Overseas training camps are popular for good reason – namely the warm weather, long climbs and varied terrain, and the focus that a trip abroad brings – and you can’t beat a week in the sun to boost your fitness.
But if you are unable to jet off to warmer climes then you can still benefit from a staycation in the UK.
While we may lack the high climbs of Europe, the hills and mountains of Wales, the Peak District and the Lake District present a substantial challenge in their own right and are within driving distance of most of the UK.
“If you are unable to have an extended period in the sun, gains can still me made by taking the time off work to concentrate on training at home,” says Tom Kirk of Custom Cycle Coaching. “Whether a weekend in the mountains of Wales, or just taking advantage of the bank holidays and a few days annual leave to string together a solid week’s training at home, you can reap the benefits.
“If you are staying at home try to use the same principles as if you were away, turn on your ‘out of office’ message on the emails and don’t be tempted to get drawn back into work stresses and concentrate as fully as possible on training and recovering.”
The sticking point is, of course, the weather – and that can never be guaranteed at home. A staycation training camp, particularly if you are heading to the wilder reaches of the UK, is best saved for later in the season. A few days focused riding in May will still pay off if preparing for a big European sportive in the summer.
Pros: More affordable, within driving distance, stunning scenery across the UK
Cons: Lacks the long steady climbs of Europe, the weather, the weather, the weather