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Training Camps

posted 23 Feb 2015, 13:38 by Kevin Monaghan
(By Steven Franzoni)   
The last month has seen the build up to the 2015 race season gain some momentum, in terms of training. The intensity of sessions here at Outdoor Escape has increased in the turbo classes with many a red face leaving here Tuesdays and Thursday night, after the now obligatory sprints and race pace efforts. To link in with this phase of training, we have organised three training camps over February and late January weekends to get some hard training completed and start to look at some of the efforts required to win races. The camps gave Mullingar cyclist a chance to get together and bond as teams and also to see how training should be carried out.

Two ladies training camps and two men's camps, one for the A3/4 racers and one for the A1/2 have taken place. Emphasis during the camps was placed on eating healthy, pre, post and during the rides. Chef and top support man Paul Daly, looked after the busier women's days with healthy recovery smoothies and energy snacks. Many thanks Paul.

The training looked at hill climbing on the Saturdays, on the now famous Flanders route around Mullingar and skills work on the Sundays. To make things a little harder and prepare the guys for some of the potential three day races, we also threw in a very hard turbo session on the Friday nights. That's right folks three hard days in a row, with not a recovery day in sight. To help with all this stress to the system we also looked into different recovery methods to help the riders get over the hardship.

We used the Cryospa at Loman's football club for some cold water therapy. Shane at NGS ran two very good stretching and relaxation, hour group classes, that had us in some very compromised positions, but showed very clearly how poor we all are in the stretching department. Also on hand, was Eileen Gorey offering her very capable hands at massage. All these methods of recovery should not be over looked by anyone undertaking a hard training program, which for many of the athletes on the camps involves six or sevens days of training a week.

The training camps however highlighted for me the need for cyclists to work on their handling skills and racing craft. Both skills are relevant to the leisure cyclist for the often spirited club spins. But there seems to be a big void and need for up-skilling. Even some of the more experienced cyclists present over the weekends struggling with basic observation and wheel holding drills. Something which is crucial for safe spins in big groups.

The season now draws very close with some minor races already having taken place. All the hard work put in over the winter, now needs to be focused on goals for the approaching summer months, be you a leisure cyclist or racer, you cant beat having something to drive you on and get you motivated.

For most the first race will be in Enfield in a few Saturdays time.  Will all that hard work have been worth the effort?