The spring draws us Central Europeans to the warmth. This winter we hardly had to put a foot on snow, but the lack of light and the new goals of the season justify an early season training camp in a warm climate like Andalusia, Cyprus, Majorca or Gran Canaria. Others may like it even hotter and fly to the southern hemisphere.
The eagerness and motivation to train is usually huge in a new destination. On holiday, the extra time affords us a large volume of training. A full training log and tanned skin provides additional motivation. But, hardly a day after the camp we have a tweak in the calf, a sore knee and the legs are sluggish. What we were doing a week earlier is now in the distance. The good feelings are gone and the reality can be sobering.
With our tips, you should launch your season and the training camp properly so you won’t suffer the above, and in turn, will benefit throughout the year.
The most important tips for the start of the running season:
- Be certain to adequately recover between workouts.
- Complete at least 2/3 of the training sessions below the aerobic threshold, and only 1/4 of the training in the field at or above the anaerobic threshold.
- Determine your fitness level before a training camp or an intensification of your training with a VO2 performance test.
- Be sure to have a sufficient fluid and energy supply.
- Avoid sleep deprivation and psychological stress, and reduce the workout (or skip it altogether) in the case of an infection (colds, flu, gastrointestinal disorders).
- Along with the increased endurance training, increase your strength and flexibility training.
- Optimize your recovery with sauna, massage and hot-cold baths.
- Follow the extensive training week with a significantly easier training week (eg 3 instead of 7 workouts).
This blog was written by Dr. med. Christoph Gräni, Cardiovascular Prevention, Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine, Swiss cardiovascular center, Inselspital Bern and Valentin Belz.