The training camp is a key part of the build-up in every athlete’s season, and can be done in a variety of environments to maximize your preparations for a competitive and rewarding summer season. Whether choosing a warm–weather climate, high altitude or simply a different location closer to home; the importance is to create a change in environment.
A change in environment takes you away from your daily routine and distractions and allows you to focus on your running. This set up can’t always be re-created at home with the pressures of work, family and a social life; but it can start to get you into good habits of recovery, diet and training quality. For a lot of athletes the opportunity to have far more recovery means you are able to increase the intensity of your training, something that aids the transition between a long training period and a competition season.
My training camp for the last five years of my career has been based on the South coast of Portugal, the Algarve. I pick this part of the world, at this time of the year because of the environment and the company.
For the easier days of running, the Algarve is littered with endless miles of sandy, clay-based paths that are perfect for running, a welcome break from the monotony of tarmac and mud back in England. As a prelude to a summer track season, April provides ideal training weather: 20-25 degrees and largely dry! Also, I am in great company with many of Europe’s top athletes here during the spring months. These are like-minded and focused athletes to share my experiences with, and help me challenge and improve my running.
As a predominantly track based athlete, my racing season encompasses the months of May through July, so I see April as the month where I hone the ‘final preparations’ to my training. This involves reducing the quantity and increasing the quality of my training regime. This process allows me to strive towards my competitive targets for the coming season, knowing that I have put in the hard miles and am in the best position to perform at the peak of my ability.
I know what my summit looks like, what is #yourstorm?
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