I’ve just finished my first block of training here in Calpe with Omega Pharma Quickstep. It looks like we timed things just right. Just as we arrived, the rest of the teams that had been training here started to leave and the sun came out. I know it’s pretty boring to talk about the weather, and I hate it when people like to rub it in our faces when they get a few days of sun, so I won’t ramble on about it. It’s been good weather, that’s all I’ll say!
After an early flight we arrived at our hotel just in time for breakfast (yeah, it really was an early flight). Soon enough, I was given my new bike. It is almost identical to last year’s, which has made things a whole lot easier. I’ve bypassed that first week of fiddling with positions and trying to get as close as possible as last year. I just jumped on it and away I went. An easy 1.5 hrs with a mandatory coffee stop half way helped me on the way to feeling a little more awake.
The first training camp with a new team is always pretty full-on, it’s not all about riding the bikes. We have core testing and training, endurance testing, cardiology testing, bike fitting (if we need it), meetings with our directors about race programs, photo shoots, massage, stretching and numerous other recovery processes. Most of the time when you get back from a hard bike ride, the last thing you want to do is spend the rest of the day in meetings and having your photos taken, but it’s all part of the job and part of the process we have to follow through to be as successful as possible in the following season. As always, we have total trust in our team personnel that everything we are doing is done for a reason and it’s done in the most productive way possible for us, the riders.
So what does a typical day look like on a Quickstep training camp?
As always, we work in three day blocks of training, with a rest day in between blocks. Normally on the rest day we can do what we want. Depending on how I feel, I’ll either take a day off totally or just ride for 1hr – 1.5hrs.
My program today looked like this:
08:00 – 30 minute Core Training Session
As always, there’s a strong emphasis on core training at this time of the year and we end up doing a fair bit of it on our camps.
08:30 – Breakfast
‘Cook Eiland’ is a partner of Quickstep and will follow us to all major training events and races to provide us with exactly what we need when we need it. I normally eat porridge in the mornings.
09:45 – Check bikes
We always allow 15 minutes before training to check our bikes, make any adjustments and stock up on food and drink for the day.
10:00 – Start training ride
Today we rode for 4.5 hours taking in two climbs at threshold.
14:30 – Recovery session
After training we are met by our physios and carers. They have our recovery drinks ready and help us out with some stretching and then we use the swimming pool as a makeshift ice bath. It’s cooled to the right temperature and we stand waist deep for 8mins exactly.
15:30 – Lunch
Again, our chefs have the exact amount and type of food prepared for us if we want it.
17:00 – Massage
A typical daily routine with the personal carer to iron out any problems and with a massage to aid recovery
19:00 – Core training
1 hr core training session, where we carry out a bit of group training followed by a tailored individual program. This is given after our scheduled assessment.
20:00 – Dinner
As above (bloody good food!)
21:30 – Listen to Andy Fenn talk utter rubbish for hrs on end!
So that’s a day in the life of Matt Brammeier and Team Quickstep! Glitz and glam, hey!
The next couple of days will be more of the same really: training and recovery! There’s not really much else to write about, it’s all pretty boring stuff! Hopefully I’ll survive the next few days and maybe even have something stupid to write about!