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The Fit Girl's Getaway Guide

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Raise Your Game

Destination: Club Med Sandpiper Bay in Port Saint Lucie, Florida

I'm the kind of girl who always packs sneakers in her suitcase -- and usually returns home without having worn them. But this vacation, I had opted for a fitness "boost" package for my three-day trip to the all-inclusive Club Med Sandpiper Bay in Port Saint Lucie, Florida, to ensure they would see some action. My mission: Take a crash course in triathlon.

My first morning started at the resort's 25-yard outdoor pool, where I met Tommy Allore, the main triathlon coach for the Club Med Academies, who had the Ironman tattoo to prove it. I admitted that I hadn't swum a lap since I was 10 years old. Tommy filmed my freestyle from poolside, gave me technique tips and then refilmed me to show me how much I had improved.

Next morning was a run around the sprawling palm-treed property with Tommy correcting my form. By the end of the 90-minute routine, I had run some intervals at a sub-seven-minute-mile pace, a personal best.

The final session, on my third day, was a brick workout (as in what your legs feel like while doing it), during which you ride a bike (in our case, a stationary one) and then immediately run. Transitioning between tri segments is part physical feat and part mental game, Tommy explained as I went over and over the biking-to-running portion.

I always thought vacations were meant for relaxing, but a few days at Club Med showed me how great it can be to push yourself. On my last day, I even simulated a sprint triathlon (400-meter swim, 10-mile bike ride, 5K run). Am I hooked? Let's just say that on the flight home I texted a pal, "Want to do a tri with me?"
-- Alice Oglethorpe

Book it: Active Wellness Boost package available year-round, $200 and up per day for hotel, boosts from $365 per day to $1,520 for one week;

More Fab Trips to Try

Omni Resorts' Ladies' Tennis Retreat: Grab your doubles partner. This five-day women-only retreat (with, hello, oceanfront accommodations!) offers fun drill and play sessions with on-court coaching at Florida's Omni Amelia Island Plantation. (October 15 to 19, $1,775 and up;

Canyon Ranch's Boost Your Athletic Performance: Join marathoner, Ironman and sports-medicine doc Jordan D. Metzl, MD, for challenging workouts -- long runs and an extended bike ride in the Berkshires, plus his Ironstrength workout -- and endurance-training secrets at this all-inclusive resort in Lenox, Massachusetts. (August 30 to September 1, $2,610 and up, including an allowance toward resort services;

Hyatt Regency's Surf, Spa and Shop Girlfriends Getaway: This California trip includes two nights at the Hyatt Regency in Orange County's Huntington Beach with a semiprivate surf lesson for you and your BFF, as well as a 60-minute massage and a four-hour bike rental. (Available through September 7, $558 per night;

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