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Training camp pro tips from Angela Naeth

An early season training camp can get you ready for a big year

Before you head off to your next training camp, it’s important to ask yourself, “What do you want to get out of the camp?” Is it a camp to gather knowledge, learn from others or get in lots of hours on the bike?

Related: Triathlon training camp hotspots

2019 IRLAG camp. Photo: Pearl Izumi and iracelikeagirl

It’s also important to do a bit of background research: Who’s hosting the camp? Who are they focusing on (male, female, beginners, veterans)? What’s their coaching approach? What’s their objective? 

Don’t be afraid to email the head coach or camp manager for more information. 

Related: Your ultimate training camp checklist

2019 IRLAG camp. Photo: Pearl Izumi and iracelikeagirl

Here are some points to think about as you head into your next training camp.

Six tips for your training camp

  • Use it as a motivator: Meeting new people, riding extended hours on the bike and being outside is already a huge motivator while at camp. Allow yourself to enjoy being pushed outside of your comfort zone, but stay aware of your limits. Keep things sane and enjoy the camaraderie of your fellow athletes.

    2019 IRLAG camp. Photo: Pearl Izumi and iracelikeagirl
  • Three focus items:  For an early season camp, most of us want to get on our bikes, increase our mileage and learn new skills. Honing in on three specific goals will help you focus on what you want to achieve during the camp. Camps can provide you with some fitness gains, but your focus and take away from any camp should be the knowledge and information you gain – whether it’s swim technique, race/training nutrition, race strategy or ideas for your training.

    2019 IRLAG camp. Photo: Pearl Izumi and iracelikeagirl
  • Don’t lose weight: Camp is not the time to lose weight or skimp on food. Since your training load will be higher than your average week, nutrition and recovery are critical. Focus on being ready for each workout. If you skimp on food, by the end of the week, you’ll find yourself not being able to perform and at risk of injury or sickness.
  • Fuel properly: Most camps are supported and have nutrition products. Use them, and also bring your own training food and post-training snacks. You’ll want to stock your room with on-the-go snacks between workouts.
  • Leave camp with a few things to improve on: Be sure you’re leaving with one or two things you can improve on. Ask for a one-on-one with the coach to recap your camp and set goals for the next few months.

    2019 IRLAG camp. Photo: Pearl Izumi and iracelikeagirl
  • Post-camp recovery: Recovery time is vital. You may be fired up after a great weekend or week outside, but you need time to recover and ease back into your regular training. Take the week following a camp to adjust to your daily routine.

Above all else, have fun. Enjoy the outdoors, meeting new people and great company. Use the weekend or week of training camp to jumpstart your 2019 season.