World triathlon tour: Top places to swim, cycle and run
Most of us can say with confidence that we excel at one particular sport. But three? Mastering the art of swimming, cycling and running is a challenge that demands dedication and a feat that deserves recognition. Whichever discipline you need to prioritise, taking a training trip to one of the world’s best playgrounds for swimmers, cyclists and runners will help you stay on track for a race day performance you can be proud of. Read on for Sweaty Betty’s round-up of the world’s best places to practise every leg of the triathlon…
Marina Bay Sands Infinity Pool, Singapore - If you like to break up your laps with a spot of R&R on a sunbed and an electrolyte-boosting fruit juice, this breathtaking urban rooftop pool is the place for you.
Icebergs in Bondi, Australia - The combination of fresh sea water overlooking Bondi Beach and the safety of being set away from scary ocean dwellers makes the ‘home of winter swimming’ a world class spot for swim training.
Hampstead Ponds, London - London’s picturesque Hampstead Heath has a ladies’ lido that will awaken your senses and transport you far away from the city’s hustle and bustle. Both an oasis of calm and a convenient pitstop for serious swim training, it’s a must-do for any London local or visitor.
Lake Garda, Italy – Warmed by the Italian sun, this is the boot’s largest lake and an unbeatable location for ticking off your longest swim training sessions ahead of race day.
Fiji Islands – Aquamarine waters, swarms of colourful fish and peaceful shores make Fiji an unforgettable destination to dabble in open water swimming.
For more swim tour ideas and dedicated coaching holidays, Sweaty Betty also recommends the impressive open water getaways available through Swimtrek.
Go for a spin…
Death Road, Bolivia – Don’t be put off by the name. From top to bottom you’ll face a 15,000ft descent featuring countless sheer drops, but make it to the bottom of this world famous cycle trail and you’ll be prepared for any obstacle the triathlon throws your way.
Coast to coast, UK - There are numerous tour providers who will help you organise a coast to coast ride across the UK, or you can personalise your route by stopping off at a few dream locations to freshen up on your swim and run training while you’re at it. Louise, Sweaty Betty’s content and events manager, completed her coast to coast challenge through the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the North Yorkshire Moors. Then she celebrated with some well-earned fish and chips at the world renowned Magpie café in Whitby.
Queenstown, New Zealand – Nowhere will you discover more downhill mountain biking trails than New Zealand. The area around Queenstown promises plenty of options for thrill-seekers, and a bubble lift takes you to the top of the mountain so you can skip out the treacherous climbs. Cycle hire shops in town allow you to pack light and pick up all the essentials on arrival.
Montauk, New York - The Ride to Montauk is a scenic and peaceful annual bike ride from New York City to Montauk. Riders can chose their starting location (Manhattan, Babylon or Mastic Shirley) and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the dunes, the ocean and the family-friendly towns of the Hamptons. Don't let the final stretch into Montauk fool you - the final four miles include all of Montauk's biggest and smallest hills in the lead up to the "end of the world" at the Montauk Lighthouse.
Snowdon, Wales – For triathlon enthusiasts after a unique challenge, Action for Charity’s cycle-climb-canoe challenge will appeal to your sense of adventure. You’ll want to get some mountain biking practice up and down Wales’ highest mountain ahead of race day as this is not a course designed for beginners, but the stunning vistas will motivate you through every climb.
Cape Byron Walking Track - A favourite walking and running route for Aussies, this offers incredible cliffside views and seasonal spottings of whales and dolphins. You’ll finish at the most easterly point of Australia, where you can cool off with a post-run swim.
Runyon Canyon, Los Angeles - A 130 acre park in with 360 views of the California coastline, Runyon Canyon invites you to play with speed, intensity and duration to find the perfect run for you. And as only LA can offer, expect pleasant weather year round.
Bondi to Coogee Walk - This trail between two of Australia’s most iconic beaches is punctuated with jungle gym pit stops to incorporate conditioning exercises into your run.
Norfolk Coastal Path - Stretching 63 miles and taking you through varied terrain and a fascination collection of Norfolk coastal villages, this trail will challenge you and deliver a healthy dose of fresh sea air. Make sure to finish with a dunk in the sea.
The Peak District - The UK’s home of fell running, the Peak District presents challenges for runners of every level. Jacobs Ladder is particularly infamous for its leg-trembling climbs and lush green scenery.