Cycle training camp preparation can really improve your enjoyment of getting away from the day to day routine and laying down some quality training - plus it doesn't take a lot of effort either!
It's been a while since I've had the need to go on a training camp, but Mallorca was my favourite with it's varied terrain including proper mountains up to 1000m. The weather can be a little varied in February and March, so some opt for the Canaries Islands with Club La Santa, Lanzarote being a perennial favourite with club riders despite Team Sky's obsession with Mount Teide, Tenerife.
So unless you are going to do a “stay-cation” cycle training camp (not as mad as I sounds if you don't have the money to throw at it) it pays to only take the right clothing for your cycle training camp.
Fail to Prepare - Prepare to Fail is one of my favourite mottos and is very much true in this case! My list isn't exhaustive, but hopefully it will get you going along the right lines!
Whilst we'd all love to turn up at the breakfast table with a different short sleeve jersey on every day, it's really best to limit yourself. If you've got mountains where you are going, the extra ventilation benefits of a full zip jersey make it a no-brainer to select them exclusively. If you have a choice on the pocket configuration, it might be nice to have your smart phone in a zipped pocket. If you are going out early, adding a long sleeve to your kit list might make sense, or perhaps an intermediate jersey like the REEF.
If you've never been on a cycle training camp and enjoy people watching, have fun by watching your fellow riders stuff their jersey pockets with more calories than they are going to expend from the self service breakfast!
A cautionary note on bib shorts. Whoever you buy your cycle clothing from, please make sure you have worn the bib shorts you are going to wear on the training camp a number of times before. A week's training camp is no place for brand new shorts!
Take bib shorts that are comfortable, are kit neutral, work well with knee/leg warmers and have a good quality seat pad. Chamois cream is also a must – even if you don't normally use it.
Baselayers come in a variety of configurations/types so it pays to take a variety with you. Selecting different fabrics and weights would be a sensible approach, although I'd tend to steer clear of high collars and long sleeves.
The job of a base layers is to keep you dry when you’re sweating by removing sweat moisture away from your skin – which is no easy job. Unless you have the luxury of a washing machine in your team bus, you are going to be doing some laundry in your hotel room, so quick drying is an essential feature!
Many of the ideal cycle training camp destinations feature mountainous terrain, so unless you're built like Chris Froome you likely to (struggle and) heat up on the ascent so it's extremely wise to have a lightweight and packable gilet that you can put on for the descent. Gilets are also ideal for the first part of your ride if you are setting off early. Whilst not essential for every ride, keep an eye on the weather forecast for the day and add a packable waterproof jacket if the rain looks like it's going to make an appearance.
Whilst you see a variety of pros now preferring to ride with no gloves, I'd still always wear them on the bike. Taking a variety of short and long fingered gloves will hopefully play their part in reducing fatigue over your week's exertions.
Whilst you will not find any bib tights on this list, you will find leg warmers. Along with arm and knee warmers, by having some warmers available at your disposal might make the inevitable colder day more bearable.
I can never be bothered to hand-wash cycling socks whilst away, so it's always seven pairs for me. Once again, kit neutral and made of a fabric that works in a variety of temperatures. We'd also recommend taking a pair of lightweight, water repellent overshoes as nobody likes starting a training ride with wet feet!
Don't forget to add a cotton cycling cap as it's useful for on and off the bike use.
Last but not least – don't forget some quality reading material. Whilst away on a training camp, you must have to observe age-old cyclist's motto of "Never stand up when you can sit down and never sit down when you lie down" which is perfect for getting though the latest issue of Rouleur Magazine to while away the hours before dinner.