DZ Asheville Spring Triathlon Camp

DZ Asheville Spring Triathlon Camp, Asheville, North CarolinaDZ Asheville Spring Triathlon Camp
Asheville, North Carolina, USA

Get an early start training on the famous Blue Ridge Parkway!

March 31 – April 5, 2019: Early arrival & AOTC race weekend options
Early Bird Pricing: $795 USD until November 30, 2018

DZ Asheville Spring Triathlon Camp on Facebook DZ Asheville Spring Triathlon Camp on Facebook

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Daily triathlon-specific swim, bike, run and core strength workouts in and around beautiful Asheville, North Carolina.

Spring Training in Asheville

Scenic shot looking back on the Blue Ridge Parkway, site of DZ Spring Triathlon Training Camps - Asheville, North CarolinaWe have been training in Asheville, North Carolina in April since 2006. Why? Because it is the best spring location we’ve found for those looking to be challenged and inspired by a mountainous training environment.

In particular, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a world-class cycling destination – and at this camp, it’s literally seconds from the door.

Our experience running camps in the area ensures that you get the best training that Asheville has to offer, along with the challenging and fun atmosphere that you have come to expect from Discomfort Zone. Plus, for those looking for an extra challenge, there’s the Assault on the Carolinas (AOTC) cycling event, with your choice of 100km, 60km and 40km courses.

This year, we’re switching things up again, just to keep things interesting. For the last couple of years mount Mitchell has been inaccessible due to construction, so we’re planning to summit again this year. There’s more opportunity to swim open water, and we’ve reduced travel overhead so athletes have more time to train.

But don’t worry – we still have all the things athletes love about Asheville Spring Training – the Trail’s End venue, the great trail running, the Mellowdrome, and especially the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Triathlon Camp Details

The Discomfort Zone Athletes conquer the Walnut Cove Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway, despite a seriously wet, foggy day - DZ Asheville Triathlon Camp 2014


    The Coach
    The Area
    The Training
        Typical Training Schedule
    Support and Gear (SAG)
        Sports Nutrition Supported
    Accommodation Options
        Camp Venue Accommodation
        Off Site Accommodation
        Trail’s End

The Coach

Head Coach Mike CoughlinDon’t let the trademark easygoing coaching style fool you: get out cycling on the famous Blue Ridge Parkway, and you’ll see the competitiveness that took DZ Head Coach Mike Coughlin to Kona and Ultraman.

A winner of the Ultraman World Championship, the Hoodoo 500, and the Furnace Creek 508 in the 2x team division, Coach Mike has competed at the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, too many triathlons to keep count, more trail runs and ultras than he likes to remember, and some of the toughest marathons on the planet.

Mike’s coaching philosophy is one of helping athletes to challenge themselves, discovering their own potential by going beyond their comfort zone.

Head Triathlon Coach Mike Coughlin leads a trail run at Discomfort Zone Spring Triathlon Camp 2014Coach Mike is a NCCP Certified Competition Coach and has run triathlon camps in Asheville every year for over a decade, training everyone from absolute beginners to Olympic development athletes.

Coach Mike takes racing seriously, but also believes that triathlon is for everyone. Having experienced every level of training and racing, Coach Mike has found triathlon key to a lifelong fitness, health, and balance. His coaching style is relaxed and helpful: there’s no one more likely to quietly offer a thoughtful suggestion to help you train and race better.

Though Mike’s been running triathlon camps here for years now, he always finds something new and unique in Asheville. Camp is not only a great way to put in a big week of coached altitude training, but also a great opportunity to experience the best training opportunities in the Asheville area.

The Area

An elated triathlete conquers Mount Mitchell, highest point east of the Mississippi, during Discomfort Zone Spring Triathlon Camp 2012In Asheville, everything a triathlete could want is close by.

There’s some of the best trail running in the world, including Shut-In Trail, rated one of the top twenty-five running trails in North America. And those trails are just as great for mountain biking as they are for running. Our Trail’s End camp venue is located directly on the trailhead, and our athletes need only wake up, stretch, and go.

There’s some of the best road cycling in the world on the famous Blue Ridge Parkway, including Mount Pisgah – beautiful scenic climbs, hair-raising switchback descents, and seriously good dining afterwards at the Pisgah Inn, accompanied by spectacular views. Great cycling is just as close as great running.

