We’ve actually come to love triathlon training camps over the years. They can be great for a family vacation as long as everyone realizes your triathlete will be gone most of the day. And mind you, they are not all created equal. While some are high end and great for the family, others are more like boot camp and geared strictly toward the athlete. Which means you have to do your research and be choosy like us. If your triathlete is doing the picking, be sure to check out the camp before signing up.
Here are some of our family favorite triathlon training camps.
Purple Patch Fitness
Okay, I have to come clean that Matt Dixon, founder of Purple Patch, is my husband’s coach and I’ve even interviewed Matt for TriWivesClub. That said, we really aren’t biased when it comes to Matt’s triathlon training camps, because they are great without our help. The locations are ideal and the services offered are memorable. South Carolina, Hawaii, and north of San Francisco should please everyone.
The camps are run by Purple Patch coaches Paul Buick and Matt Dixon. They are small so you get personalized attention and a focus on more than just training. The immersive experience centers around the Purple Patch pillars of performance, providing an equal balance of education, skill development, and training in all disciplines of triathlon. Purple Patch emphasizes the importance of nutrition and recovery and makes it a point to educate triathletes on how to make the right choices.
The South Carolina camp is set in the Blue Ridge Mountains at the world-class Hotel Domestique, This hotel is gorgeous people and should surpass your expectations. It offers a serene, quiet escape with a unique, luxurious blend of Old World style and modern design. It has actually become a favorite base camp for those seeking exhilarating adventures. But, if memorable sight-seeing, shopping and entertainment are more suited to your tastes, you can venture into the nearby towns of Asheville and Greenville.
The San Francisco camp is in Sausalito in Marin County. We actually went a few years ago and while they do have a host hotel, we stayed at Cavallo Point just over the Golden Gate Bridge. With its ideal location and wealth of services, it made this triwife very happy. We ended up both having amazing days and got together for dinner to compare.
The beautiful Mauna Lani property on the Big Island of Hawaii sets the stage for a memorable camp experience. While your triathlete trains on the IM World Championships course, you and your family will have tons of activities to choose from and may never care if your triathlete joins you!
Now, of course all of this amazingness does not come cheap. Expect $3000 plus for the 3-5 day camps. The cost of each trip and what is covered varies so check the website.
The Cycling House
You have many location U.S. and international options to choose from with The Cycling House, especially if you’re looking more for a cycling vacation. But if triathlon training is a must, then Tucson, Mallorca, and Solvang will have to do! For the triathlete, the goals are to hone their cycling and triathlon skills, discover how to break through limits, and derive a memorable life-enhancing experience that endures long after the camp is over.
The company is know for their over-the-top customer service, extensive knowledge of endurance sports, and, most importantly, an environment that fosters relationships through riding bikes, enjoying great food, and exploring new places. When one of the goals is to WOW the guests, I’m in. They take care of everything including having an in-house chef for freshly prepared food specifically tailored for endurance athletes and meant to support the local community. Meals are served together family style at one big table.
Tucson, Arizona is arguably one of the best winter training destination for triathletes in the US. The camp is all-inclusive experience, with full support from the staff. You are meant to leave the stresses of life behind to focus on riding, relaxing, and, most importantly, having fun! Our Tucson triathlon camps have a multi-sport element in addition to cycling, with optional runs, swims, and triathlon-specific clinics.
If you choose the Solvang, California camp think eat, sleep, ride, and drink amazing wine. They stay just outside Solvang at the award-winning Ballard Inn & Restaurant. When not out riding, you’ll have plenty of time to relax and indulge in some of the region’s finest food and wines. Optional lap swimming and trail running is available in the afternoons. The crown jewel of the camp is a ride up Mount Figueroa; a gorgeous, challenging 10-mile climb with spectacular ocean views, wildflowers, and a European feel.
The other destination, Mallorca, in the Mediterranean Sea is a dream. We’ve actually been there for an Ironman race so can highly recommend. The home base is at the Petit Hotel Alaro, in the small village of Alaro, at the foot of the Serra De Tramuntana Mountains. The hotel offers deluxe accommodations with mountain views, chef-prepared authentic foods, and a relaxing swimming pool. It’s a great place to wind down with a glass of Spanish red wine after a good day training.
The island has plenty to explore, and a week of cycling provides a fantastic taste of what Mallorca has to offer. Not only do you get in some good miles, but also can indulge in the local culture and spend some time at cafes and vistas. The phenomenal climate, culture, European history, food, wine, and roads made for bicycles make Mallorca a favorite triathlon training spot and a must for anyone looking for a Mediterranean cycling adventure!
The all-inclusive cost is around $2000 for 6 days/5nights not including transportation.
We’ve been going to Costa Rica for years on vacation. So, we’re happy to see there is a triathlon training camp offered by RaceQuest Travel. You can book a group training camp featuring world class professional athletes and coaches or book a training week (or two) that provides a nice mix of guidance and autonomy.
Aside from this fantastic setting ideal for triathletes and concierge-style service, there are many more reasons to head to Costa Rica. The private villas, pristine beach, fresh food, groomed trails, and Las Catalinas Beach Club, to name a few, plus it’s pretty much all inclusive so a good value.
They even cater to friends and family with their Guest Program. Guests are provided with their choice of activities such as zip lining, SUP lessons, scuba diving lessons, massage sessions, yoga, catamaran cruising, mountain biking, and more. There’s even Diamante Eco-Adventure Park.
Here’s something that sets RaceQuest Travel apart – The Ultimate Recovery Day. They drive you over to Mount Arenal volcano, where you enjoy lunch high above Lake Arenal. This is followed by a therapeutic soak in the hot mineral springs of a 5-star resort. Sounds like a very unique experience!
Several camps we like for next year include their Back to Basics and Rock the W iron distance camp. The cost is around $1600 and does not include accommodations or transportation.
Solvang Triathlon Camps
Solvang, north of Santa Barbara in California makes for an ideal training ground. We’ve been to the area many times and love it. Quiet scenic roads that wind past the Santa Ynez Valley wineries contrast nicely with the challenges presented by the Santa Ynez Mountains. While the cycling terrain is unparalleled in North America, the area also offers great facilities for the triathlete, including a heated outdoor pool and track just a short stroll from the accommodations, the Meadowlark Inn.
The 6 day camp, in its 16th year, is devoted to training, recovery, coached swim, run and cycling sessions, catered evening meals throughout the camp, and miles of smiles. With the near perfect climate year round, the area is really a triathlete’s dream. And yes, the tri family’s dream, too. With a 70% return rate, they must be doing something right.
They even offer a spousal rate that includes the evening meals each night, the camp group wine tasting, outdoor movie night, attendance at seminars if preferred, and the final group dinner. See, they’re thinking about us!
The cost is around $1200, but does not include accommodations or transportation and some meals. The Spring Fling Camp will be March 11 – 17, 2019.
Do you have a favorite family triathlon training camp?
Sherry is one of the TriWivesClub and LifeDoneWell co-founders and contributes to multiple blogs. She is a former co-owner of the California Apparel News and had a career in the healthcare industry. Her passions include traveling, real food, the environment, and animal rescue/welfare. She lives a healthy lifestyle and has been a vegetarian since 1987. She and her husband are parents to two rescue pups and reside in Connecticut.