Training camp secrets! By Helen Russell
Training camp secrets!
Pro Norwegain Team Ringeriks-Kraft is staying at Ciclo Costa Blanca’s partner hotel the Terralta Apartotel in Benidorm during their training camp. Named after the Ringerike municipality in Buskerud county, Norway, the team has a busy 2015 race schedule starting in March with three races in Croatia.
Our UK Ambassador, Helen Russell caught up with team member, Thomas Brahushi, to find out what happens on a training camp. Brahushi joined Ringeriks-Kraft in 2012, which was his first year as a senior. Last year saw him race in the Tour of Malopolska, the Tour du Finistère and the Norwegian National Championships amongst others. He cites his best result as his 12th place finish in the 2013 Norwegian National Road Race, in a very strong field, which saw Thor Hushovd, Alexander Fistoff and Edvald Boasson Hagen claim the podium places.
H- How long is the team in Benidorm for?
T-We arrived on the 3rd February and leave on 17th so 3 weeks in total but a few of us arrived a week earlier to get some more miles in the legs before the camp began.
H- Has the team trained in the Costa Blanca before?
T- The team has trained in the Costa Blanca for the last few years but usually stays at Calpe. However Benidorm is more cost effective and better value so this year our base is Benidorm.
H- What are your impressions of the Costa Blanca?
T- I like it-it’s very nice. Last year the team trained in Mallorca and I prefer it here to Mallorca. It is perfect here. There are not as many flat options here as in Mallorca but there are more mountain rides, plus the weather is more stable and a little warmer than in Mallorca. There is actually snow at the moment in Mallorca!
H- What are the conditions like in Norway for training in the winter?
T- Of course it is cold and north of Oslo usually has a lot of snow. In the winter I do a lot of training indoors on the rollers and also cross country skiing which is a good way to build a strong engine.
H- How does the team train on a camp?
T- Our training is organised into three day blocks followed by one rest day. Everyday lasts between four to six hours and some guys go out for seven hours. We usually have two hard days per three day block and one easy, steady paced endurance ride. So we would usually have one long hard day, followed by a long endurance day, followed by another long hard day. The team has one rest day for every three training days. On this day some riders will go for a short, easy ride of 1-1/2 hours just to get the legs spinning but some will just go to the beach for a coffee and relax. It’s an individual choice.
H- Does the team train together or are there different training programmes?
T- There are about sixteen riders here so we usually split into two groups. Some days some riders might prefer to do a mountain ride and some will prefer to ride on the flat, so we split the team. That way you have to push harder and can’t just sit back in the group and relax. Although there are two groups we will usually both go to the same place.
H- Do you do any cross training on a camp, such as strength training?
T- No, we really just do cycling. Some guys might do some stretching but after a long day riding we don’t have much energy left for anything else.
H- What does down time look like on a training camp?
T- We will usually be sitting in our rooms watching TV series or having a coffee at a bar. Our down time is usually just spent relaxing and eating.
H- What is your favourite ride here?
T- I really like heading out to Guadalest, going over Confrides down to a large lake and then back home via Castell de Castells. My favourite climb is probably Port de Tudons, which is the highest in the area.
H- What is the main goal for the team in 2015?
T- There are three main races in Norway: the Tour of the Fjords and the Tour of Norway in May and the Artic Race of Norway in August. These are big races for every Norwegian team. We will be targeting these races as well as the national championships. My first race will be in Belgium in March, so I am getting in a good training block here ready to race.
Everyone at Ciclo Costa Blanca wishes Thomas well for his 2015 season!