And if that’s not enough, there’s the big one: Mount Mitchell, highest peak east of the Mississippi. Relentless steeps to challenge even the most adventurous climbers, wild descents to satisfy even the most discriminating speed demons, culminating in ten miles of unforgiving climb with spectacular views to either side. And for even more challenge, try a run at the 6,684-foot summit for some altitude training.

The many unlit tunnels on the Blue Ridge Parkway provide an interesting cycling venue for triathletes attending Discomfort Zone's Asheville training camps.  Lights are a must in some of the longer tunnels, which are often closed to motor vehicles during camp.There’s even a canted cycling track in Asheville where athletes can time trial or try their hand at a race.

The fact is that the Asheville area is one of the best triathlon training venues we’ve ever found. At DZ Asheville Spring Training Camp, athletes get a fully-supported training adventure with world-class coaching.

It’s also the most fun you’ll ever have training.

The Training

The Discomfort Zone Athletes after completing a hard bike up the formidable Mount Pisgah - DZ Asheville Triathlon Camp 2014Asheville Spring Triathlon Camp is a getaway week of challenging training in a fun, social setting. Emphasis is on endurance-building training which takes full advantage of the mountain environment.

The beauty of this venue is that every triathlete will find the right levels of challenge, fitness, and adventure, all in the same place. The goal is for every athlete to train just out of their comfort zone.

Athletes complete a triathlon race skills swim with buoys, drafting, and a mass start - Asheville Spring Triathlon Camp 2014The training plan is built so that everyone can train to their full ability while maintaining a team feeling and camaraderie. Strong cyclists and runners can find unlimited challenge with epic climbs, hair-raising descents, and technical trails.

At the same time, training is carefully planned so beginners can safely enjoy scenic mountain training, with a challenging but not overwhelming level of difficulty.

For the tough, the determined, or the just plain stubborn, the opportunity exists to do some open water swimming in chilly Lake Powhatan, just a short walk from Trail's End - Asheville Spring Triathlon Camp 2014A typical day’s schedule starts with a morning pool swim with Head Coach and ULTRAMAN World Champion Mike Coughlin, including technique development and a fitness swim component. Swims build on each other throughout the camp, and coaches work individually with athletes to find weaknesses and improve technique.

There’s also an opportunity for open water swimming in Lake Powhatan, if you’re tough, bring a wetsuit, or enjoy a polar bear dip – mountain lakes are cold!

The Discomfort Zone triathlon camp experience is all about group training in a fun, social atmosphereTaking advantage of the exciting cycling opportunities literally out the front door, rides begin with an easy bike check / skills assessment and progress steadily to endurance climbs and descents designed to challenge any athlete.

Rides are vehicle-supported and athletes stage from various points on the route to provide the appropriate level of training.

Athletes complete a bike+run multi-brick workout at the Asheville Mellowdrome bike track - Asheville Spring Triathlon Camp 2014A technique, skills, or endurance run – taking place either on road, solid-footing double-track trail, or on trail as technical as the athlete can handle – generally completes the day’s scheduled training.

Variations include altitude runs at Mount Pisgah and Mount Mitchell, as well and an interval bike+run multi-brick session at the Mellowdrome bike track.

Typical Training Schedule

  • Early Arrival Saturday: (Optional)
    15:00 – Arrive
    17:00 – Optional Group Dinner: Local Restaurant TBD
    19:00 – Grocery Shopping

  • Sunday:
    11:00 – Arrive
    12:00 – Open time
    13:00 – Introductions & Camp Briefing: Camp HQ
    14:00 – Bike Safety Check, Skills Workout & Assessment: Asheville Mellowdrome
    18:00 – Optional Group Dinner: Papas & Beer, Asheville
    20:00 – Grocery Shopping

  • Monday:
    07:30 – Athletes’ Training Briefing: Camp HQ
    08:00 – Coached Pool Swim: Reuter Family YMCA
    10:00 – Liberty Bikes Visit
    11:00 – Blue Ridge Parkway & Tunnel Hill Ride
    15:00 – Welcome Run: Bent Creek Trails

  • Tuesday:
    07:30 – Athletes’ Training Briefing, Camp HQ
    08:00 – Morning Run: Lake Powhatan Trails
    10:00 – Skills & Fitness Ride: North Carolina Arboretum
    11:00 – Avery’s Creek Ride
    18:00 – Optional Evening Run

  • Wednesday:
    07:30 – Athletes’ Training Briefing: Camp HQ
    08:00 – Coached Pool Swim: Reuter Family YMCA
    10:00 – Bearwallow Mountain Ride
    18:00 – Optional Evening Run

