Doing a DIY Training Camp Right
If you signed up for The LONDON-PARIS by Tour de France 2022, or maybe are joining Hotchillee for an event later this year, you might be toying with the idea of a DIY Training Camp to kick-start your training or give yourself a fitness boost.
As the world starts to unlock, you might be looking at your carbon pride and joy and thinking that it deserves some time in the sun. Or, you might be opting for a “stay-cation” and taking advantage of the time to put in some decent miles.
The temptation is to just pile on the miles day after day but a more measured and structured approach before, during and after your “camp” can mean better results.
You don’t want to go into a training camp pre-fatigued, so try to schedule in an easier recovery week beforehand. You can use the extra time you’ll free up to check your bike over, get it packed if necessary and to do some route planning. You should also try to do some off the bike work focusing on mobility – some yoga is ideal, so that your body is well prepared for any travel.
This is where some discipline and self restraint is required. You want to try to avoid going out on day one, smashing yourself and then continuing to do so day after day.
All this will do is build fatigue and, as you’ll end up riding weaker and weaker, you’ll be limiting your gains.
Although a training camp will involve a significant increase in training volume, it has to take into account the training volume you have consistently achieved in the build-up to it.
Ideally if you have been tracking your training and using a power meter, you should look at your average weekly Training Stress Score (TSS) in the four weeks before your pre-camp recovery week.
Working from this figure, you should then aim to work on the principle of three days on followed by a recovery day. For the three days on, you should aim to log the following TSS.
CALCULATE YOUR ZONES
Day 1: 25% of weekly average
Day 2: 35% of weekly average
Day 3: 40% of weekly average
So if your average weekly TSS for those four week was 400, your rides would look like:
Day 1: 100 TSS
Day 2: 140 TSS
Day 3: 160 TSS
As a rule of thumb, 60 minutes of steady Zone 2 riding will accumulate approximately 50-60 TSS.
If you don’t use a power meter, you can also apply the same % calculations to riding time taking your weekly average number of minutes in the four weeks prior to your recovery week.
By working in this way, an easier first day will allow you to ease into the camp, ride any travelling out of your legs and, if necessary, start to adapt to warmer temperatures.
After a rest day on Day 4, if your camp is 5 days or more, you can then do:
Day 5: 35% of weekly average
Day 6: 40% of weekly average
Day 7: 45% of weekly average
London-paris by Tour de france
The OFFICIAL LONDON-PARIS by Tour de France. Ride either road or gravel over 3 days to watch the Tour de France finish.
When you get home, the temptation is to keep hammering away at a higher volume but, for maximum gains from the work you’ve put in, your body needs to recover to make those physiological adaptations that result in improved fitness.
Schedule in another easier recovery week when you get home or finish your camp and, the week after that, you’ll be flying.