Adventure and Sports Getaways

Writer Andre Cooray | September 30, 2014

Unleash your inner adventurer and reach all your physical goals by going on an active holiday.

Why sit on your butt all holiday when you can train to conquer a mountain, run a marathon or participate in an equally meaningful adrenaline-pumping event? Many men are attracted to adventure and sports retreats for this very reason. The best part is you will return to work super fit, mentally charged and one step closer to achieving your physical goals.

Here are some of our favourite heavy- duty adventure and sports getaways and centres, as well as useful tips on how to prepare for your next extreme challenge. As they say, ‘go big or go home’.


“As men, we all love that feeling of power, strength and achievement that comes from sport,” says Chris McCormack, executive chairman of Thanyapura and four-time triathlon world champion. “Sports resorts cater to the very core of every man, our competitive edge and our desire for pushing ourselves to the limit to find out how far or fast we can go.”

So if your idea of a holiday is to train like a pro, Thanyapura Phuket, a luxury sports retreat with its range of sporting academies, including one for triathlons led by professional athletes, is designed for you. Spanning across 23 hectares and nestled in a rainforest and surrounded by mountains, the resort’s facilities include a 50-metre Olympic swimming pool and a 500-metre cushioned athletics track.

McCormack’s top advice for attempting a climb like Mount Everest is to build up your aerobic base first with long slow rides and runs without increasing your heart rate. “Keep it very steady and slowly increase the length of your sessions, then start mixing it up with speed and fartlek type sessions to add variety and pace,” he says. “Climbing a mountain is all about having a really strong aerobic base as well as strength and conditioning.”


Is there an area of weakness in your fitness training routine you need to work on? If so, a place like Aro Hāwellness retreat can help you identify and improve it. Located on a sub-alpine terrace on the South Island of New Zealand, it caters to those keen on adventure, results- oriented fitness, alternative health and self-development. “Often there is kind of an emotional rollercoaster that goes along with shaking up our lives,” says Damian Chaparro, managing partner and retreat leader at Aro Hā.

Chaparro describes being in a fresh environment and places where you’re physically working quite hard as “a powerful (emotional) door opener”. “A lot of us travel subconsciously probably for that reason – we just get a really objective view on our own lives on what’s important,” he states. “[For] most of us, when we are leading up to a big event, we are often working harder in our professional lives so we have really limited time to do a lot of preparation.”

So Chaparro highly recommends doing high intensity interval training because it produces excellent physical results in a relatively short period of time. He also suggests doing some intermittent fasting to support your training. More specifically, try a single day micro-fast followed by eating healthy the rest of the week.

Mental fortitude...and a strong desire to succeed are vital to all extreme expeditions
~ Rob Murray John