Nation's Tri blog


Whether you are juggling jobs, family, school, friends, etc., vacation is an opportunity to both relax and fit in the things you enjoy doing without the distraction of your regular hectic schedule.   Vacation does not necessarily need to mean taking a break from training, especially if you are in a location that has interesting and beautiful places to train in.   Here’s how to turn your vacation into a Tri-Cation!

Over the recent Holiday Break, I visited some friends in San Diego.  None of them are triathletes and the purpose of the trip was to catch up with them and experience a new city.   However, at the same time, I knew I wanted to fit in some training and take advantage of the warmer weather out there.  So, I turned to the Internet and found several helpful tools to locate facilities, run/bike routes and even local people/groups to train with.


  1. Facilities and Masters Swimming Groups, a reliable resource for swimming pools and groups all over the nation courtesy of United States Masters Swimming.
  2. Google “‘City Name’ Department of Parks and Recreation” – I did this for San Diego and found a public 50 meter outdoor salt-water heated pool.  My friend didn’t even know it existed, nor that it was free for him and just $5 for visitors.  We had a great time enjoying this beautiful pool and he tells me he is planning to visit again in the future.
  3. Google “‘City Name’ Open Water Swimming” – If you are headed to a place with beaches and/or lakes, this can be fun training option for you and for those you are visiting to get some beach time in.


  1. Go to Tri-Find and click on “Find a Triathlon Club.”  From here you can find information for triathlon clubs in the region to find out what options they have for group training.  If nothing is obvious, contact the president of the club, they are normally happy to point you in the right direction.
  2. Check Map My Ride for routes that have already been established in the area.
  3. Major city governments will often have free maps of bike routes they maintain on the local government website.  Google variations of “‘City name’ bike routes,” and you may get some great results.
  4. Contact local bike shops and ask about regular group rides organized by their store.   Also, if you don’t have a bike with you, most will rent for a fee per day.


  1. Contact running stores in the city, many including City Sports may have group runs leaving from their stores that anyone can join.
  2. Find a running route with Map My Run or US Track & Field websites.
  3. Head out the door and see the new sites on an “exploring run.”

If you do not have the luxury of time to explore, and are still looking to fit in a good workout, check to see if your hotel has a gym and/or a lap pool.  Use this as a chance to cross train on the machines they have available.  If there is a pool that is too short for laps, incorporate vigorous water jogging along with some basic core work.  Or, if you can get outside, ask the concierge for a recommended running route from the hotel.  Since they are locals, I have received some amazing tips on where to run that I would not have found on my own.  Extra bonus – they can give you a small street map, which will give you a good idea of where to go.

In closing, the title of this blog potentially has several other interpretations to it, since it’s a Portmanteau word I ‘think’ I just made up.  Here’s to hoping tri-cation will catch on the way brunch (breakfast + lunch) has!  I hope the above tools and tips are useful in helping your next tri-cation be both relaxing and tri-tastic.

Michelle Harburg

Originally a six-day per week runner, Michelle started training for triathlons in 2007 when she realized that she should cross train in order to keep her knees healthy into old age. Since then she has competed in all of the triathlon distances. Michelle is a USA Triathlon level 1 certified coach and has lots of tips on effective training for triathlon. She currently is attending American University for her MBA while working as Program Director for ACHIEVE Kids Tri. ACHIEVE is a free six-week summer camp that teaches at-risk youth fitness, nutrition and health through the sport of triathlon, and ends with a USA Triathlon certified mini-kids race. Her 2011 race schedule includes the National Half Marathon, Miami Olympic Triathlon, New Orleans Half, Ironman Texas, The Washington DC Triathlon and The Nation's Triathlon.