If you think of overseas training, chances are islands such as Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Mallorca spring to mind. And understandably so, with the Canary and Balearic Islands offering guaranteed warm weather throughout the British winter months, and affordable flights from across the UK.
But when the mercury rises around April time, it actually becomes nigh-on impossible to train, which is where a relatively new overseas training location steps in – Austria!
Nestled within the tiny Austrian town of Fuschl am See, just 30mins west of Salzburg, is Hotel Mohrenwirt. Run by the Schmidlechner family for five generations, it’s currently in the hands of keen triathletes Jakob and his wife Sabine. Together with their experienced staff they provide guests with a host of services and packages to suit every athlete and traveller. Here are just a few of the highlights on offer:
The crystal clear waters of Lake Fuschlsee, where guests can enjoy some of the best open-water swimming we’ve ever experienced, is just a 300m walk from the hotel. There’s also free access to a 25m heated outdoor pool, again just a few minutes’ walk away, where two swimming lanes are reserved every day (end of April – end of September) from 8am until 10am, exclusively for Mohrenwirt guests.
For an injection of competition, Mohrenwirt hosts the annual Fuschlsee Crossing, which takes place every August and offers two race distances – 2.1km or 4.2km. We were fortuitous enough to catch the swim during our stay, and were impressed by the level of organisation, enthusiasm and celebration that was afforded to each and every competitor. All entrants were treated to a post-race barbeque, set to a Euro Pop soundtrack not that dissimilar to scenes we witnessed just one day later at the much bigger Ironman 70.3 World Champs, in Zell am See, a 90min drive away.
Located in the Salzkammergut region, the hotel is the ideal base camp for ambitious cyclists looking to explore the surrounding lakes and mountains on two wheels. The network of trails in the region is perfect for road bike riders looking to train hard or prepare for a race. Pick up the latest maps, including route descriptions, from the hotel’s bike info corner – each ride is graded according to its difficulty level. Jakob or a member of his team also run weekly guided rides in the region.
Canyon road bikes can be hired at the hotel, with guests able to reserve the bike of their choice when booking their stay.
There really are very few better ways to start the day than by taking a run around the stunning Lake Fuschlsee. 220’s Matt Baird did just that during our stay*: “The 12km run loop from the hotel door around the Fuschlsee lake is a thing of beauty,” he says.
“Skirting back and forth from the lake shore, the rolling circular route takes in dense woodland, lakeside beaches, farmers’ fields complete with cows wearing cowbells and infuriatingly tempting lakeside bars, with enough triathletes in Lycra on the course to add a little competition into the runs if you feel like upping the pace. And if you do get too hot in the midsummer Austrian sun, then the glistening blue water is only a hop, skip and jump away…”
And should competition be your thing, the hotel organises its own 12km run race, the ‘Fuschlseelauf’, every August.
All-inclusive triathlon package
Prices From €87 per person/night
Dates 6 April – 25 October
Included in this package:
Afternoon après bike snack.
Five-course dinner with three main course choices and salad buffet.
The Mohrenwirt energy pack for when you’re out and about, with energy bar, energy drink and banana.
Access to the Mohren-Spa, including a roof terrace.
Access to the hotel’s private beach on the crystal clear Fuschlsee with jetty, sunbathing lawn and paddle boards.
Admission to the modern public beach ‘Fuschlseebad’ with heated 25m outdoor pool.
Free entrance to the gym in the public Fuschlseebad.
Access to the hotel’s natural orchard garden with sunbathing lawn.
Free laundry service for your sports clothing.
Support and tour suggestions provided by hotel staff.