  • Thursday:
    07:30 – Athletes’ Training Briefing: Camp HQ
    08:00 – Mount Mitchell Ride
    12:00 – Summit Run
    13:00 – Picnic Lunch
    14:00 – Return Ride
    18:00 – Celebratory Group Dinner: Local Restaurant TBD

  • Friday:
    06:00 – Optional Sunrise Run
    09:00 – Depart

  • Race Weekend Friday: (Optional)
    09:00 – Free Time
    14:00 – Depart for Brevard
    15:00 – AOTC Race Kit Pickup
    16:00 – AOTC Pre-Ride & Course Familiarisation
    19:00 – Group Dinner: Brevard

  • AOTC Race Saturday: (Optional)
    06:00 – Depart for Brevard
    09:00 – AOTC Grand Fondo Race
    12:00 – AOTC Finish Festival & Lunch
    17:00 – Optional Group Visit: The Hub Bike Shop & Bar
    18:00 – Optional Group Dinner: Hawg Wild BBQ

  • Race Weekend Sunday:
    06:00 – Optional Sunrise Run
    09:00 – Depart

Support and Gear (SAG)

In cycling and triathlon, climbing makes you stronger.  And that's just what triathletes do at Discomfort Zone's Asheville, North Carolina triathlon camps.As with all Discomfort Zone camps in challenging mountain terrain, long distance training is fully vehicle supported. Athletes can have plenty of extra gear in the support vehicle, which is encouraged as the temperature can change with altitude, or in case of bad weather. There’s also plenty of water and INFINIT sports nutrition, so athletes can simply mix what they need to refill during long training rides.

Two DZ coaches are on hand, providing personal attention with a low coach to athlete ratio. In addition to safety, the combination of vehicle support and two coaching staff allows great flexibility: long distance training starts can be staged at different points on the route.

Sports Nutrition Supported

Discomfort Zone athletes have access to professional-level nutrition from Infinit CanadaThanks to our longtime partnership with Infinit Nutrition Canada, Discomfort Zone triathlon camps include Infinit fueling and recovery products for athletes’ use during the camp.

For long rides, athletes can try Infinit RIDE, a professional-level sports drink formulated specifically for long-distance cycling.

For recovery, Infinit REPAIR supplies needed nutrition after long and challenging camp training.

Accommodation Options

Trail's End, camp venue for Discomfort Zone Asheville Triathlon CampCamp HQ is Trail’s End, a vacation property located in the Bent Creek Research and Demonstration Forest, with a spectacular forest setting and all the amenities. Most workouts start from Camp HQ.

Athletes have the option of staying at Camp HQ or seeing to their own accommodations offsite. Athletes often attend camp as part of a family vacation, training with us during the day and returning to spend the evening with family. Local athletes are also welcome!

Camp Venue Accommodation

Trail's End, camp venue for Discomfort Zone Asheville Triathlon Camp, offers a relaxed, getaway vibeAthletes can stay at Trail’s End, probably the coolest place for a triathlon camp–ever. It’s exclusive, but only because hardly anyone knows about it.

Situated in the middle of a National Forest, Trail’s End is the only private cabin allowed in one of the best trail running and mountain biking parks in North America. It’s been a haven for cyclists and triathletes for decades, and is full of vintage cycling and triathlon memorabilia.

Trail's End, camp venue for Discomfort Zone Asheville Triathlon Camp, offers a relaxed, getaway vibeAt Trail’s End, are just steps from a huge system of marked trails that start literally at the front door, and just a quick pedal from the Blue Ridge Parkway, Mecca for hikers, runners, road cyclists, and triathletes.

Trail’s End is a self-catering venue. There is a full kitchen with cookware and tableware, and an outdoor barbeque for athletes’ use. Laundry facilities with washer and dryer are on site. In past years we’ve shared cooking and enjoyed many excellent dishes, as well as had fun eating out as a group. Outdoor facilities include a huge deck and an outdoor barbeque for athletes’ use.

Bunkroom at Trail's End, Camp HQ for DZ Asheville Spring Triathlon Training CampA variety of rooms are available at Camp HQ at a range of price points depending on the type of room.

