Looking through the many Triathlete magazines available, plus the wealth of information on the web, you will see that there is a great choice of “Triathlon Training Camps” both at home and abroad. They range from weekends based at your local pool, to week-long, hardcore Ironman beastings somewhere hot and sunny.
So how should you choose the right Triathlon Camp for you?
Decide what you want and need most from the camp. Make a short “ideal” list. It could include things like:
1/ I would like to have a good coach on hand throughout
2/ I would like to feel more confident on my new road bike and improve my bike handling skills, especially when descending
3/ I need them to help me with my bike set up
4/ Can they help me understand how to use a heart rate monitor properly
5/ I want them to cook great healthy food for me
6/ I would love to be somewhere scenic so I enjoy cycling
7/ I also want to be able to relax somewhere nice
8/ I need to hire a good road bike, as I don’t feel confident packing mine
9/ They should offer good value for money
Then you can simply use your list to find somewhere that ticks most of your boxes.
How do I know if the “Triathlon Camp” is any good?
Does this camp come well recommended, by other triathletes? Do they seem to have lots of happy athletes, some of whom have similar profiles to you?
For example maybe you can read what their clients have written on-line. Or maybe they could even put you in touch with other novice triathletes that had been on their camps already.
In your correspondence with the camp organizers, do they seem interested with your particular needs as a beginner triathlete and are they professional. All this should help you build a picture of the experience you could expect.
So how much should it cost?
Costs vary enormously, as do people wallets, but a higher price does not always mean that you will come away a stronger fitter and more able triathlete, but it may mean that you have a spa, Jacuzzi, endless pool, etc.
Most places that offer camps (where you are staying) will offer different food options i.e. B & B, Half Board or Full Board, but some may only offer self catering. If you really want to self-cater, make sure that it is possible to get supplies easily and affordably and don’t forget to cost this in when you are making your comparisons.
Refer back to your ideal list again, and prioritize what you choose to spend your cash on. Put simply does the camp represent good value for money?
What benefits should I expect from going on a Triathlon Camp?
A good camp will teach you how to become a complete triathlete by bringing all the necessary components together, they will cater for your needs. They will explain when and how to train, and recover, identify your weaknesses and give you focus for when you return to training on your own or with your local club. They may also be able to give you nutritional advice and support.
Make sure there is a reputable, experienced triathlon coach on hand, they can offer you their knowledge and expertise, helping you to fast track your learning process. A good coach will motivate you to train, give you a kick up the bum when you need it but also know your limits. They may have been a high level athlete themselves which can also provide a personal insight and an additional level of understanding
The camp should provide technical and analytical advice, and provide a program that caters for your needs. So it is important that you have a dialogue with the organizers of the camp to discuss these, to make sure that your level of athlete will be catered for.
In short a good Triathlon Training Camp should provide you with the tools to progress as a fitter and more capable athlete, increase your motivation towards the sport and make you want to re-book!
What time of year is best?
Traditionally many camps are run from February through to May, but a few are open all year round. The general idea being that the majority of athletes have not done quite as much as they should have done in November, December and January and their first race is fast approaching!
To be honest for a novice triathlete a good camp will really help you, whatever time of year it is. For example if you go in November, you will have the whole winters training in front of you, but you will have improved your technique and understanding of “how to train” during the camp, so you can build on that when you return home.
Or you may have chosen your first big race in the middle of July, so in order to be race specific the middle of June would be great. The camp organizers should be happy to advise you on this too.
What ever you choose, make sure that it really suits your specific ideals and needs, is on a budget you can afford and will ensure that you come away a happy, fitter, more informed and motivated triathlete.
We like to think that we can tick most of your boxes and have spent the last seven years doing just that in our “Triathlon Training” base in the South of France…Where full time Coach Richard Laidlow (BTA and British Cycling Coach) can offer you just such attention, knowledge and expertise, at an affordable price. For more on Richard Laidlows coaching services and all year round training camps visit: http://www.sancture-sportifs.com
Find More Beginner Triathlon Training Articles