Training camp 1x1: How to get the most out of your stay!
This is how you trainingcamp becomes successful
Optimise the framework
The training camp is always a highlight for both amateur and professional athletes. Training camps are fun, promote motivation and increase performance.
Especially with regard to performance improvement, there are some points to consider. The very first thing you need to decide is when, where and how long you want to do your training camp.
When and for how long? The right time and the optimal duration
The duration of the training camp is also strongly related to the timing. At the beginning of the season you will benefit from a longer stay. So, you should plan at least one week, optimal are two weeks.
There are no upper limits at the beginning of the season, the longer the stay, the more relaxed the whole thing will be.
Later in the season, short and intensive camps of 4 to 6 days are also useful. So-called “crash” camps boost performance once again before the season really gets underway.
Where? The right place
The location is again determined by the duration and timing. For long stays at the beginning of the season, you can plan the camp far away -following the sun, if you will
In this context many athletes also incorporate an altitude training camp. More information about altitude training camps you can find HERE.
For the crash camps, it is recommended not to drive/fly quite so far. A long trip just before the start of the season is rather counterproductive. This is because athletes are more exposed to pathogens during travel and a possible shift in time zones unnecessarily stresses the body.
The preparation for the training camp
You should avoid starting the training camp completely exhausted. You can avoid this through proper training planning, and through proper nutrition.
Before you head off to training camp, make sure you’re not nutritionally deficient.
Pay special attention to critical nutrients like iron, calcium, vitamin D, and (for vegans:inside) vitamin B12.
Of course, a balanced supply of micronutrients is not only important before and during the training camp. What role micronutrients in sports play in general, you can find out HERE.
Since it is not good to supplement individual nutrients without checking personal requirements, it is advisable to take blood samples. A few weeks before training camp would be an appropriate time to do this.
Based on these results, you can then start supplementing to start the training camp optimally prepared.
Especially for longer stays and stays at altitude, this is very important. More detailed information about this you can find HERE.
However, not only the micronutrients are of great importance, but also the macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats). These provide you with energy and are therefore especially important for athletes.
The basic principle is to avoid an energy deficit at all costs. This namely affects the performance and health enormously. You can find more about this HERE.
If you don’t provide your body with enough energy in everyday life, you will start the training camp with empty stores. This is how you prevent yourself from making the most of your stay.
The special challenges
Especially in training camps, your energy needs increase even more. The training stress of a professional cycling team was measured during a training camp and increased from 659 ± 122 per week to 1207 ± 122 per week during the training camp. It is therefore hardly surprising that the energy demand also increases.
Repeated training loads lead to increased fatigue, which makes the training sessions more and more strenuous and tiring. Even sessions that wouldn’t normally be a challenge often become torture by the end of training camp.
Symptoms of overtraining can appear after just one week of an intense training camp. In addition to physical signs of fatigue, changes in mood also occur in this context.
You can counteract this somewhat with the right diet. Carbohydrates are of particular importance here.
Avoid overtraining with the right diet
In one study, a group of runners completed a training camp twice. Once they consumed 5.4g carbohydrates per kg body weight per day, the second time they consumed 8.5g carbohydrates per kg body weight per day.
At the second training camp, the overall situation was much more positive: the athletes’ performance, as well as their subjective perception of exhaustion, was better. The mood of the athletes also increased due to the increased intake of carbohydrates.
Overall, it can be said that a higher intake of carbohydrates alleviates the symptoms of overtraining and allows athletes to train very hard for a longer period of time.
In addition to the performance enhancement aspect, a good energy supply also brings health benefits.
It has been repeatedly confirmed that the susceptibility of athletes to infections correlates with carbohydrate intake.
And this is how it works
The proper nutrition during the training camp
To provide your body with plenty of carbohydrates, carbohydrate intake around workouts is essential.
Before training, it is important to fill the carbohydrate stores with easily digestible carbohydrates. For this purpose, an oat porridge is suitable as breakfast or, if it should be something just before the start of training, a white bread with jam/honey.
Energy intake during the training is best adapted to the training goal. Basically, the more intense and longer the session, the higher the amount of carbohydrate supplied.
