Tucson, Arizona. Home of cacti for as far as the eye can see and multiple locations seen in the most popular western movies as well as the location of capture of the infamous John Dillinger – did I ever think I would be here for a start of the season training camp? Nope.
In training camps of past I would be quite nervous meeting new people and trying to fit in with a new crowd. I’ve been in cycling long enough now and I have arrived and consequently left new places often enough that meeting new people is exciting and leaving them at some point, entirely necessary. A quote from my favourite book - “there was nowhere to go but everywhere”. Never did I read something that struck a chord within me so much. Jack Kerouac – On the road. Before you ask!
What happens at a training camp? Well, first one of the season – not much training! There is always the opportunity to train but the arrival of new bikes, shoes, kit, pedals, and the appearance of Jet-lag mean it’s smart to start gently. 1 or 2 hours a day. Sure you can do efforts in there and be productive enough to consider the riding actually training but over-cook it and the season is over before it started. The phrase ‘I’ve done my training’ gets thrown around a lot – especially by me! What that means is I’ve busted my ass for the previous 5 or so months to make sure I’m ready for the season and now it’s time to make sure that does not go to waste by getting a knee injury from new shoes or finding out in a week I am extremely tired from the accumulative effects of Jet-lag and training.
Being tired has the same effect of compound interest. Adding tiredness from doing any training to the initial deposit of being tired from travel means certain bicycle racing related death, and is the undoing of a perfect winter of training. It's important to recognise your limits because going too far beyond them can result in a setback that you've worked so hard to avoid.