Training camp-life started for me about 4 years ago. I had been to summer intensives during my dancing years, but always lived (slept) at home. Going away to train seemed a bit weird to me. What was wrong with here?, I thought. Nothing is wrong with here, but sometimes athletes go away to train on different or better conditions, they sometimes go for the possible effects og altitude, but most often I find that the function of a training camp has to do with the inspirational change of scenery.
We don’t always go away for training camps and if we don’t we need to block out our calendars to just focus on the training. I have tried to do both camp and work, or school and camp, but you I just get burnt out. Then what’s the point?
During a training camp uninterrupted, focused training, eating and resting are your most important occupations. That is what I love so much about it. I really don’t care that when we are in Torsby, Sweden, we are in the countryside with nothing else to do but ski or run. The most eventful thing to do there, besides the training sessions obviously, is to drive to the grocery store.
Being at training camp is one of my absolute favorite things to do. By far!
So how do I go about a training camp? Here are my 101’s to det the most out of a training camp:
- Volume and intensity: There is often a lot and quite hard training at camps. So easier training in the week before and after helps me be ready for camp, and recover and adapt to the training after.
- Nutrition: You train more, you have to eat more! During the last days of camp I am usually starting to get a bit tired and I don’t feel as hungry. I know this feeling will come, so I try to “eat a head” a little during the first days or I focus on eating and drinking things that tempt me and taste good. I also use a recovery drink like Smartfish, chocolate milk or I’ll have a bar with carbohydrate and protein.
- Hydration: As I said, a lot of training, and sometimes in the heat or cold, all depending. I use an isotonic sports drink during sessions and rinse my teeth and mouth with water afterwards.
- Sleep: Sleep 30-60 minutes between sessions every day. I didn’t follow my own rule on the slat camp, but this time I will and I usually do. If I can’t sleep, I’ll lay in bed reading of watching Netflix.
- Focus: Every session is evaluated, notes written in the training log, technique video analyzed and I try to use all that to improve for the next session. Gathering “junk miles” is pointless training to me. In each session you should have specific tasks to work on.
- Shield yourself: This point is really important to me to avoid stress and mental fatigue! Shield yourself from the outside world, mening the world that is not directly relatable to your sport or training practice. I might bring with me some work during camp, but I set me e-mail accounts to auto-reply, because I just don’t have the physical or mental capacity to deal with work when I am on another job. Everybody gets their answer or is contacted, but all in due time. I also screen calls. Not to be rude, but as a necessity. Because I have tried to do it all before I really do not feel like a bad person at all, because I do these things to take care of my self. When I am back from camp, I’ll be ready to serve and I’ll be in a much better state to serve than if I worked myself into overdrive.