But it is very important, especially with long and intensive load blocks, to also prvide energy during the relaxed and regenerative training sessions.
Suitable for this purpose is our SLOW CARB The carbohydrates contained slowly pass into the blood and thus provide you with long-lasting energy.
Alternatively, you can rely on solid foods for casual sessions. This works especially well on the bike. For this purpose you can choose a banana, dates or carbohydrate bars like our PORRIDGE BAR.
This provides you with complex carbohydrates and vegetable proteins that provide long-term energy. These bars are also good as a snack between meals. Especially with two training sessions a day, snacks are of great importance. This is related to the improvement of regeneration, more about this later.
Intensive trainings you should supply with quickly available carbohydrates. You can find these for example in our FAST CARB or POWER CARB.
For interval training, our FAST CARB would be well suited. The mixture of different carbohydrate sources in the optimal ratio enters the bloodstream as quickly as possible and is available to your organism after a very short time. In addition, it provides you with the superpower of the RASPBERRY.
With delicious ANANAS-flavor, on the other hand, there is our POWER CARB. This provides you with up to 80g of quickly available carbohydrates per hour and is therefore ideal as a competition drink. For especially hot days there is our POWER CARB HEAT, which is recommended becazse of a higher mineral content in case of increased sweat loss.
Why minerals are so important for you as an athlete, we tell you HERE.
Optimize your regeneration
Regeneration should be given at least as much attention as the training sessions itself. After all, the workouts will only be good if you can start your workout well regenerated.
There are a number of ways to boost regeneration. You can find a detailed practical guide on this topic HERE.
The easiest way to optimize your recovery is to use the “open window” after a training session to supply your body with nutrients. That is, you should add carbohydrates and proteins within half an hour after training.
Our RECOVERY SHAKE is particularly well suited for this purpose. This combines carbohydrates, valuable proteins and added amino acids – everything your body needs for a fast regeneration. The delicious Organic KAKAO further promotes regeneration.
After particularly hard workouts, you can also turn to our RECOVERY 8. This contains all 8 essential amino acids necessary for growth, development and maintenance of healthy muscle cells. As an additional regeneration turbo we have added our RECOVERY 8 with Mango.
It has been shown several times that this simple trick can significantly improve recovery and thus the performance of the following training sessions. It also minimizes the risk of overtraining, which affects performance in the long run.
The main meals
Many athletes, especially young ones, do not yet know how to organize their main meals without affecting their training performance.
Basically, every meal should contain carbohydrates, proteins and fats. However, depending on the time interval from the training, the distribution of the quantities differs. The less time between meal and workout, the lower the amount of protein, fat and fiber.
Heavier digestible items like vegetables and very high fiber foods should be eaten in the evening. But make sure you don’t eliminate this food group from your diet altogether. They provide you with many important nutrients that your body needs to be able to process the workouts.
At lunchtime and in the morning, on the other hand, many easily digestible carbohydrates and somewhat fewer vegetables/fruit should be eaten. Large amounts of fat and proteins should also be avoided. These are hard to digest and could hinder your workout.
You should use rest days to add foods with high nutrient density throughout the day.
A typical day at training camp – nutrition plan
Oatmeal, almond milk, apple, berries, ½ banana, 1 slice of bread with a little butter or nut puree, omelet of 2 eggs sautéed in a little olive oil.
Pasta or basmati rice with vegetable sauce, some parmesan or mozzarella cheese, apple-carrot salad or something fresh with it.
PORRIDGE BAR and/or some fruit of your choice.
Small salad, slice of bread, ½ avocado
Portion of pasta, rice or potatoes with fresh herbs and some light sauce
Main course with fish, meat or chickpeas + steamed vegetables
Small dessert (applesauce, rice pudding, avoid fatty desserts).
5 Take-Home Messages for a Successful Training Camp
- Avoid an energy deficit at all costs
- Provide every workout with energy – even the casual sessions
- Adapt your food to your training goal
- Use the “Open Window” after training to promote recovery
- Modify the composition of your main meals
Achten J, Halson SL, Moseley L, Rayson MP, Casey A, Jeukendrup AE. Higher dietary carbohydrate content during intensified running training results in better maintenance of performance and mood state. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2004 Apr;96(4):1331-40.