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Are you itching to travel and looking for some added inspiration? Dust off your passport and consider one of these European triathlon destinations for a training vacation in Mallorca, St. Moritz, or Tenerife. Whether you sign up for a renowned training camp in an exotic location or just plan an immersive, do-it-yourself week of training, you’re bound to rev up your fitness as you head into the 2020 racing season. Yes, training amid the creature comforts of paradise will get you ready for your summer and fall goal races.
European Triathlon Destination: Tenerife, Spain
The Canary Islands are a Spanish archipelago located in the Atlantic Ocean, about 60 miles off the coast of Morocco, known for mild to moderate winters, good springtime weather, and long hot summers.
When to Go
February to May, when morn- ings are mild (55-65 degrees F) and afternoons are warm (70-85 degrees F). The humidity rate hovers around 75 percent all year, but it’s slightly lower in February and March.
Located about 10 minutes from the Tamar Performance Center, Sheraton La Caleta Resort & Spa is a luxury hotel on the southwestern coast of Tenerife with Spanish, Mediterranean, and Japanese restaurants, relaxing pools and a full-service spa.
The Tamar Performance Center is an amazing seaside complex with a 10- lane 50-meter pool, a six-lane 25-meter pool, and a variable speed flume channel for swimming technique and video analysis. Check out the southwestern coast of Tenerife for open-water locales.
Tenerife has many rolling coastal routes with minimal traffic, as well as moun- tainous routes with consistent climbing and descending. One of the hardest rides in the Canary Islands is a grueling 30-mile ride up to the 12,200-foot summit of Pico del Teide, the highest mountain in Spain.
The 10-mile seaside promenade in La Caleta is the most popular place for long runs and tempo runs, but there are also numerous rolling dirt trails that are ideal for running.
Salitre is a seaside terrace restaurant known for fresh seafood and Mediterranean fare, including the house specialty of cherne stew a la Canaria, a seafood chowder with clams, prawns, and potatoes.
Tenerife Top Training from February 8-15 at the Tamar Performance Center in La Caleta. TriSports Lanzarote offers a wide range of training camp options, including private sessions, group camps, and the ability to choose a la carte sessions. (Tenerifetoptraining.com/en/triathlon; Trisportslanzarote.com).
Club La Santa Volcano Triathlon, an Olympic-distance race (1.5K swim/40K bike/10K run) on April 25, has been a fixture on nearby island Lanzarote since 1984. Club La Santa Ironman Lanzarote on May 23 is billed as the world’s toughest Ironman because of the often choppy swim and notoriously windy, hilly bike route.
European Triathlon Destination: St. Moritz, Switzerland
St. Moritz is a mountain paradise in eastern Switzerland known primarily for its winter sports. But in recent years, its lofty perch at 5,900 feet above sea level has helped its reputation as a high-altitude training center for runners, cyclists, and triathletes.
When to Go
June to August, when mornings are cool (38-45 degrees F) and afternoons are temperate (60-70 degrees F). It can be moderately humid in the valley near the lake, but considerably less so up higher.
The Olavera Spa and Sports Center features a modern, six-lane, 25-meter in- door pool. There are also many lakes in the region for open-water swimming (including Lake Moritz), but with temps rarely climbing above 70 degrees F, wetsuits are strongly suggested.
The stunning Engadin alpine valley stretches more than 50 miles around St. Moritz and features a comprehensive network of roads and bike paths with nu- merous options for long round trips and rides over mountain passes.
There is a flat, 2.7-mile concrete path around Lake Moritz with minimal rise and decline, ideal for tempo and race pace work- outs. Those flat paths continue for about 10 more miles around Lake Champfer and Lake Silvaplana to the southeast. There are dozens of miles of dirt mountain trails, but most are pretty rugged and steep.
Hotel Giardino Mountain is a five-star resort with close access to everything—plus it has a great gym, two restaurants and a full-service spa. If you join the Home of Triathlon club (about $50 per year) you can get numerous area lodging discounts.
St. Moritz is known for fine cuisine and Dal Mulin, Ecco St. Moritz, and Le Restaurant at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel are rated to be on par with the most exquisite dining experiences anywhere in Europe. (Foie gras ice cream, anyone?)
The St. Moritz Duathlon and Triathlon are typically held the second weekend of August. The duathlon is a 6K run/20K bike/6K run event, while the triathlon is a 500m swim/20K bike/6K run event (Homeoftriathlon.ch/en/competition).
European Triathlon Destination: Mallorca, Spain
Mallorca is a large, autonomous Mediterranean island off the coast of Spain with a temperate springtime climate, numerous training camps, and world- lass facilities and terrain.
When to Go
March to May, when morn- ings are cool (45-50 degrees F) and after- noons are mild (55-75 degrees F). It can be moderately humid in late spring, but sea breezes keep it from becoming sweltering.
The Sporthotel Villaconcha is a one-of- a-kind hotel in Port de Pollença that specifically caters to triathletes.
Port de Pollença is a calm, protected bay on the northeast side of Mallorca with white sand beaches and crystal clear Mediterranean waters. Aside from Sporthotel Villaconcha, there are also several sports clubs with indoor pools around the island.
The topography of Mallorca includes plains, rolling hills, and small mountains for shorter workouts and longer rides on mostly rolling roads—one of the reasons many pro cycling teams visit for pre-season training camps.
Mallorca has smooth paths, undulating roads, and rugged trails that are ideal for a wide range of run workouts. There are high-quality all-weather tracks in Pollença on the east side of the island and in Magaluf on the west side near the Bay of Palma.
Check out high-end, seaside restaurants like La Llonja to more moderately priced local joints like La Cabana in Pollença. If you’re a cycling fan, you’ll love Tolos, a seaside grill packed with memorabilia from some of pro cycling’s greatest stars, including bikes ridden by Tour de France winner and Olympic and world champion Sir Bradley Wiggins.
Challenge TriCamp hosts numerous camps from February through April; RG Active Triathlon Camp, March 22-29 (Rgactive.com).
There are many multi-sport events on Mallorca throughout the year including Ironman 70.3 Alcudia-Mallorca on May 9, 2020.