Athletes can stay in a coed bunkroom (pictured), a single bedroom, a double room, or a master suite. There’s also an early arrival option, recommended for those who would like to relax a little or explore the area before formal training begins. Optionally, for those who prefer to start with a race,

Off-Site Accommodation

DZ triathletes Geri, James and Michael with Coach Mike at the 2013 Assault on The Carolinas cycling race, just after DZ Spring Triathlon Training Camp - Asheville, North CarolinaAthletes are welcome to join us for training while they stay elsewhere. Athletes often attend camp to train during the day, then join vacationing family afterward. Local athletes also often join us to take advantage of coaching and group training.

We’ve included a flat, per-athlete, camp-only rate for local athletes or those staying off-site. Those who weren’t early enough to reserve accommodation at Camp HQ can still join us for training, while others simply prefer to stay elsewhere. Athletes staying off-site are welcome to share the amenities at Camp HQ and to join us for social time.

For those who prefer to find their own accommodation, there are a wide variety of choices in the immediate area. We can provide a few recommendations, and the Hike Western North Carolina site lists many options.

All workouts meet either at Trail’s End, or at the venue in the case of certain swims. There’s plenty of parking for local athletes driving in or those staying out of cycling or running range.

Trail’s End – Camp HQ

Location: Bent Creek Research and Demonstration Forest
Athlete capacity: 9
Master bedrooms: 1 (with 2-piece ensuite)
Double bedrooms: 1
Single bedrooms: 1
Bunkroom: 5 beds
Bathrooms: 2 full baths with tub/shower
Bathrooms: additional ensuite in master bedroom
Parking: plenty on site
Laundry: HE high capacity machines on site
Food: full kitchen, self catering
Deck: huge
Mountain/forest views: all around
Decor: Cycling/triathlon old-school memorabilia
Garage: Bike work stand and beer fridge
Outside amenities: Picnic tables, barbeque, recliners
Nearby venues: Trail running & mountain biking trails, Blue Ridge Parkway
Training opportunities: limitless


All costs are US$

DZ Asheville Spring Triathlon Camp

March 31 – April 1, 2019
Triathlon camp only (accommodation not included):

Early Bird: Until November 30, 2018: $795
After December 1, 2018: $895

DZM & Triathlon Ontario members receive discounted rates.

During-Camp Onsite Accommodation (Optional)

Arrive Sunday March 31, depart Friday April 5, 2019
Coed bunk room: $350
Single room: $450
Double room (double bed) $550
Master room with two-piece ensuite (queen bed): $750 (Booked)

Early Arrival Accommodation (Optional)

Arrive Saturday March 30, 2019
Coed bunk room: $70
Single room: $90
Double room: (double bed) $110
Master room with two-piece ensuite (queen bed): $150 (Booked)

AOTC Race Weekend Accommodation (Optional)

Stay Friday April 5 and Saturday April 6, depart Sunday April 7, 2019
Coed bunk room: $140
Single room: $180
Double room: (double bed) $220
Master room with two-piece ensuite (queen bed): $300 (Booked)

Local athletes and athletes staying at off-site accommodation do not require Camp HQ accommodation.

Pricing includes a discounted rate for Triathlon Ontario members, which is required for insurance reasons. The Triathlon Ontario discount ($50US) is generally more than the cost of Triathlon Ontario membership. ($52CDN). The camp registration page will automatically process a Triathlon Ontario membership for those who do not already have one.

The online registration system tracks Camp HQ accommodations and will only book athletes into rooms which are open. If a room does not appear, it has been booked. In this case, please choose another room at Camp HQ or register for the camp only and contact us at the link below. We can provide contact information for many excellent places to stay very close to the camp venue.

How to Register

Group shot at the summit of Walnut Cove - Blue Ridge Parkway, DZ Asheville Spring Triathlon Camp 2016It’s easy to register! Simply click the appropriate link below to register online.

We use the same online registration system as Triathlon Ontario and the Ontario Cycling Association. If you need a Triathlon Ontario membership, you can easily join or renew at the same time.

Consider joining DZ Multisport Triathlon Club: $99CDN includes Tri Ontario ($62CDN value), discounts on all DZ events (including $50US off this camp) and team gear, newsletter, and a swag bag.

Register for DZ Asheville Spring Triathlon Camp

More Information & Questions

Craig gets a hero shot at the summit of Walnut Cove - Blue Ridge Parkway, DZ Asheville Spring Triathlon Camp 2016For more information or questions about clinics, Contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any questions.

You can also find lots of answers in our Camps FAQ.

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Check out our Gear List for detailed info about equipment.