At The Cycling House, nearly all of our training camps are based off of a one week training block. At our winter cycling or triathlon camps in Tucson, AZ we call these weeks the “launching pad” for the season. We’ve found that riders that take part in our one week training getaways benefit from the camp an many different ways that in turn help build a solid base for more riding and athletic improvement.

When putting in a big training week, fueling with quality calories is important.

Folks that leave The Cycling House experience: A re-energized focus on their upcoming season’s goals, proper rest and recovery, immediate effects of fueling their bodies with clean and balanced meals (that they don’t have to prepare), revisiting or picking up some bike handling skills, learn how to fuel properly for all distance triathlons and cycling events, a fun atmosphere where they can share the experiences with folks that have the same love for endurance sports.

Ironman Champion, Lindsey Corbin leading a stretching session at camp

One of the most resounding pieces of feedback we get after riders leave camp is that after they took a few days for recovery and eased back into riding, they came back stronger then they expected after just a few days of big volume and intensity at camp. We are happy to see this articulated in a recent Bicycling Magazine blog post.

It's always more fun to put in a big week of training with friends. Coach Jeff Cuddeback (3rd from L) agrees at his Cycling House training camp.

Below is the post by Erica Murphy of Bicycling Magazine.

One Week to a Stronger Ride

By Erica Murphy 

Struggling to fit training rides into your crowded calendar? A new study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports found that one big week of training packs more benefits than four weeks of moderate intensity.

During the study, 19 trained male cyclists were divided into two groups, each of which used a different training method. The cyclists using the block periodization plan trained at high intensity five times during the first week, then mixed one high-intensity session with several low-intensity sessions, such as a leisurely bike ride or cross-country skiing, over the next three weeks. The other group used traditional periodization training, where all four weeks are the same. These cyclists trained at a high intensity two times per week and performed at a low intensity for the rest of the week’s sessions.

The high-intensity sessions involved interval training. Cyclists would alternate between 6×5- and 5×6-minute intervals, with 2–3 minutes of recovery in between. Cyclists went all out during the interval sessions.

To measure the training plans’ effectiveness, cyclists rated the heaviness of their legs after a workout, fit their bikes with power meters, and wore heart rate monitors to gauge intensity.

At the end of the four weeks, the study concluded that the cyclists who were part of the block periodization plan had increased their VO2 max (oxygen capacity), endurance (time to exhaustion), and maximum power output.

Study author Bent Ronnestad says, “By organizing the high-intensity endurance training into a large stimulus, followed by a recovery period, you induce better adaptations for endurance performance.”

Ronnestad notes that the organization—loading more workouts into a single week—was a surprising finding since both groups of cyclists were performing the same workouts.

Though the test subjects were male, Ronnestad believes that women would respond just as well. For the average cyclist, Ronnestad is confident that the block periodization method yields long-term results.