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Packing Light when Training in Spain

Plan ahead for your Warm Weather Training Camp with some useful tips from BTF and IRONMAN coach, Karen Parnell


Author; Karen Parnell



Now we have more freedom and can plan a trip to Spain, so warm weather training is not a pipe dream anymore. 

To make the most of your training and travelling light can be a tricky balancing act but it’s not impossible. Here are Karen's top tips for travelling light for your training in Spain. 



Beaches in Spain can be a bit pebbly rather than sandy. The sandy beaches in Southern Spain may have been built using shipped in sand but recently this has not been done due to the pandemic so you may find the sandy beach you visited two years ago may be pebbly instead. I have found Skinners to be very useful on all types of beaches and at lakes because you can run, walk and swim in them. They do not float much so you can swim in them easily. They are well worth packing as they take up little room and you can use them to walk, hike, swim and even beach run. They dry out quickly and the new version also has a removable inner sole for running and hiking.


Caring for the Ocean & Buying Local

If you are visiting a location where you plan to swim in the lakes and sea, then I would recommend ocean and reef safe products. There is no need to bring them as they are readily available here. I use Cressi anti-fog spray to keep my goggles fog free and to extend their life. You can easily purchase it at diving centres which are plentiful in Spain. It’s ocean safe (unlike baby shampoo), cheap and works exceptionally well. Another product you should consider is waterproof sunscreen. I like the Garnier Delial ocean conservancy range which is ocean safe and comes in recyclable packaging. The factor 50 is excellent and not expensive so again no need to pack it, just buy it in Spain.



If you are visiting Spain in the summer months the chances, are you won’t need a wetsuit. Hiring a wetsuit is not commonplace in mainland Spain so if you need one then seek out a local triathlon club and see if you can borrow one or failing that you can purchase one. The branded ones tend to be from bike shops that stock a small number of items for triathletes like wetsuits, goggles, running shoes, lock laces etc.


Rent versus Bring?

Gone are the days of renting a bike that is 10 years old with an Aluminium frame and flat pedals. In Spain you can now rent full carbon bikes with disc brakes that are less than a year old. Order ahead of time and give the company your measurements and they will set it up and ready to go when you arrive. This means just packing your clipless pedals, cycling shoes and helmet. You can also rent a helmet if you want to save the room or even wear it on to the plane! Prices are 15-25 euro per day and usually come with helmet hire. If you are planning to train near me then a great place to rent from is Bike Philosophy and Velez Malaga.


Training in Spain

Training in Spain can be hot so it’s advisable to get your training done early in the day. This does however have added bonuses like empty beaches and roads. While you are here you could check out some night events like the night run in Velez Malaga or a night time sportive in Almeria.

The goodie bags contain a head torch to aid with your event and expect lots of food and drink at the end!

It’s a great time to come as the bars, restaurants and hotels are open along with running tracks, swimming pools and other training venues. You can combine training with some time to relax and de-stress in stunning scenery.


Karen Parnell is British Triathlon Federation (BTF) Level 3 High Performing Coach and Tutor and ASA Open Water Swimming Coach. She is also a qualified NASM Personal Trainer, Nivel 3 Técnicos Federados FATRI España and IRONMAN® Certified Coach as well as being a Stryd running with power coach. Karen is based near Malaga in Southern Spain where she runs ChiliTri coaching and camps


Categories: All topics, Athletics, CrossFit, Cycling, Running, Spain, Swimming, Triathlon