Hopefully you’ve had a chance to read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of the EverymanTri Israman Triathlon Experience. You’ve learned about Israeli culture, the scrumptious Mediterranean cuisine, and of course, one of the world’s toughest triathlons: the Israman triathlon .
Now it’s time to hunt down a few more unique experiences in Israel, and here are 5 extras that every triathlete will probably enjoy:
1. Go Mountain Biking in Timna
Timna park, near Eliat, has some of the best single track mountain bike riding in Israel, and reminded me of Big Sur or Red Rock in the United States. Vibe Israel hooked us up with an Israeli based GPS touring agency called Navad, which supplied us with pre-programmed routes for our bicycle handlebars so we didn’t get lost riding in the desert.
You can finish up your bike tour of the copper mines, Solomon’s pillars, and an enchanting oasis with a feast of Israeli treats at the oasis restaurant.
2 .Visit the iMacs Center for a Bike Fit or Run Gait Analysis
Believe it or not, some of the most advanced bicycle fitting and run gait analysis can be found at the Center iMacs in Tel Aviv, a dynamic operation and functional testing center which decodes, locates and identifies problems in real-time movement and provides solutions for pain, injury and restriction.
Tests and treatments are performed by a team of physiotherapists and biomechanics experts in the study of human movement, bike fitting and walking.
Using six high speed infrared cameras that rival the best biomechanics labs I’ve every seen, they can quickly identify abnormal movement patterns and train or treat muscles, running patterns, and bike fits accordingly.
3. Celebrate Shabbat
The Jewish Day of Rest, called “Shabbat” in Hebrew, begins on Friday at sundown and ends on Saturday at sundown. At the Friday night dinner, Jewish families transition from their everyday lives to a more spiritual time. Tables are set with white tableclothes and tasty dishes like fish, soups, roasted vegetables and salads, wine and challah loaves. The wine and loaves are needed to perform Sabbath religious rituals, which includes singing and blessings. If you get a chance to visit a Jewish family and participate in a Shabbat festive meal, I’d highly recommend as a true cultural experience.
4. Float In The Dead Sea
An easy day trip from Jerusalem, the Dead Sea sits in the Great African Rift Valley, 1,300 feet below sea level. The Dead Sea area is a major center for health research and treatment - due to the high mineral content of the water, the very low content of pollens and other allergens in the atmosphere, the low ultraviolet exposure from solar radiation, and the high atmospheric pressure. People pay big bucks in the United States to visit high mineral “float tanks" to help with sore muscles, and manufactures around the world charge top dollar for mineral-based personal care products from the Dead Sea - but you can replicate the same experience with a nice long soak. Trust me - your calves and quads will thank you after Israman.
5. Go Jogging in Jerusalem
Visit the Facebook page of “Running Tours in Jerusalem” to go sightseeing with a touch of fitness in the Old City are of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is one of the most culturally rich cities you’ll find anywhere, and If you are planning a trip there before or after the race, you can go run through the center of the city, the famous Mahane Yehuda market, the Jerusalem YMCA, a view of the old city and much more.
Do you have questions, comments or feedback about these Israman experiences and things to do in Israel? If so, leave your thoughts below!
Author Ben Greenfield runs the highly popular fitness website BenGreenfieldFitness.com, and is author of the brand new atlas of human performance and nutrition, “Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health and Life”. He was also recently named as one of the top 100 most influential people worldwide in health and fitness.