Triathlon Magazine Canada - - TRAVEL - BY NIGEL GRAY AND TMC

Get a head start on your 2016 race sea­son by book­ing a win­ter or early spring train­ing camp. Af­ter a few months of in­creased in­door trainer rides, your body will be crav­ing a ride out­side. With so many great train­ing lo­cales it’s hard to choose the best one, but we’ve nar­rowed some of the top choices for you.


Clermont is very easy to get to. It’s only 30 min­utes from the Or­lando air­port, which has di­rect flights from many parts of the coun­try. The win­ter in Florida of­fers per­fect train­ing tem­per­a­tures with the av­er­age high of 23 C. It is also the dry sea­son, so there is lim­ited rain­fall, just lots of beau­ti­ful blue sky. Florida in gen­eral is very flat, but Clermont of­fers rolling hills which are great for both bik­ing and run­ning. As a ru­ral city, Clermont has some of the friendli­est driv­ers and a num­ber of quiet coun­try roads per­fect for rid­ing. For those who want to avoid cars all to­gether there is well over 100 km of bike paths in the area as well. Among Clermont’s most pop­u­lar run­ning routes is the red clay Or­ange Grove road just south of town. This is a 16 km loop on a hilly red dirt road that has more run­ners than cars on it, there are also great runs in Lake Louise State Park and on the bike path around Lake Min­neola right in town.

Clermont is also home to the Na­tional Train­ing Cen­tre, which of­fers a wide range of fa­cil­i­ties from a top notch 50 m out­door pool, to a 400 m track (where some of the top U.S. sprint­ers can be found train­ing dur­ing the win­ter months), to a 5 km cross coun­try run­ning course on the hills around the fa­cil­ity. There are also nu­mer­ous re­hab and re­cov­ery re­sources on site in­clud­ing physio and mas­sage, along with weight rooms and train­ing stu­dios. The Na­tional Train­ing Cen­tre serves as a great home base as the bike path comes right up to its doors.

There are also a lot of great lo­cal bike and triathlon shops nearby for all your needs. Many even of­fer op­tions like bike rentals or the abil­ity to ship your bike to them di­rectly so it will be built up and ready for you to ride when you ar­rive. You can then drop your bike off at the end of your camp to have them pack it up and ship it home for you.

Nigel Gray is the head coach of NRG Per­for­mance Train­ing and has been putting on win­ter train­ing camps in Clermont for the last 14 years.

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