This one time, at training camp…
Training camps are essentially running holidays. They’re an excuse to leave our busy lives behind and spend a solid block of time in a beautiful place just running, relaxing, eating and running some more. But for most of us, it’s hard to find the time or justify missing some work and leaving the family at home while we indulge in pursuing our hobby. So we figured we should provide you with a short list of excuses, I mean ‘reasons’ why attending a training camp is a great idea!
Up the Anti
One of the main reasons the pros do training camps is it’s a period of time where they can increase the workload without the distractions of daily life to get in the way or add to the fatigue. It’s an opportunity to moderately lift the volume and/or intensity of your normal routine in order to stimulate some improvements. Basically, it’s all about training in an environment that’s not only beneficial in terms of the access to facilities/tracks/trails etc, but also is conducive to good recovery.
Learn from Others
Being surrounded by other likeminded folks, each with different backgrounds and experiences, provides a fantastic wealth of knowledge from which you can learn. Most of our running education comes from practical experience, and this includes what training works for different people, how to manage fatigue, advice on injury management or rehab, shoe selection….the list goes on. So when you’re at a training camp, it provides a fantastic opportunity to pick the brains of those around you and share your experiences.
Change of Scenery
Sometimes you simply want to get away from the tracks and paths you run every day and just find somewhere new to train. Often you’ll find that attending a training camp reinvigorates your passion for running and also provides different challenges to your normal routine. For example, you might normally run on roads or flat routes, but by being on a camp you hit the trails and run hills for something a different. This in turn stimulates the development of different muscle groups and supporting structures that are used less-frequently in your weekly regime when at home.
Motivation is hard to maintain over extended periods. The daily grind gets to even the most driven of athletes. So planning an occasional week away can be a great tool to keep you working towards your goal and maintaining the passion as the weeks go by. Leading into a camp you always want to be in good shape so you can maximise the time away. Then coming out of it, it’s always nice to have a small recovery of a few days and then get back into the swing of things and continue the momentum built from the camp.
One thing that being on a camp does that cannot be understated, is that it generally forces you to recover, both mentally and physically. Most good camps should be held in places where there’s little in the way of distractions. After all, you’re there to train, not site see! Between runs you can put your feet up, read a book, or maybe go to a café for a bite to eat and some banter with your follower runners. Also, because you are so focused on your running for a period of time, camps allow you to mentally recover from things like work stress.
This one time, at training camp…