyone is challenged.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 (there’s no completion medal) but it motivates virtually every camper.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. Also, since everyone does all 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”. As an example, the camp last March was our “G&T” camp; where athletes took it in turns to host pre-dinner drinks and nibbles on their balcony.
  6. Mix Of Abilities – it’s great to get strong experienced athletes alongside newbie’s and weaker athletes. Our rides are scheduled so that groups meet on the road (often more than once) or where café stops are possible we aim to get all groups arriving 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 both still in the fight to win the camp prize.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

Next year will be 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 next year I’ll be one of them.

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