7 tips for a successful road cycling training camp in Mallorca
There is nothing quite like a road cycling training camp in Mallorca. The riding, the climbs, the weather and the food make it an all-around brilliant experience. The variation in these factors is why we love it and why countless professional teams, amateur clubs and chain gangs head for the Balearic Isle for their training camps year after year. Whether you are practically a local or preparing for your first ever bike holiday on the island, here are some valuable tips for a successful road cycling training camp in Mallorca.
- Choose your season carefully
- Set goals for your road cycling camp
- Progress through the training camp
- Factor in rest periods in Mallorca
- Share the load of the cycling equipment
- Nutrition for the success of the training camp
- Hire a bike for your training camp in Mallorca
Choose your season carefully
The beauty of Mallorca is that it offers year-round quality road cycling conditions. The official cycling seasons are February to May and September to October, but Mallorca also makes for a great winter training camp destination. Winter and Spring are quieter, but the weather is a little more changeable especially in the mountains so make sure to pack extra kit accordingly. However, if you are hoping to soak up those dazzling Mediterranean rays and not take much extra kit, May and September are your best bet. In the height of Summer Mallorca becomes a party island and a holiday destination for non-cyclists, this is the best time for early morning rides and relaxed afternoons on the beach. Think about the type of riding you want to be doing when it comes to planning your trip.
Set goals for your road cycling camp
To get the most out of your cycling training camp in Mallorca do not go into it blind, not knowing what you are hoping to achieve. Set targets and goals before the trip so that by the time you are back on the plane home you feel like a better rider. Focus on how far you want to ride in a day, the hours in the saddle, your elevation gain and the climbs you want to conquer before travelling so that you understand what you are in Mallorca to do. If you are with a group this will also help to bring everyone together and understand the purpose of the trip. These goals don’t just have to be performance based either. Whether you are hoping to bond with club mates, find enjoyment in your riding or striving for a healthier lifestyle, these can all be assisted by goal setting.
Progress through the training camp
Start small and finish big on the road cycling training camp so that your fitness levels build through the week. Have a sighter ride on your first day on the island and take in one of the foothills so that you can get a feel for the roads, gradients and conditions. If you feel like you need to train towards riding a climb like Sa Calobra or Puig Major, by all means, do and use them as the zenith of your camp. If you are more confident in your ability, increase both the duration and intensity of your rides throughout the week so that you perform day on day and don’t blow a gasket on your first ride.
Factor in rest periods in Mallorca
Although it is a training camp, you don’t have to be on the bike from dusk till dawn. So, after a long ride factor in some rest time to relax and explore. There is so much to love about Mallorca both on and off the bike. Take a dip in the sea or relax on a beach, explore the ports and enjoy the local cuisine so that you get the real feel of being away. This will benefit you psychologically and leave you refreshed for the next day’s cycling. Make sure to sleep well too. There is no shame in taking yourself away from the dinner table to get some valuable shut-eye. When you are on a training camp in a place like Mallorca, every ounce of energy is valuable.
Share the load of the cycling equipment
Be prepared to do your fair share of work for the group so that you stay as a cohesive unit. This is why it is important to travel with like-minded cyclists of a similar road cycling ability so that you can all benefit from pacing each other. This ethos of sharing also extends to the pre-training camp pack list and the taking of spare and useful maintenance kit for your road bikes. Deciding who takes what before the travel date will mean that you can free up more space for other valuable bits of cycling kit you may want to take. Although every rider will need the essentials like puncture repair kits, spare tubes and multi-tools, realistically you will only need a couple of pieces of equipment like a track pump between you.
Nutrition for a successful road cycling camp
You can have all the fitness and quality road bike equipment in the world but if you neglect your nutrition on the training camp your road cycling will be negatively affected. Structure your diet and create a cyclist nutrition plan prior to the travel date so that you have time to practise and learn about nutrition. Although you may be staying in places like Pollença which have a huge variety of cuisine, make sure to steer clear of the fatty, sugary foods and stay focussed on balanced meals with high energy content. This will positively affect your cycling throughout the training camp as it will mean you are on top of your rest and recovery.
Hire a bike for your training camp in Mallorca
If you are worried about the stresses associated with bike travel it might be worth instead thinking about bike hire. As Mallorca is such a popular road cycling destination there are plenty of rental stations that you can go to for road bike on your training camp. Cut out the fuss and get a rental bike, and contrary to popular belief you can hire some fantastic high-quality bikes and kit to ride on. Just remember to pack your pedals.