Now that Indoors is over, the transition from indoor to outdoor will be different based on facility usage and weather. I have experienced great weather and great facilities in Tampa that the transition was not a discussion point, but for those with indoor facilities or lack of indoor facilities with bad weather things are difficult. In March up in the northeast, the temperatures and grass tend to look like Terminator saga and joints are pleading for change. While alternative options are great to prescribe, running on a grass surface and getting some natural vitamin D with a training trip or just a break is a good option. Here are some general lessons I have learned the hard way when rebooting training again with warm weather camps.
Don’t Change- When the facilities or weather improves, it’s temping to take advantage of the weather and do more of something such as speed work or extra volume. The change of environment is enough, not doubling up with additional work or new stuff since the facility provides equipment or options you normally don’t have. Henk mentions this in his podcast with athleticscanada.com.
Meals- Eating at hotels or dorms often actually creates problems with budgeting. Bring one suitcase of food for every 4 athletes. Dry foods require no refrigeration and if you do have an extended stay facility with refrigeration only buy what you can cook easily. Send the athletes to cafes to save 20% of the budget from service of wait staff. Wars are often planned by the bellies of soldiers and good training camps are about improvements not just fun in the sun. You can do both (entertainment is key and should have periodization qualities as well!) provided things are executed with a plan.
Travel- It’s better to fly south than fly east – west. Minimize time zone changes by flying south and focusing on getting good sun. If you are in areas that will be affected by time zones try to have easy morning workouts if possible to change the biological clock a bit so athletes are slightly adapted in advanced. Keeping a rhythm of sleep and wake is better than trying to get an extra hour of sleep randomly.
In summary stress of vacations usually leave people more tired after, so be careful about putting too much pressure on training camps to make freaks or monsters. Sometimes just dong the same or easier workout is enough to make a difference, especially in the northeast.