Training-themed vacations are gaining popularity among triathletes. Here’s why they’re a great way to kickstart your season.

Any sane person wouldn’t put the words “triathlon” and “vacation” in the same sentence, but we triathletes don’t really do anything normally, do we? The “triathlon vacation” is on the rise for amateurs of all age groups who have found adventure, fitness, and satisfaction by trading in their typical relaxing vacation for time dedicated to sport.

Picture biking trails in the Swiss Alps, Santa Cruz, or famous roads of Tour de France; swimming in the turquoise waters in St. Lucia, Spain, or in the Canary Islands; or running comfortably in shorts and a T-shirt in Hawaii, Australia, or Brazil. It’s exciting to get outside and get active while taking the time to relax and enjoy new scenery with your family.

The variety of triathlon vacation options to choose make it easy to tailor to suit your needs. Some options and perks include:

You can even go DIY and make your own training camp. Here are some of the main reasons for the growing popularity of triathlon vacations.

Weather

As the winter months bring in the cold, snow, and fewer daylight hours, finding the motivation to keep up with training is not easy. Escaping to a different clime where you can log long base miles in the sunshine is an attractive alternative. The American Southwest, the Mediterranean, and the Southen hemisphere are all great options for winter in the Northern hemisphere.

Travel

Whether you’re planning an international trip or just driving somewhere fun for a long weekend, you’ll be experiencing new places and cultures. And if you’re traveling in “off-season” months for training, you may even get to enjoy popular destinations without the crowds.

Pampering

You’re still on vacation, so remember to take the time to pamper yourself and your family. When you only get a limited amount of vacations a year it’s nice to be a little spoiled, so have a cocktail on the beach or get that massage at the spa. It’ll be better for your training in the long run!

Comradery and Challenge

It’s easy to get lost in solo training, tracking your exact miles or striving for PB’s, rather than being in the moment and enjoying the experience. A change of environment can help you meet new people with similar goals, and can bring a new dose of healthy challenge into your training.

Ultimately, a triathlon vacation offers athletes the opportunity to concentrate on training in a way that simply isn’t possible most of the time. Taking the time and space for consistent training, good weather, new scenery, and group motivation is, quite frankly, a dream vacation!

This article originally appeared on Trainingpeaks.com.

Lance Watson, LifeSport head coach, has trained a number of Ironman, Olympic and age-group Champions over the past 30 years. He enjoys coaching athletes of all levels.