The Best Tips for a Training Camp at Home

Image: Tim Jud

Get ready for a completely different training camp experience! Instead of driving or flying to warmer and more southern regions – which is difficult at the moment anyway – improve your form at home.

This may sound boring but can be a really interesting option. It also saves time, money and nerves. The only prerequisite: “For a successful training camp at home, athletes must make sure to have enough time for training and recovery,” says Björn Geesmann, professional coach and sports scientist at STAPS training institute. Read on to learn how to do it right:

Focus on training

Athletes should choose a week that is not already packed with professional or private obligations, i.e. no business trips, no tight meeting schedule or doctor’s appointments. If possible, you may also take half or full days off. In order to avoid family trouble, get your loved ones on board and explain to them, what exactly you intend to do. Ideally make your plan available to all family members.

Structure the training camp week

No difference here from a classic training camp. However, the training has to be structured more accurately in order to create some free time and space as well as to train in a varied way right in front of your doorstep. Therefore, make a plan, set training sessions and choose interesting routes. Tip: Avoid riding the same tour time and again and turn long training rides into “expeditions”.

Recover and refresh in your “free time”

Every time athletes do neither ride nor work or eat, they should recover – ideally passively. Because such a training camp fatigues the organism due to the deliberate incomplete recovery between the individual sessions. An early bedtime – you should get at least eight hours of sleep – is crucial; you may relax in the remaining “free” time.

The rest day, which should be scheduled every two or three days, is also intended for recovery this week. So do not cram it with stuff like shopping, if possible.


Use the weekend as block training

With a block of three (Friday/Saturday/Sunday) athletes can lay a very good foundation. In these three days only, the same training scope can be achieved as in a classic training week. If you plan your training times cleverly, you can add a scope-oriented block of two days during the week, if you take two half days off. STAPS training institute explains in this article what a weekend mini training camp may look like and what it may contain.

Prepare bad weather alternatives

In order not to start thinking about skipping the session or even call off the camp completely when it rains, athletes should consider alternatives. Shorter off-road sessions or indoor training on the bike trainer offer good options. In order to be able to react to such weather changes at short notice, the corresponding set-up should already be ready, i.e., set up the “pain cave” and get your gravel-, cross- or mountain bike ready to ride.

By the way: As you pedal constantly on a bike trainer, you do not collect so-called junk miles. Therefore, two times 1.5 hours on a trainer can have a similar effect as 5 hours of “relaxed group riding” outside on the road.

Food prep

While in a classic training camp athletes usually eat at a buffet at set mealtimes, they are more flexible at home, but also have to prepare the food for themselves. It is recommendable to plan the meals before the training camp week starts and prepare them partly. This so-called meal prep includes planning what to eat during the training camp week as well as do the shopping and pre-cooking.

Tip: on the long training days, go to a restaurant or have food delivered. What is important: No experiments when it comes to training camp nutrition. Never train on an empty stomach!