There are currently more than 985 tri clubs registered with USA Triathlon, ranging in size from two to 1,000 members. That means two things: You can likely find one near you, and there are thousands of people out there stoked to train together. Even more, research shows that endurance athletes are able to train harder and longer when they work out with buddies. So grab some chums and get ready to sweat. Below, four clubs share their favorite group workouts.
L.A. Tri Club
Founded: 2000 in Los Angeles
The workout: Mucho Gusto Rides. “These are long training rides we do together—at least 50 miles,” says Deb Carabet, the club’s managing director. “We will ride from LA to Santa Barbara, for instance, and we set up tables with nutrition and a bike mechanic along the way. When we get to Santa Barbara we have a rental truck take our bikes back while we ride the train home.”
Why it’s awesome: “This workout got its name from our ride leader, Jeff Gust, whom we call ‘Gusto.’ These rides are great because of all the support and people really get into them—on Halloween everyone came in costume. It’s just such a great community to train with.”
Infinite Multisport Triathlon Club
Founded: 2005 in Detroit
The workout: Tortoise and Hare Runs. “These are races, typically 5K, where we work to get slower runners and faster runners to the finish line at the same time,” says Paul Leonard, founding member and president for more than a decade (and a three-time Ironman finisher). “We have them structured as a series of four or five races. Everyone is asked at the start of the series to predict their 5K finishing time and then they are assigned starting times and after the first 5K in the series, their times can be recalculated.”
Why it’s awesome: “They get a lot of folks with a very wide range of speeds out. It’s nice for all the different paces to get to mix and push the effort a bit. Typically, we’ll have some refreshments afterward and awards for the series winners too.”
Boca Tri Club
Founded: 2009 in Boca Raton, Fla.
The workout: Friday Open Water Ocean Swims. “Every Friday, we have a member who takes his boat out and drops two large buoys right over an amazing local reef,” says Kristy Breslaw, president and co-founder, and a four-time Ironman and 18-time 70.3 finisher. “The course is a 400-yard triangle and is set up for two hours so people can swim as many or few laps as they choose. Sometimes we have a coach come out and lead a workout or do relay races too.”
Why it’s awesome: “It is relatively shallow and close to shore, making it great for all levels of swimmers.”
Pasadena Triathlon Club
Founded: 2004 in Pasadena, Calif.
The workout: PTC Brick Workout at the Rose Bowl Stadium. “We ride about an hour around the Rose Bowl, golf course and local hills, says Joe Wong, president of the club and an Ironman finisher. “Then we run around the Rose Bowl 5K loop. We set up bike racks to practice running your bike out of transition and flying starts.”
Why it’s awesome: “With limited traffic, the Rose Bowl is an iconic and athlete-friendly location. PTC enjoys working out in the beautiful scenery at the Arroyo, which is a secret gem inside the cement jungle of Los Angeles.”