Friday, 4 June 2010

Training Camps

I have been doing my own training camps for several years, with camps in Colorado, Texas, France, Greece and Mallorca. All of those camps were tough and had some good and bad aspects. What I intend to do in this series is to review the camps I have completed so that I can share my experiences to those who might want to plan there own; or perhaps stimulate some thought on other places to hold training camps. I will do this in reverse chronological order, with Mallorca being the first.

The plan for Mallorca was to escape the cold and wet UK spring weather and get in some high volume training. Mallorca in March is not necessarily warm, so choosing that location required some last minute confirmation and a back up plan (Tenerife in this occasion) if the weather looked to be unsat. The specific goals of the camp were to train with Ironman St. George in mind, and that meant lots of climbing and time on the bike. As St. George is a tri bike course, I chose to bring the P3C even though it is not ideal for climbing and descending (but not bad, really).

What I found in Mallorca was a cyclists paradise, decent running and an average place for swimming. In March, the sea is still very cold and there aren't tons of pools available (I did find one decent one in Palma) and our hotel had a 50m outdoor pool that was not heated (I swam in with my wetsuit...much to the amusement of the other guests).

Depending on where the camp is based, will dictate the quality of running and swimming, but cycling will be good regardless. I rode on nearly empty (of cars anyway) roads all around the South east, and throughout the centre of the island. I easily rode up to Pollenca and along the mountainous north west area, so each day had distinct options and allowed for a nicely structured camp.

Running seemed to be good, and I had a great long run along the sea from Palma along the south coast, but it was flat and in hindsight, was not super for Utah as that course demands hills in training.

My out take from this camp was: Great place for cycling at nearly any time of the year. Running is good, but needs some thought in relation to where the camp is based and the type of running desired. Swimming has to be considered a weakness (unless the camp is later in the year). The food, culture and overall quality of the island was top notch and made for a really nice holiday apart from the training.

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