Getting away for a training camp can be hugely beneficial for triathletes and now that travel restrictions have lifted we are free to hunt for warmer climates and quiet roads to train on. To help you decide on your next training holiday, we have compiled a list of a few of the best triathlon training destinations across the world.
For a European summer, look no further than St Moritz. The Swiss ski resort turns into a triathlon paradise throughout the warmer months with countless running trails situated around town and quiet roads through the Engadin Alpine valley perfect for bike riding.
There are multiple open-water swimming options with the famous “Big Four” lakes all close to town. St Moritz Lake itself is walking distance away from almost any hotel and hosts the swim for the annual “Home of Triathlon” race in August. Keep in mind that even in summer you will want to bring a wetsuit, with temperatures hovering around the 18 degree Celsius mark.
Sitting at 1,856 metres above sea level, it is ideal for altitude training to give you that extra benefit over your competition. An average of 322 sunny days a year means the weather gods will more than likely be in your favour. St Moritz is an official Swiss Olympic Association training site and four out of the six Rio 2016 Olympic medallists for triathlon prepared in St Moritz throughout the Olympic year. It is well and truly trusted by the pros and you will more than likely see a few around town.
If you are looking to escape to warmer climates throughout the northern hemisphere winter, Mallorca presents an attractive option. A real favourite among professional cyclists, you’ll spot a lot of enthusiasts on the iconic climbs of the Tramuntana mountains as well as a few Tour de France stars if you time it right. However, it is not just the cycling that makes Mallorca an enticing option, with the sport of triathlon booming as the island hosts more multi-sport events each year.
The most prominent of these events is the Ironman 70.3 that is run at the start of May in Alcúdia. Combining this event with a training camp is the ideal opportunity to make the most out of a training holiday and will set you up nicely for the summer.
It is often incredibly cheap to fly to Palma de Mallorca out of season with most major airports in Europe offering a direct option. There are a number of training camps run by different companies and the 50m pool at the Best Swim Centre in Colonia de San Jordi is complemented by some off-trail running routes nearby. The sea temperatures tend to stay low until May, which doesn’t always make open water swimming pleasurable in the colder months, but the Platja des Trenc is a popular swimming beach once the mercury does rise.
Home to arguably the best and most famous triathlon-specific hotel in the world, it would be impossible to not include the island of Lanzarote and it’s Club La Santa. Based in the Canary Islands off the coast of West Africa, the island is known for its year-round warm weather and volcanic landscape. It is one of the most popular winter destinations for both European professionals and age groupers. Some of the pros you will see around the island include multiple Kona runner-up, Lucy Charles-Barclay, as well as promising German, Laura Phillpp.
With a number of world-class tri-specific facilities on the island, you will find plenty of other triathletes using it as their winter base for the upcoming season. In particular, many use it to prepare for the full Ironman on the island. The course is considered to be one of the toughest in the world, which often makes for some of the best training options. The strong winds and tough climbs make every ride count. The island also hosts a 70.3 half Ironman at the end of the season to make the most of the warmer autumn days.
Europe is not the only place where you will find great tri training, with Stellenbosch in South Africa becoming a popular choice for those wanting to train in a warmer climate. With some top-level training facilities and terrain, it is no surprise that more professionals and amateurs alike are making Stellenbosch their choice of triathlon destination.
Situated less than 45 minute’s drive away from Cape Town airport, Stellenbosch is in the Western Cape province of South Africa. From an athlete’s perspective, Stellenbosch offers an idyllic setting with hills, wind and outdoor swimming all available on a daily basis. With the expansion of the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport campus, as well as the University of Stellenbosch facilities, there are multiple pools as well as well as running trials and tracks available to the public for free.
One of the big attractions of Stellenbosch however, is not just for the athletes but the wider support group with more social life aspects on offer. An incredible restaurant and coffee shop scene complements the 200 wineries across the region, which is sure to entertain your support group while you are out training. All of this available at cheaper prices than what you would pay anywhere in Europe or America makes it an appealing option for more triathletes every year.
We could not put together a list of the best triathlon destinations without mentioning the spiritual home of endurance sports, Boulder, Colorado. With the perfect mix of flat, gentle rollers and epic climbs, Boulder has become a hotspot for American professional cyclists over the past years. Add in their world-class swim squads as well as the Boulder Reservoir and running trails and you can quickly see why it has become a triathlon mecca for the States.
With the city sitting at 1,624 metres above sea level, there is an immediate altitude gain to be made before you consider many of the climbs peak above 2,000 metres. Flagstaff Mountain is one of the toughest climbs in the region with an average gradient of 11% over 8km and is sure to get you to race fitness level in no time.
Ironman Boulder is run in August but if you’re really serious about making those altitude gains, it would pay to head up early to use it as a training camp in the month leading up to the race itself. Ironman also offer a 70.3 at the end of July as the ideal tune-up to the big show, so there are no excuses once it comes race day.
One of the most important things about training camps abroad is having the peace of mind that your insurance covers you not only for emergencies, but also for your bicycle mishaps. While many travel insurance companies cover the basics, most do not cover sport-specific trips such as a training camp. This is where Yellow Jersey’s Travel Insurance comes in handy. It is specifically designed for both cyclists and triathletes and takes all the hassle out of purchasing insurance before your next big race or event.
With both annual and short term options available, you can rest assured that no matter where you are or what type of cycling you are doing, you can compete with the confidence that you are fully covered for medical mishaps. It is super easy to get a personalised quote online or have a chat to the friendly staff at Yellow Jersey.