Putting together a triathlon camp with a campground as your base can be a great way to disconnect from it all and get in some quality miles. But don’t show up with your triathlon gear and hope for the best—the only way to come home fitter and refreshed is to do the proper planning and bring the right equipment. To get some tri-camp-while-you-camp tips, we spoke to Arizona-based coach Caleb Guest of Triplex Training. In addition to being a Level II USA Triathlon coach, he and his wife, Nicole, are avid campers who love to get out into the wild for some swim, bike, and run.
Find The Right Spot
The training element of the adventure means that you have to pay extra attention to the campsite. In addition to trails and roads that are appropriate for biking and running, you’ll need to double check the body of water where you plan to do your swims. Just because a campsite is alongside a beautiful lake, river, or ocean, does not mean it’s ideal or even legal for open-water swimming. “Talking with someone local to the area is a great place to start,” Guest said.
In addition to the camping basics needed for sleeping and eating, Guest always brings an easy-up tent to provide extra shade and rain protection. “This has been a lifesaver on more than one occasion,” he said. Other must-haves include a good headlamp with extra batteries, comfortable folding chairs for relaxing at the end of the day, and a solar shower. After all, camping is dirty enough—training hard while camping leads to next-level grime.
The quality of your training will only be as good as your zzz’s. Invest in a high-quality portable air mattress. You can spend a lot of money here, but Guest said he’s had great success with the more affordable REI-branded options (starting at $150). Another sleep well tip from Guest: “As with all traveling, don’t forget your own pillow.”
Prep your food ahead of time as much as possible, Guest advised. “We’ll pre-cook most meats and pre-chop veggies, so all we have to do is cook up some noodles and mix everything together for an easy pasta dish.” For quicker meals, he brings healthy canned soups and chilis that are easy to heat up for a satisfying refuel between sessions.
Execute a Plan
Just like anything training-related, you have to plan for success. Guest’s biggest piece of advice: “Go big, early! You’ll be the freshest early on in your trip, so get the big, gnarly, sessions out of the way.” From there, split the later days into a morning session and an afternoon session so you have time in between to regroup.