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The best places to swim, run and cycle

Right. Do you want the good news or the bad news?

Personally I prefer to start with the bad… start on a low, end on a high.

The bad news is that I have agreed to do a triathlon later this year. That might not sound too terrible to you but you don’t know how far I have to go yet.

First comes the swim. A couple of lengths of a pool? Nope, no, absolutely not. Unless the pool is enormous. I have to swim almost a mile (Or 1500km if you prefer metric). I’ve never done that but it sounds unpleasant. Add to the distance the fact that I have to do it in the Thames (yuk) while wearing a wetsuit… and we have ourselves a rather unpleasant start to a Sunday.

After doggy-paddling my way down London’s famous (and not clean) river I have to drag myself out and, in front of a large cheering crowd, remove the wetsuit. Have you ever removed a wetsuit? It’s close to impossible at the best of times. With a baying audience and the longest swim of my life just finished it’s going to be potential YouTube gold.

If I manage to take the wetsuit off my prize is a 26 mile bike ride. Lovely. And if I don’t fall off or get a puncture then I win another great prize: a 10km run.

The treats keep on coming don’t they. Anyway, as terrified as I am in true Melissa style I’ve found a silver lining. I’m going to need to practice. Yes most of that practice will take place in London but not all of it. Because apart from all the other things other countries are really for they are also good for, you guessed it: swimming, cycling and running!

So I’ve managed to persuade Henry we need three holidays, one for each discipline. He started to grumble but then I told him I’m raising money for charity and he had to be quiet.

Here’s where I’m going to go for my ‘training’. Where’s your favourite place to swim, run or cycle?

SwimmingCap Rocat in Cala Blava, Mallorca, Spain


I’ll be doing my swim in the rather boisterous Thames so I’m going to have to practice somewhere altogether nicer.

There are few places I like more than the Med and few bits of the Med I like more than the coast of Mallorca. And in Mallorca there’s nothing to rival Cap Rocat, a 19th century fortress in 88 acres refurbished not long ago. With a private jetty, salt water pool and, erm, a drawbridge (alright not required for training but wow) it’s the perfect spot to work on my front crawl.

CyclingLa Plantacion del Sur in Costa Adeje, Tenerife, Spain


Needless to say I know very little about where is best for cycling as I’m usually in a car. But the experts all tell me the Canary Islands are where it’s at. Many of the top cyclists go there to train. So I’ve chosen Tenerife largely because La Plantacion del Sur is there. If I am going to have to spend several hours on a bike I need a great spa, incredible bed and spectacular food. And this place has all that and then some. If I’m really in pain I can opt in to butler service apparently!

RunningQuinta da Casa Branca in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Quinta da Casa Branca

I like some variety when I run. A bit in the city and a bit on some beautiful trails. So I have a lot of choices of where I can get both. But nowhere is it quite as easy and as beautiful as Madeira. A quick look online and you’ll see oodles of running routes and trails. This little Portuguese island has only one hotel I want to stay at so I’ll be based at Quinta da Casa Branca in Funchal. It’s modern but not annoyingly so and the gardens are ridiculously beautiful. The perfect spot to get my breath back!

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