I’ve been accustomed to leave the cold weather of Quebec during the holidays to train somewhere warm in order to get fit before the racing season, get tanned and to stay mentally sane after all the indoor training I did this winter. The previous years I’ve been to Cuba and Juan Dolio in the Dominican Republic but this year I decided to go to Arizona. My three weeks training camp was divided in one week and a half in Tucson where I was mostly doing long and easy bike rides and one week and a half in Phoenix where I trained with short distance triathletes from Quebec, Victoria and a few American triathletes.
Tucson is definitely a better place to train compared to Phoenix. There are more options of places to ride, there are many trails for running and many outside swimming pools. It’s no wonder that many triathletes like Ben Kanute, T J Tollakson and Ben Hoffman have chosen Tucson as their training ground.
Elite Canadian triathletes like Matt Sharpe and Brennen Smith train in Phoenix for many weeks and even months in the winter to get ready for their racing season since triathlon Canada head coach Jonathan (Jono) Hall lives in Phoenix. Since Phoenix is a bigger city than Tucson more driving is required to get to the nice running trails and it takes a bit of time to ride through the city before you reach the nice roads for cycling. However, Phoenix is still a great place to train if you want to get away from the Canadian winter for a few days or weeks.
In Phoenix, even though I still did some longer aerobic rides, we did also lots of quality trainings (high intensity) in the pool, on the bike and on the run. It’s great to do different types of training and to train with short distance triathletes. I learned a lot about how to ride in a pack at a fast pace and I got to improve my speed in the pool and on the bike.
Overall I’ve really enjoyed my time in Arizona and I’m already looking forward to my next training camp at the end of February in South Carolina.