SWIM, BIKE, COACHELLA?

Lindsay, our favorite 20 something guest blogger, is back with how she got to enjoy the Coachella Valley Music Festival over a 3 day weekend without sacrificing her triathlon training mode. While Lindsay talks about her experience at Coachella, her tips could easily apply to any other outdoor festival or even a camping trip. Here she gladly shares how she prepared and what she learned along the way.

Coachella Festival 2015

Arriving at Coachella, but maintaining my triathlon roots…

I am a triathlete and triathlon is a demanding sport. If you miss a few workouts or a week of training, your race times can suffer. But, triathlon doesn’t have to be the “Be All End All” of an adventurous social life. I am a firm believer that you can have your (protein) cake and eat it too!

So, how do you travel, have fun, eat well, keep your body at tip-top performance, and sustain your hard-earned fitness at something like…say…COACHELLA? Well, my little tri bunnies, where there is a will there is a way…

Coachella Valley Music Festival is a 3 day art and music extravaganza that lasts 3 days and over 2 weekends. In 2014, 579,000 people were in attendance…you know there must be a reason why everyone yearns all year long for the chance to go back. It is my highlight of the year. You camp outside the festival grounds Thurs-Mon in a full-fledged tent, go in porta-poties, wait in 20 minute lines to shower in porta-shower trailers, and fight dust storms in 102 degree heat. Why? Because it’s so worth it.
Coachella Festival 2015

If you are a triathlete, Crossfitter, runner, or general health nut and you plan on going to Coachella, there are some things you can do to ensure you don’t miss a beat. Here are some learned and pro tips I’d love to share:

Nutrition

This one is the hardest. Because you are car/tent camping, you should really bring everything you need. I didn’t want to rely on festival food, which is both EXPENSIVE and a roll of the dice health-wise. I brought all my food to Coachella, but this requires some planning. I did have some help from my personal trainer and nutritionist, Alex Kennedy, from Rhythm & Grit Fitness. She had a lot of great suggestions on how to pack for a 4 day trip (most listed below). All the food I packed for the weekend!

Coachella Festival food

All the food I packed for the weekend.

Lindsay’s Coachella 2015 Food List

  • Pre-make your breakfast by cooking a huge batch of oats mixed with Spirulina, berries, bananas, and almonds, separating them into 4 Tupperware containers. They make great grab and go every morning!
  • I made sandwiches for a snack. The Trader Joe’s pre-grilled chicken strips make for a healthy lunch and I put Ezekiel Bread, avocado, bean sprouts, and mustard in ziplock bags for the on-the-go-hippie!
  • Cut up carrots and celery and put in multiple ziplock bags.
  • Put grapes and watermelon in your “freezer” (see below) for when temperatures get up to the 100’s. You’ll thank me later.
  • Alex Kennedy suggested these protein cakes to make before hand. THEY WERE A LIFE SAVER; think power snack on the go. I suggest using the Jay Robb’s strawberry protein powder and dried cherries instead of cranberries, but that’s just my preference.

    Coachella Festival 2015

    My protein cakes. Could be brownies!

  • Quest Bars and Trader Joe’s frozen skillet meals are a must.

Additional Food Tips

  • While you are not allowed to bring food into the Coachella festival grounds, there is one exception – if you bring a doctor’s note. I got one from my doctor because I have a thyroid condition that requires me to regulate my thyroid by eating every 2 hours. I showed the letter to the security guards and had no problems.
  • Bring 2 coolers; one with dry ice (your freezer) and one with regular ice (your fridge). Plan to buy one bag of ice at the campsite general store for $10 everyday.
  • Bring a kettle (I have to have my iced green tea every morning), a huge refillable Nalgene water bottle, a propane powered portable stove top, a skillet, a good knife, and a 5 gallon water jug.

I’d love to tell you that the food offered at Coachella is not bad. There are healthy options like salads and tofu spring rolls…think gourmet California food truck. BUT, you’ll be spending $15 for 3 measly spring rolls. That’s not a lot of bang for your buck. So, what I did is brought in all my food and then got a treat-meal dinner on the grounds every day….may I recommend the bison sliders or chicken basil dumplings!

Exercise

To be honest, I wasn’t gung-ho about getting all my training in this weekend. Keep in mind that you don’t want to be worn out before you get into the festival everyday. You will be on your feet all day and jumping vertically, fist pumping into the heavens. If you get too tuckered and go to bed at 10pm, you’ll miss the best bands and waste your time at Coachella.

Simply let your coaches know that you WILL NOT BE BIKING during this time, unless you want your bike stolen. Do the bulk of your weekly bike training sessions before you leave and save all your runs for when you’re at Coachella. At the campsite there is yoga every hour and Pilates every 2 hours (great for strengthening those support muscles).

Coachella Festival 2015

You can practice yoga almost anywhere…

I personally didn’t go for a swim. There is a 24-hour fitness with a pool in Indio and I think a YMCA, but you cannot drive out of the campgrounds once you’re in, unless it’s an emergency and ubering it is a pain (you have to walk a mile to the pick up spot). So, I opted out of swim workouts for 3 days. I swam before I left on Thursday.

I can’t stress this enough – RUN BEFORE 8am. It is the desert and there’s no shade for miles! It gets too hot and YOU WILL DIE and therefore not be able to enjoy Coachella! A heartbeat is required. Even on your short runs, bring water. Remember….no dying allowed.

Remember triathlon is a balancing act…you have to balance all three sports AND a career AND having a life. So, don’t be afraid to be a little relaxed on some things like having burgers for dinner while your watching Sylvan Esso or skipping that swim so you have energy for Ratatat. But, you don’t have to go overboard and lose your fitness or energy by eating crap the whole weekend! Besides, we all need a little break sometimes!

Coachella Festival 2015

My crew and my camping neighbors.

Stay sexy you triathlon music hippies!

xoxo Lindsay Berkebile