Triathlons are widely regarded to be one of the most challenging and physically demanding sporting events in the world. Effective triathlon training requires hours of structured sessions. Even the most seasoned athlete can find this both daunting and overwhelming. Triathlon training camps
The good news is that the increasing popularity of triathlons has led to coaches thinking outside the box and are creating new and inspiring ways to train. A particular favourite among coaches and triathletes in recent years has been triathlon training camps.
We caught up Santi Brage, an experienced triathlon coach, and the founder of Got To Tri triathlon training camps, to find out why training camps are becoming so popular and how they can benefit you.
What Are Triathlon Training Camps?
Triathlon training camps provide triathletes with dedicated time to focus on their training. They also often take place in a variety of scenic destinations.
Camps usually take place pre-season and for a UK Triathlete, the months from February to May are the most popular. This is really the time you want that early season boost.
If you have been training through the cold, wet and dark months over the winter then the thought of been able to do some of that pre-season swimming, biking and running in the sunshine is clearly attractive.
However, there is so much more you can gain by leaving behind your everyday life and pressures for a week and living the life of a professional athlete for this short period.
How Can You Benefit?
There are many benefits to taking part in a triathlon training camp but why should you invest your time and money in attending one? What will you really gain from the experience?
In no particular order, here is my list of the key benefits:
1) Focused, quality training without distractions
Once you have reached your camp destination, you’ll leave all those regular distractions behind. It’s time to focus on you and your training. I know it sounds selfish but if you want to improve, focus or just have fun doing the sport you love, then a solid week of training will tick those boxes.
When I am coaching triathletes for just a week, it allows me to provide individual coaching tips for each person. This really enables athletes to make progress and build on the key skills they require. This means you will be doing not just a significant quantity of training but, more importantly, getting quality training.
2) Access to coaches 24/7
If you want your own private coach just like the professionals, then here is that opportunity. In the groups we train we try to have a ratio of 6-7 athletes to each coach or ride leader.
So not only will you have a qualified coach there providing the sessions, you will also get someone very experienced in the sport as a sounding board.
They can also give you a second opinion on what you should and shouldn’t be doing during training. They can also explore your race choices
I looked up the definition of learning and I got “the acquisition of knowledge or skills through study, experience, or being taught”. Again, a triathlon camp will well and truly tick these boxes.
You will learn not just from the coaches, but also from the other athletes. You will also learn by doing the key skills work and activities.
4) Working on key techniques
Triathlon is a technique based sport. The best way to improve is to be taught how to do each technique properly and then repeat, repeat, repeat.
You will get many wonderful opportunities to do this during a camp, and it’ll be done in a fun way. So whether it’s ensuring you are streamlined in the water or descending properly, you will get real improvement by working on those key techniques.
5) Gaining confidence
The other day I was running with one of the novices that attended one of our camps earlier this year, and we had a chat about what she got from it.
She told me it helped to improve her confidence, not just on the bike, the run, or in the water, but her confidence in what she was capable of. During that week she had done things she didn’t believe she was able to do.
For example, out of 20 plus people that attended the camp session with her, she was the one who was cycling in trainers and wasn’t confident about riding with cleats. After a week of training camp, however, she was back in the UK riding with cleats on her bike and has never looked back.
In her first year doing triathlons she completed 6 events!
6) Train with your buddies or other like-minded people
This is the bit I like and this is where we see people bring out the best in each other. If you swim, ride and run with others you always push yourself. That’s why working in a squad environment is great for constantly pushing that improvement.
We have also found that whether we have clubs attending or individuals, everyone gets so much encouragement from others. I think that helps people to work a bit harder.
7) Great for the soul
Call me an old hippy (I don’t mind!) but I have come to the conclusion that we need to look after our bodies, our minds, and what I’ll call the soul.
Just being able to do the sport you love is great. However, I believe that doing it in beautiful surroundings, makes you go faster, train harder, and with a smile on your face.
When I think of the location of our triathlon camps in Mallorca, I think of the clear sky and shining blue seas. To be able to swim in the open air, run along the coast, and bike among some beautiful valleys and mountains, always inspires me and definitely feeds my soul.
Got To Tri Training Camps
Our philosophy at Got To Tri is to help improve your technique, confidence and performance. We will take you out of your comfort zone to create real improvement whatever your starting level.
So what do you get if you come to one of our Tri Camps? Our comprehensive package is underpinned by high quality coaching support, including a carefully prepared schedule for the week. We will build this around:
- Individual analysis;
- Small group swim technique sessions to make steep improvements in your swimming;
- Small group rides to suit your level of ability;
- Opportunities to get a taste for the big climbs and how to improve your performance;
- Tips on basic bike technique and a bike fit as needed.
In addition, we will provide guidance to help you plan your coming race season. There will also be expert led workshops on other aspects of triathlon training and race preparation.
About Santi Brage
Santi Brage is one of the owners of Got To Tri and is a coach at their Mallorcan based triathlon training camps. He is a level 2 British Triathlon coach and Level 2 British cycling coach.
Santi is fortunate enough to represent Great Britain in his age group. He recently competed in the Triathlon World Championship in Cozumel Mexico and he also represented Great Britain at the 2016 Aviles ITU Duathlon World Championships.
Other middle distance triathlons he has competed in include Antwerp 70.3; Lisbon Half & Malaga Ican.
Santi is also the founder Box My Wheels which provides bike box hire and aims to take the hassle out of transporting your bike to anywhere in the world.
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