The Benefits of Training Camp

This past week, we had a training camp in Tucson for our ALP Athletes. It was hugely successful. 6 days of bike riding, 3 coaches presentations, group meals, on bike cornering practice, group ride/race skills, products and schwag from Osmo and Pactimo,and challenging ride routes. For our athletes, it was money and time well spent and invested in each person’s bike riding goals and success in those goals.

This got me thinking. As a coach, I find it my duty to teach athletes how to be a better and more complete cyclist. I like to think I am a teacher of the sport. This is far more than a training plan and data analysis. Being a teacher of the sport involves riding with the athletes, teaching them bike-handling skills, group riding skills, race tactics, sprint skills, the list goes on and on.

Our training camp in Tucson was a perfect opportunity for me, and the other ALP Coaches Shawn and Paddy, to really teach our athletes how to be a more well rounded cyclist. Sure, many people go to a training camp and ride themselves into the ground. Then, after a few rest days are stronger and produce bigger watts at LT. However, this training camp may not have done anything to make them a more complete cyclist.

Some of the drills and rides we did a camp were uncomfortable for some of the riders. It got them out of their comfort zone and created stress both mentally and physically. Doing this day in and day out can be tough, and honestly, not that enjoyable. But as soon as that rider goes home, recovers, and rides in a group on rough roads at a fast pace, they will be better. Thanks to camp, their comfort zone will be bigger, their fitness better, and most important, their confidence higher. Having self-confidence is more than half the battle of bike racing success.

I love teaching. I really enjoy helping people find the best in themselves- both on the bike and off the bike. We are having another training camp in March; this time in Solvang, CA. This camp will be different from Tucson in that it is more race focused. We will spend time working on all three aspects of road racing—Time Trialing, Road Racing, and Criterium Racing. We all also have hard rides that will challenge your fitness. You will learn from someone who has won a national championship in all three disciplines (yes, I am tooting my own horn). As a cyclist, you will leave this camp a better, more knowledgeable, and more confident bike rider and ready to take on the 2015 race season.

Solvang is open to all athletes—not just ALP Cycles athletes. If you are interested in joining us or would like more information, shoot me an email at Alison at ALPcyclescoaching dot com. I look forward to teaching you the intricacies of our wonderful sport.

Here is a video of our last ride in Tucson. It was a race simulation “spirited group ride”- and it was fun!

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