Building up volume for training camp


I have a training camp scheduled at end of March which will be 8 days of riding. so much more than i’m used to. Aside from the structure of the training week (think 4 on, 1 off, 4 on), i trying to pull together some preperation for camp.

Given the time of year, my weekly hrs on the bike range from 5-8. Ideally i will be doing a long weekend ride to bump this up, but the weather has been awfuil.

The plan is to get some big volume before camp. Would something like the below make sense incorporating range of Z2 sprinkled with Vo2?

5 weeks out: 15hr
4weeks out: 20hr
3 weeks out: 25hr
2 weeks out: 10hr
1 week out: 8hr

I’m in a similar boat, 6 day camp mid-March, that will consist roughly of ~30hrs of riding (moving time). I’m not intending on changing my current volume significantly, which is 10-12hrs/week. Certainly I have no intentions of riding 20-25hr weeks leading up to it, I haven’t had the need for this in the past.

Assuming you can handle the increased load without excessive fatigue or fully breaking down, I see no issues with it. But I don’t see it as a requirement for a camp.

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Hey there!

I’ve done a few camps like this over the years when I’ve been training hard. Here’s my 2 cents:

If you’re doing 5-8 hours right now, jumping up to 15+ hours per week for several weeks in a row to then hit a camp of doing 15+ hours that week again is a recipe for overtraining and/or burnout.

Most athletes (even pros!) come into training camps like this knowing it’ll be a big dose of volume – typically a much larger dose than they get from a normal week of training. But they’ll go into it focused only on riding and recovering, smash it for a week (or however long the camp is), and then recover after the camp is over to reap the benefits of all that riding they just did.

In other words, they don’t train to prepare for training camp. They use training camp as a supplement to their overall training and goals.

I don’t think bumping up the volume in preparation for a training camp is a good idea. I’d advise you to focus on your plan as usual leading up to the camp, and then have fun riding as much as you want during it!

And, just to reiterate, recover HARD once the camp is done so you can benefit from the big bump in volume.

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Can’t be overstated!


Totally agree with this.

Also remember that the goal of the training camp is likely to come out the other side (after some recovery) faster. So if that means that you have to skip or shorten some of those scheduled rides then do that. The goal shouldn’t be to just smash you face into the ground and then not touch your bike for a month. So just try to be smart about it.

Yeah they don’t do a training camp for their training camp. But they are also already doing 20-30 hour weeks as their normal week. So OP as a 5-8 hour rider should be looking to do a training camp scaled to their fitness and recovery abilities, not trying to copy a pro training camp.

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I certainly wouldn’t increase my training volume by 300% for several weeks before the training camp.

Training camp is meant to offer different stimulus to your body (and mind) and thus hopefully drive some adaptations. It’s supposed to be kind of hard.

Also, 8 days of training is still only 8 days of training. It’s a nice tool to have in the toolbox but it’s just a part of a bigger picture. It’s not going to make an enormous difference in the long run. So I wouldn’t train specifically for the training camp but around it. What kind of training you need to hit your a-races? How would you organize the training so that a training camp becomes beneficial, not detrimental?

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To an extent, yes, but definitely not to the level OP plans on :slight_smile: And definitely not at the rate OP suggests (15-20-25 in 3 weeks, that’s a massive bump). You can survive 8 days of long riding a lot easier than 3 weeks.

It looks like you are treating camp almost like a race with a build and taper prior. If you are looking to “win” training camp, I guess that could make sense, but probably not the best approach if you are looking to optimize actual races/events later in the season. I know training camp can often turn into testosterone-fueled smash-fest when folks can’t control their egos, but try not to get caught up in it. If you are just concerned about “surviving” training camp and trying to cram measurable performance increase into 6 weeks, doing 20+ hour weeks is not the best way to build short-term fitness, you’d be better off with more intensity and less volume.

If camp is going to be a huge volume week and your goals are long term, I’d make it the last week of a big block and then rest hard after. That’s almost certainly going to result in a better build vs. coming into training camp fresh, going hard for a week, then immediately resting again.

Also, your proposed ramp rate looks pretty extreme unless you have a lot of training experience doing 20+ hour weeks during the season (and it’s probably too much even if you have that history).

Assuming your typical training volume during the season is more like 10-15 hours, ramping up to 20+ prior to training camp is likely going to do more harm than good. I’d suggest something more like this:

5 weeks out: 10hr
4weeks out: 12hr
3 weeks out: Rest week ~8 hours
2 weeks out: 14 hrs
1 week out: 16 hrs
CAMP -: 24 hours (or whatever it is)
Rest week


Dunno the answer but i remember my first 4 hour ride coming from comfy 2 hour rides, my hands and backside were numb just from not being used to being on the bike that long.

Whatever you decide to do, would it be worth tacking on some longer Zone 1 hours just to get used to being on the bike longer?

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Its clear I haven’t thought this through much at all.

I think I’ll add some volume before the training camp, but something much more manageable. So I’ll back it out 3-4weeks and then add a taper.

:slight_smile: that’s the best type of adventure, isn’t it? just dive in.

sounds like you’ll create great memories and stories regardless of your next month of training.