Next April, I’m off to Majorca for a week’s training camp with my cycling club. This will be the first time for me at such a camp and having only taken up riding again in the last year, I’m filled with trepidation that I won’t be able to keep up with the more experienced and fitter guys.
I ride regularly with runs of anything from two hours up to five/six hours, always making sure I incorporate some tough hills in each ride. Even though I do this, I still struggle to keep up on the hills with my club-mates, who seem to be able to climb with ease compared to myself.
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To prepare for next year’s training camp, is it simply a case of keep riding lots of hilly training routes or is there a specific training regime which could possibly improve my climbing?
Hi Alan. You’re doing a decent amount of riding, which you should keep up, and by all means include the big hills. However, make sure you ease off the intensity and ride some flatter routes in the two weeks leading up to the camp. You won’t be able to take full advantage of the trip if you arrive already exhausted.
A training camp offers not only a perfect environment in which to achieve high-quality training, but also the opportunity to maximise recovery. Sitting by the pool or taking an easy wander to the seafront is far better than trying to recover in the work environment or dealing with daily stress.
Majorca is perfectly set up for cycling, and due to the climate and road surfaces, many of the climbs are far less daunting than some riders may think. You will get the most out of your camp if you’re able to group up with riders of a similar ability who will climb at a similar rate, or a little faster.
It’s better to start at the front of the bunch for a climb, even if the others overtake you, starting at the back and getting dropped will mean you are even further behind. Choose an easy gear, focus well ahead and establish a rhythm to your climbing.
Keep the upper body relaxed but stable, mix seated and standing positions and you’ll be at the top before you know it.
Rob Mortlock is a BC coach
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