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Training Camps (Sea Level & Altitude) & Environment

by Steve Macklin

Some thoughts on “environment” for athletes …….

  • Having spent much time at training camps at sea level and at altitude it has become increasingly clear that creating the right physical & psychological environment for athletes supports them in achieving enhanced performance potential.
  • Part of the rationale behind travelling to a training camp outside of physical preparation, is to place the athlete in an environment that gives them a psychological and emotional lift, which in turn can lead to increased productivity.
  • Being in nature and surrounded by beautiful landscape has many positive emotional and psychological benefits for the athlete and lowers levels of stress that may have been present at home due to school/university/work/family/personal challenges.
  • We know from experience as coaches that the workload can be higher and the ability to recover improved significantly when away at a camp. Take advantage of these periods but be thoughtful around training load and prescription.
  • Going back to my previous post on altitude camps, ensuring from a coaching perspective that the training load matches the individual’s physiological profile/target event/fitness level and that the athlete finishes the camp healthy and injury free ensures a positive experience and allows for a return to their home environment to continue on the path of consistency with a spring in their step.
  • The coaching conversations that can be had with athletes at training camps one to one or in small groups can have big impacts and sometimes these are not always possible in a busy home training environment.
  • Regarding the “home environment” it’s important that the athlete try’s to minimise life stress where possible, learns to enjoy the training process and has some supportive people around him/her that add a positive impact.
  • To summarise, thought always needs to be given to the “environment” an athlete is in both at home and at a training camp. It sounds simple but it has a big impact. A happy well supported athlete is a performing athlete!!!

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