Did you know that SaltStick is sold all around the world? Like endurance sports, SaltStick enjoys widespread popularity in places ranging from South Africa to Central Europe. To give you a better idea of the many great training options throughout the globe, we reached out to some of our European and Pacific distributors, who told us about climate, endurance sports, training options, and big races in their areas. Also, because it’s helpful to visualize the beautiful training landscapes in these countries, this post includes lots of photos!
We’ve included the details of five countries in this post, but SaltStick is available in more than 30 countries on six continents. For a full list of our international distributors, go here. Also, to find your nearest SaltStick retailer, check out our Store Locator here.
Here’s what it’s like to train across the world:
Germany, Switzerland and Austria:
Germany’s winter can be pretty harsh, so athletes will often begin their seasons (racing season is typically May through September) with training camps farther south, in places such as the Canary Islands, Mallorca, Italy and Spain. Official racing season is structured pretty similarly to that in the U.S.: Early season races are typically shorter, pool-based races, while longer events are held in June and July. Ironman Frankfurt, for instance, will be held July 3, 2016.
Beyond triathlon, Germany and other Central European countries (such as Switzerland and Austria) are also home to running, mountain and road Biking, swimming, Nordic walking, inline skating, and mountain hiking.
If you find yourself headed to Central Europe and need a place to train, SaltStick distributor It’s Running Deutschland recommends the following areas:
- Germany: Black Forest, Allgäu und Bodensee, Tegernsee, around Roth
- Switzerland: Zurich, Luzern, Lausanne
- Austria: Kärnten, Burgenland
With mild winters (temperatures range between 40F/5C to 50F/12C), Greece supports an active lifestyle year-round. While you won’t find many trail races during the winter months (due to the colder temperatures in the mountains, where trail marathons are often held), several road marathons are held during January and February. Perhaps the most famous marathon — the Athens Marathon — is held in late November.
During the summer, temperatures tend to be much hotter (between 70F/20C and 105F/40C), which means training for these late-season marathons requires proper hydration during the months leading up to race day. Also, most of Greece’s trail races are held during the summer, including the Olympus Marathon, the Olympus Mythical Trail 100K (for which SaltStick is the official sponsor), and the North Face Zagori Trail Races. One of the tougher challenges is the Sparathlon, 246K/152M race along the Greek coast, which takes the winners more than 20 hours to complete. It’s such an achievement that there is a monument in Sparta that lists winners’ names.
Triathlon is still a budding sport in Greece, but it’s growing in popularity.
Check out official Greek SaltStick supplier New Life Sports Nutrition & Accessories on Facebook.
According to New Zealand-based SaltStick distributor Pawson Reid Velo, New Zealand is great for training pretty much regardless of where you are. Big population centers, such as Auckland and Queensland, house extensive facilities and gyms, and the rural areas provide miles and miles of quiet roads that are ideal for biking. Rotorua, the MTB capital of New Zealand, provides world-class mountain-biking trail options. In other words, no matter your preferred endurance activity, there is something for you.
Sitting in the Southern Hemisphere, New Zealand’s warmest months are December through February, and winter lasts June through August. As you move farther south, the winter becomes more harsh, and training often moves indoors. However, the north is considered “subtropical,” and it can mean training or racing outdoors year round.
While MTB is the most popular sport, New Zealanders are an active group of people, and you’ll find races in all disciplines nearly every weekend of the year, including running, MTB, road cycling, triathlon, and adventure racing.
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Road running, cycling, and Nordic skiing are the most popular sports in the country, and athletes can stay active year round. While most people associate Canada with freezing temperatures and mountains of snow, SaltStick distributor Podium Imports tells us that this stereotype doesn’t exist everywhere. In places such as Vancouver and Victoria, cyclists can ride all year, provided they equip their bikes with fenders. Also, in places “where winter is really winter,” athletes have the option to go indoors or on a pair of skis, says Podium Imports.
If you do want to stay outside, obtaining right apparel is the most important step in staying warm, as Canadian pro triathlete Jeff Symonds shows us in the photo below. Symonds says he is happy to run the KVR Trail in Penticton or run along the lakeshore.
Winter cross-training on skis is a huge possibility in Canada, and athletes can participate in “loppets,” which are cross-country ski events that emphasize participation and fun. These are often lengthy, and as we pointed out in our “winter training” blog post, they can help boost VO2 and strengthen crucial leg muscles.
For more traditional endurance sports, such as running and cycling, racing season begins mid-April and ends in October, and temperatures during the summer can reach above 100F/30C. Hydration is still important!
If you’re traveling to Canada and looking for a place to train, Podium Imports recommends Stanley Park in Vancouver, Mont Royal in Montreal, or Nose Hill in Calgary.
No matter where you are, you have options to get outdoors and get moving. And because SaltStick is sold throughout the world, you will be able to train hard and stay hydrated.
Thanks to our distributors for sharing the training information and photos!