Swim, Bike, Run: Christchurch

While Dan and I adventure across New Zealand, I'm planning to keep up my endurance training to race the XTERRA Motatapu off-road triathlon in Queenstown, March 4th. To date, it’s been a cool challenge so I thought I’d share some training gems from each major stop-over. To kick things off, here are my favourite off-road triathlon training spots in Christchurch:


Although there are some zesty open water options, a treat for day-to-day swim training is to head to one of the outdoor pools. I’m a huge fan of Waltham. It’s the official home to the Canterbury Triathlon Club and a lovely place to get some sunshine while knocking out swim workouts. Mid-day, Waltham is a relatively quiet pool with the added bonus of extra long lanes: 33.3 meters. 

Walham Pool (The lanes are behind the mob of children)

A great resource for swim training in Christchurch is Fit&Abel. They have open water workshops, swim squads and races every week during the summer. 

Mountain Bike

There are so many options for training rides but my favourite link up is a climb up through Halswell Quarry, across the Summit Road, down Flying Nun Trail, up to Victoria Park, down Tilted Sally and a flat road cycle back home. Bag vertical, tech, views and intervals all in one go. Below is a short overview of the ride generated from my Suunto watch:

A video posted by Nina Arnold (@ninaa2007) on

Trail Run

Just as Christchurch is spoiled for variety with mountain bike trails, they have some rad options for trail running too. But Bottle Lake Forest takes the cake. The trails are relatively flat with some nice rolling elements to keep you entertained. The main loop is a well signed 10 kilometres that weaves through a stunning pine forest bordering the beach in Littleton. The air is sweet with wildflowers, ocean salt and pine needles. It’s so damn cool:

A few friendly running groups that I found are Team CP Group Endurance Coaching and the local Vegan Run club

Wildflowers dotting the main Bottle Lake Forest trail