Training Holiday Etiquette

Training Holiday Etiquette 

You have just signed up for a training holiday abroad.... ideally, you are joining the expertise of Tri Training Harder in Portugal. If not, never fear, these etiquette suggestions still hold true for any training holiday!

1.    Bring all your equipment

It sounds crazy, but the number of people we have had turn up without helmets, the wrong pedals, or forgotten key items like swimming costumes or shoes is actually quite high. Almost as high as the number of people putting items of clothing on backwards... Remember that your training element of your holiday would be significantly improved if you bring everything you were going to bring to the location!

Kurt wished he had packed his swimming arms to Portugal...

2.    Bring your can–do attitude

Everyone has come out to do some fun training. If it was going to be easy, you would probably hang around at home and not go, so don’t say no – you can make it to the top of the hill, you can do one more rep and you will have one more pastel nata! No one else in the group wants to hear your whining all the time. You will feel better at the end as well.

It can be Foia or a 15km bike ride: everyone has their summit, the view from the top looking back at where you came from is always spectacular.

3.    Aerobars, or not aerobars

Probably the biggest contender for this list: to aerobar or not to aerobar?! Firstly, if you are on a cycling holiday, then don’t even think about brining a tri bike or aerobars, they are more than likely to ask you to ride on your own (or sit on the front). On triathlon holidays, it is worth checking before you head out. On our holidays, we allow aerobar use only when on the front or on your own – not when in the middle of the group. This is due to safety for others and to save your own embarrassment should this happen:

To see full video courtesy of Carbed up Craig:

4.    Look the part

It may be you are already an avid member/follower of


, that is probably a good starting point but if not, taking even a few steps in the right direction towards perfection in cycling would make you feel more at home with a bunch of cyclists….you could even dismiss others with a disdainful look in the eye saying to them politely that they need to adhere to rule #5. 

Dropping the motorpacer is a good look too...!

5.    Smile

Chrissie Wellington smiled to keep her mind off the pain of racing and also to put off the opposition. For your sake, it is important to smile most of the time because you never know when or how someone will pap you at an inopportune moment. It is all about trying to ensure, you hold that elegance and poise that you fought to hold after Rule 4 above.


6.    Eat like crazy

I personally feel most triathletes are lying when they say they do triathlon because they enjoy the sports or the competition or the sense of achievement. It is more likely that they just like food. A lot. If there is one week in the year when you are allowed by your metabolism to eat lots, it is on training holiday. That’s why the t-shirt says train, eat, sleep repeat right?!

Dean, having earned his "Copobanana" ice cream... Not sure what the bear is all about though?!

7.    Don’t sing. Ever. Unless you can actually sing

I didn’t want to include this one as I love my singing voice, but sadly it has come to my attention that I am the only one in 7 billion. Therefore, no matter that sea shanties got sailors through rough oceans, or soldiers used songs when on gruelling marching, Philip or other equally gifted singers may not sing on any ride or run to keep morale high. If your name is Adelle, then you are more than welcome to serenade the peloton.

If only I was free to sing with someone riding my bike for me and providing me with speakers!

Heather Normandale of StichCrafy sings to the rolling throngs at the first Vancouver, BC BMF, 2009. Photo courtesy of The Ginger Ninjas. 

8.    Be supportive of others…unless they are better than you.

We’ve all been a beginner, we have all been the one struggling at the back of the group wishing everyone would slow down. Keep peoples morale high by giving them a chance to keep up. You have no idea how much that would mean to them coming from someone they perceive as being significantly better. Generally speaking we split our groups up so that doesn’t usually happen, but if you are doing intervals in the same place, give everyone a big cheer.

Coach Ed demonstrating extensive sympathy and encouragement.

9.    Don’t treat every session as a competition

It is really simple – you are here to train. Training is training, not a competition. The first person home on the training holiday, does not mean they will be the first over the line at Kona. Complete the session as you are instructed – you will get more out of the week. No one likes a show off…unless they then have a comeuppance!

Relax and enjoy yourself...who knows you may find yourself ahead of the super keenos!

10.    Make the most of being out on training holiday

You are in a 5-star training environment and you are doing training with some expert coaches and a great group of people who will bring some interesting thoughts and experiences. Use this as a way to make new friends and potentially training buddies going forwards. 

See you in the sun.