We’ve been running very successful fitness holidays since 2005 in a number of different formats, from week-long stays in Spain to corporate weekends in the UK. Over that time we have amassed a huge amount of knowledge as to what does and does not work and we are excited to be re-launching this autumn in the UK. In beautiful Shropshire to be precise.
During the spring of this year we decided to put together a UK pre-season training camp with riders that we coach as a cost effective alternative to travelling abroad. We based the 3-day trip around our local trails in the Shropshire Hills. Base-camp was in the Church Stretton area on the doorstep of the Long Mynd range of hills, which are in a word just ‘epic’! With an abundance of terrain options, it is the ideal place to get a block of training completed. The 3 days were such a success that we are going to run another get-together in a similar format for 4 days this September 20th-23rd. We will then follow on with another all-inclusive residential fitness holiday in March 2013.
As this 4-day holiday is nearing the end of the event season, it will be geared more towards having fun and technical skills sessions, but we will also be running optional fitness workshops every evening that will look at fitness/training fundamentals for those who want some solid direction for a better performance in 2013. Here at TORQ we don’t just provide the basics, we work very hard to explain the processes leading to fitness development in a very in-depth manner. Performance Nutrition is obviously part of this, but TORQ have its roots firmly entrenched in Fitness Consultancy and this is one of the reasons why we stand out as being so different to other Sports Nutrition brands. During these 4 days, essentially we are going to be riding bikes, but we are there in short to make you a better rider. If this means altering aspects of your technique, we’ll do it – and if it means teaching you how to fuell properly or structure your training in a different way, we’ll do that too.
There’s further information on how we’re going to fuel you below, but suffice to say, you’ll be in very good hands with the cycling-professional-London-chef that is ‘Cliff Steele’. It will be organic and locally sourced produce all the way with Cliff and then he’s going to ride his bike with us too!
The Location: Base-camp for September has hopped over to the other side of the Long Mynd Hills and will be based at the beautiful YHA in Bridges (www.yha.org.uk/hostel/bridges). It is an amazing spot, and is set in the heart of the Shropshire Hills with a stunning range of very natural trails. The YHA building is full of character and perfectly set up for mountain biking. It’s also just up the road from the recently re-opened Horse Shoe Inn, now owned by the Three Tunns Shropshire Brewery (Est. 1646). From Bridges we are in easy reach of The Long Mynd, Stipper Stones, Eastridge Forest (venue for the 1999 European XC Champs), Hopton Forest (venue for the 3rd round of this year’s National XC Series) and a whole host of cheeky trails and areas to ride!
The Riding: Generally we will push for big days and epic riding. At the end of the day, that is what you have come for, and that is how we want to spend most of the day! We have a great selection of terrain, so we can cherry pick from; Forest single track, technical loops, rolling moorland, epic climbs, two National level XC courses and country lanes. You name it, we have it! We will try and mix the days so that we all have the legs to keep on riding for the 4 days. The format may change due to weather/unexpected events, but this is what we’re aiming for:
Day 1 (Thursday 20th): Today you’ll have fresh legs, so we will most likely spend the day riding at the legendary Eastridge Forest. It is steeped in pedigree, and has been around since the early 90’s as one of the toughest National XC courses in the UK. There has been a lot of trail building integrated since then which has added to what was already an excellent place to train and ride. Today’s ride will be focussed on looking at specific technical skills, so will be a bit stop-start, but there’ll be plenty of intensity involved, especially when we get you practicing our technical climbing challenges!
Day 2 (Friday 21st): We will move onto the epic rolling hills of the Long Mynd, which involves much more open riding with long climbs/decents and stunning views. The pace will be notched down, but the day will be reasonably long.
Day 3 (Saturday 22nd): To alow the legs to catch up a little, we will take a steady loop out to Hopton Woods near Ludlow. The ride out is great and takes in some classic idyllic Shropshire lanes. Once at Hopton, we have the newly-built 18km loops that have recently been carved into the landscape. Hopton has also hosted a round of the National XC Series this year, so top riding is guaranteed! Then there’ll be a steady road ride home.
