Two days ago, my colleague coach Laszlo sent me an email suggesting to repeat last year's training camp which we did in March. At that time we went to the Gran Canaries for a week. Our colleague Andras accompanied us as well as 3 other acquaintances, young men in their twenties, one of whom was a professional triathlete who had just joined a French triathlon team.
Naturally, the first question that crossed my mind when I read the email was if that training camp had an impact on my athletic performance and if it would be of any help this year too.
This is the training volume we did every day:
Bike: 62 km in 2 hours and 40 minutes, elevation gain of 575m
Run: 7 km, 50 minutes
Bike: 97 km in 4 hours and 30 minutes, elevation gain of 800
Bike: 34 km in 2 hours and 10 minutes, elevation gain of 400m
Run: 6 km, 57 minutes
Bike: 68 km in 3 hours and 10 minutes, elevation gain of 650m
Bike: 90 km in 4 hours and 50 minutes, elevation gain of 980m
Run: 8 km, 60 minutes
Bike: 125 km in 5 hours and 30 minutes, elevation gain of 1250m
Run: 5 km, 30 minutes
Run: 6 km, 45 minutes
It would not have been possible to focus on cycling and a little bit of running for a complete week without going to a distant place with a group of individuals with the same objective. The daily rides with relatively short recovery times raised my endurance to a higher level. However, the most important thing I learnt was the importance of nutrition. I learnt how it feels when you run out of energy and bonk. That is exactly what happened to me about 4 hours into the ride on the second day. I reached my limit, felt my quads were about to cramp any second, and had to stop. After some minutes of recovery and taking some Magnesium and a gel, I was able to get on the bike again and continue the ride slowly, back to the hotel. This was a very important experience to make. I thought if it was this bad already on the second day, how will I be able to endure a week. But as of the following day, I started taking a powerbar every hour right from the beginning of the ride; each of them has 220 kilocalories. Additionally, I took Magnesium every now and then during the ride. I haven't bonked again for the rest of the week.
So, will I go on a training camp this year? I'd like to and I hope that I'll be able to take a week off from work at a time that suits my friends too.