Visit this cultural gem for perfect off-season training and the world-class Abu Dhabi International Triathlon.
The Abu Dhabi International Triathlon is already a classic race known to triathletes the world over, but there’s much more to explore and experience across the emirate for athletes keen to get the best training from their trip.
While the event will welcome a record number of competitors and spectators from around the world for the fourth Abu Dhabi International Triathlon on 2 March, as coaching editor Phil Mosley found out on his trip to Abu Dhabi in 2011, it’s a professional training location of choice that offers a wealth of triathlon training opportunities.
Abu Dhabi is fast emerging as a winter training base for athletes of all levels looking to escape the Northern Hemisphere’s colder months. Either as a stand-alone training trip or in the days leading up to the race, athletes can take advantage of the 400 kilometres of pristine coastline with training sessions in the warm Arabian climes, run part of the event course at the famous Corniche promenade, cycle the iconic Yas Marina Circuit, home to the annual Abu Dhabi Grand Prix or swim at the picturesque Blue Flag certified public beach.
The area’s grass roots triathlon scene is also maturing with a number of top clubs offering first timers and seasoned athletes a chance to hone their skills. A wealth of world-class training facilities are on offer in the emirate year-round, providing fantastic stay and train packages for those wanting to ‘compete in the heat’.
When taking a break from training, triathletes can enjoy the sights and sounds of the UAE capital, which comes alive during the winter months and is jam-packed with scenic and cultural discoveries, cutting-edge theme parks, architectural wonders, high fashion shopping and first-class dining perfect to distract from tired muscles after a long day in the saddle. Whether you’re seeking beautiful natural surrounds for pre-race training sessions, or a cultural day trip to unwind after racing, Abu Dhabi provides a perfect off-season retreat far from the wet, damp and cold misery of British pre-season training.
Training in Abu Dhabi
Armed Forces Officers’ Club
The Abu Dhabi-based club boasts facilities perfect for athletes looking to train regularly. The club has an indoor heated 50m Olympic-sized swimming pool and an all-weather running track open to the public. Training hours for ladies only are every Monday from 4:00pm – 8:00pm and Fridays from 8:00am – 1:00pm.
Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana
Athletes will find comfort and luxury at the event hotel, Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana, which has facilities such as large heated swimming pools, direct beach access, fully equipped gym, bike storage and a daily menu designed with both for athletes and their friends and families.
Abu Dhabi Corniche
The eight-kilometre waterfront stretch offers triathletes an all-encompassing training session which includes open water training and a separate cycle and jogging pathways accessible any time of the day. The award-winning Corniche is open daily to the public.
Al Mushrif Track
This is a specially-designed rubberised track for jogging at Al Mushrif. The 2.4 kilometre track is the longest jogging track in the UAE capital and runs from the ADNOC petrol station on Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street to the Federal Passports Bridge.
Al Jazira Sports Club
This fantastic facility offers an Olympic-sized pool and is open to the public seven days a week. The pool is often used by professional triathletes during the cooler months to train and stay in shape.
Yas Marina Circuit
The iconic Yas Marina Circuit – home to the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – offers a unique and friendly training ground on the Formula 1 track on Tuesday evenings. The circuit is open to runners and cyclists looking to train in a safe public environment.
Training in Al Ain
Athletes looking to work on their cycling and running skills can navigate their way through a diverse range of the emirate’s stunning natural landscapes, from the dizzying heights of Jebel Hafeet in Abu Dhabi’s heritage heartland of Al Ain, to the vast four kilometre cooling Al Ain oasis, which is open to the public and provides a safe training ground for runners and cyclists. Danat Al Ain Resort and Al Ain Rotana have state-of-the-art heated swimming pools open to all.
Local Triathlon Clubs
Whether you’re an age-grouper or pro in search of training in groups on a weekly basis, you can join a number of established clubs in Abu Dhabi during your off-season training break including:
Abu Dhabi Striders
One of the oldest community clubs in Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Striders have been swimming, biking and running since 1984 and the provide weekly sessions to avid triathletes all year round. For more information, please contact Chris O’Hearn on mailto:email@example.com or mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
This club provides an opportunity for Abu Dhabi-based cyclists to get together for organised rides every Friday and Saturday. For more information, please contact mailto:email@example.com
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