Assuming that you’ve finalized your travel and accommodations, there isn’t much left to stress about, except checking and rechecking that you have all your gear. Trust me, don’t underestimate the importance of checking your gear – once on a drive to a training camp in South Carolina, a teammate realized he’d forgotten his cycling shoes. How you forget your cycling shoes on a cycling training camp beats me, but I’m told stranger things have happened.
So, to remove the stress of packing, here’s your ultimate training camp checklist.
Related: Tips on how to travel stress-free
Itinerary of travel plans
At the very least, a tentative list of your travel and whereabouts is always a good idea, especially if you’re travelling to another country or continent.
The worst feeling is getting to the border and realizing you forgot the one document that’ll get you one step closer to your destination – your passport.
A good bike bag
If you’re driving to your training camp, you can ignore this one. But, if not, make sure you have a sturdy bike bag/box for travel.
Related: Bike bags for travel
Charging cords for your training gadgets
Easily forgotten, but something you won’t want to be at training camp without. How else would you upload your workouts to TrainingPeaks and Strava?
Spare derailleur hanger
These can get damaged during transport or in a crash, and depending on where your camp is you might not be within the range of a bike shop that carries the correct replacement. Pack a spare with you, which you can swap easily to save yourself the hassle of wasting time trying to find a new one.
Lots of training kit
Swimsuit, cycling jersey, bibs, tank top, shirts, shorts – make sure you have it all, and all that you may need.
It’s a good idea to have a few easy-to-reach contacts in case something happens when you’re out training.
Related: Bike repair: How to change a flat
Even though you’re likely headed somewhere warm, be prepared for all weather. The forecast can change quickly in some regions – mornings can be cooler than expected in the spring. In general, you’re just always better to be over-dressed than under-dressed. Pack layers for the bike, arm and leg warmers, and gloves.
You’ve been on the trainer for a few months now, but outside you need to have a saddle bag with all your emergency bike repair supplies.
Scout out the area – pool, track and terrain
Hopefully, you did this already, but make sure you know the terrain around your accommodations and where your training sessions will take place.
It can be overwhelming going someplace different and not knowing the roads. Thankfully, Strava has developed a network of athletes and activities to research the best local roads. You can also contact local cycling and triathlon clubs to get an idea of the best training routes.
Related: How to be a triathlete on Strava
Your preferred long ride/race day nutrition
Training camp is the perfect place to get used to your race day nutrition, so be sure to pack ahead in case you can’t find the products you’re used to at your camp destination. The same goes for your favourite long ride snacks.
An extra pair of goggles
So if yours break, you’ll have a spare ready to go. Borrowing an extra pair from a fellow camper isn’t always an ideal option.