Day 4 (Sunday 23rd) – The final day is a chance to bring it all together and take on as big a loop as we can face. We can split into groups of differring abilities (as we can on every day), but we won’t want you to be going home feeling anything other than ‘very tired’!
Education and Skills: As mentioned earlier, over the 4 days, we will be running some formal discussions/workshops on a variety of fitness topics. As experienced fitness consultants, we can add huge value to your riding by helping you to get to grips with the ethos of sound training and nutrition. We will pull on key topic areas such as training theory, nutrition, energy systems and periodisation, and you’ll have the chance to bounce ideas around that will certainly aid you’re approach to formal training and in turn your riding. You will get similar benefits from the on-bike skills sessions. We are all trained MTB Skills Instructors, so we will be able to focus on key aspects of your riding during our days out. When it comes to Mountain Biking, we really do understand the sport inside out.
Accommodation: We will be based at the YHA in Bridges and I think it’s fair to say that the accommodation won’t be luxury, but Youth Hostel accommodation has moved on in leaps and bounds over the last few years and it will be ideal for a large group of muddy Mountain Bikers. We also have great control over the space we have for our evening discussions and our amazing chef can cook the food he wants to and that you’ll need – without the right feeding, we’re all going to struggle towards the end of the 4-day block.
Food: So on the subject of food, we are bringing in our own chef who will be cooking each day for us. Cliff is a keen Mountain Biker and full time chef in London. He insists on cooking organic and sourcing locally-produced food, so you’re going to be in for a treat. We have worked together before and he does a fantastic job. As he is also a keen rider, he’ll be out with us riding as well, so he’s going to have is finger on the pulse with regard to our requirements! Cliff has also been briefed to serve up food that corresponds with the latest fuelling research, so the theory and the practical should click together quite nicely.
Support: We will have a bike stand and tools available to use for any mechanicals that may occur. We will also provide the use of a bike wash. There are two cycle shops in the area just in case there is anything we cannot fix, or parts are needed, but you should arrive with reasonable spares.
TORQ Goodie Bag: Every rider will receive a goodie bag of TORQ products to get them going including our bars, gels and drinks. We will also have further stocks of TORQ product available at trade price (35% off retail) for these 4 days only. This will give you the opportunity to get what you need during the holiday and then stock up with plenty before you go home.
Spot Prizes: We have a few challenges set aside and we’ll be handing out prizes for succesful completion. A couple of catagories that we have thought about so far include prizes for: Most consistent rider, the ‘Power House’, technical hill climb champion and ‘most interesting incident’. Some prizes will be awarded for seriously hard challenges and some will fit into the ‘fun’ category.
All Abilities: Don’t be put off by the itinerary if you’re not a ‘Race Whippet’. This is a Mountain Biking ‘development’ holiday and we can split into groups of differring abilities. All we ask is that you’ve got a genuine desire to improve and that you come from a background of taking your Mountain Biking quite seriously. A good measure of this is whether you attend events like the CRC Marathons, XC races or Sportives at least a few times per year. If you do, then you’re good enough to come along.
Holiday Price: The cost of the 4 day holiday including all MTB guiding, skills training, educational seminars, accommodation, professionally cooked meals and goodie bag is £395 per person inclusive of VAT. We will require a deposit of £100 to hold your place in advance, as we are limited to 24 riders. For the quality of the offering, we feel it’s a great price and we can assure you that this isn’t a huge profit-making exercise for TORQ, we do this because we always have and we love it!
We hope this has whet your appetite and that you’ll consider contacting us and putting the dates down in your diary? As mentioned earlier on, we will also be running a similar camp in the spring of 2013 and we will confirm these dates soon. If you would like any more information or want to get booked up, then feel free to call us at TORQ on 0844 332 0852 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org