Lately I’m just posting what my friend Sam sends to me. This is a pretty good article on off-season conditioning for professional cyclists from the NY Times.
Training camps are great, and not just for professional athletes. This is why our Beachbody trainers all hold them. It’s nice to get people together where they can focus on training but also have some fun. This is different from competitions, where people might still have fun but there’s always some pressure of the impending event. An off-season camp is different in that you aren’t supposed to be performing at a high level, which further lifts any pressure.
Some friends of mine met a few weekends ago for some riding around Zion. The year before we’d all met to race in Moab. And, even though it was a “fun” race (meaning we weren’t there to compete to win) the difference in the two weekends was astounding. Toasting after our first ultra-classic three hour ride of the weekend, there was no questioning what was on our minds. “To how much better this is than Moab,” was all uttered in some form of unity.
At the end of the Moab race we all left wondering how it might have been if we’d raced hard. There was talk about taking it seriously the next year and, even though we knew we were there for fun, there was some angst. After Zion, we were relaxed, refreshed, and even though we’d ridden many hours per day, it felt like we’d been on vacation.
Now don’t get me wrong; racing can be fun too. But not much beats getting a bunch of friends together in a great location for a lot of no pressure exercise.