Essential Sports Nutrition


2017 Trimarni Clermont camp recap

Checking out of life in order to eat, sleep and train......could life get any more fun??

For many triathletes, the idea of attending a training camp is extremely exciting. But for others, the idea of stepping outside your comfort zone, in an unfamiliar training environment, with new athletes is scary and uncomfortable.

At a Trimarni training camp, we cater each camp to specific fitness levels so that no athlete feel excluded. Our camps offer a judgement and ego-free zone, where everyone supports, motivates and encourages one another. Karel and I work together to make sure that every camper receives the best experience possible and leaves camp with improved knowledge and skills, in order to train and race better in his/her familiar training environment.

With this being our 4th consecutive training camp in Clermont, FL, I'd say that this was one of the best ones yet. We had an amazing group of triathletes, from all over the US, of all fitness levels. There was no weak link and everyone worked so great together. Despite the chilly weather when we arrived to Clermont, all of our campers stayed safe throughout camp and comfort zones were stretched and new skills/habits were achieved.

Here's the breakdown of our Clermont camp......

Swag, swag and more swag!! This is one of my favorite parts about camp! I just love filling the goodie bags with Trimarni sponsor swag. 

A huge thank you to our 2017 Trimarni sponsors

-Run In
-New Wave Swim Buoy
-Veronica's Health Crunch
-Hot Shot
-Boco Gear
-Alto cycling
-Swamp Rabbit Inn and Lodge
-Salem Anesthesia

After Karel did two bike fits on Wednesday afternoon, we had an optional workout on Wednesday evening (bike or mobility) which was a nice way for the campers to get to know one another and to ease into their new training environment. In Clermont, all campers stay at a Duplex, which works perfect for our large group.

Karel and I had a team meeting with the group at 6:30pm, which included athlete introductions. Of course, no group meeting would be complete with an ice breaker, which included "what would be your superhero power if you could make one up?"

We had some great responses by our athletes. Karel selected a superhero power of being able to change the wind while he was riding his bike in a race so that only he would get tailwind and everyone else would get headwind. My superhero power would be to talk to animals.

Around 7:30pm, we left our campers so that we could get a good night of sleep before the first day of camp. 

Day 1 - Swim, bike and run

Our morning swim was pushed back by 90 minutes due to the cold temps so we met at the NTC at 8:30am for a 9am workout. We first explained the strength endurance + speed swim set to our campers and then moved our way outside (in 40 degrees) for dynamic stretching. 

The nice thing about cold weather and an outdoor pool is easy to get in, hard to get out. For the coaches on deck, however.....Brrrrrr. 

We split our campers into three lanes based on swimming ability and offered skill feedback to our campers as they were swimming. This set was endurance focused but we added a bit of intensity with short rest to provide a bit of cardio stress. 

After the 90 minute long course swim, our campers sprinted to the locker room for a warm shower. Thankfully, the water was warm in the pool so when Karel and I were done coaching, it was our turn to do the workout. Oddly enough, we were so looking forward to jumping in the pool in order to warm up!

After a 2.5 hour break, we met up with our campers at 1:30pm for a 3 hour ride. This ride was very specific on variable cadence work. This was our first opportunity to see our campers in action and for several, there first time outside on the bike since last fall due to frigid temps.

We first rode out to our first interval section, which was on a 2 mile windy stretch of flat road. We had our campers do 6 x 5 minute intervals of varying cadence (choice, heavy, higher than normal) all at a Z3 effort. Because of the out and back stretch of road, Karel and I were able to ride one on one with our campers and provide feedback. The hands on work is so valuable for us coaches, especially on the bike.

Did we mention how much we love our new Canari kits???

After the first main set, it was time to head over to the back side of Sugarloaf mountain for some hilly intervals. We had our campers perform heavy gear work for 2.8 miles, which included a few steady climbs. After one interval, we had them ride easy back down and perform another round of heavy gear work to the top.

After main set number two was complete, it was time for the fun part of the workout....a TT up Sugarloaf mountain!!

This 3/4th mile climb is steep and we had our campers give a best effort to the top. Every one of our campers made it to the top and we were so proud of everyone for not complaining and for giving a solid effort after two tough main sets. We then all rode back home to complete a little over 3 hours of riding. 

After spending much of the day working out, it was time for the last workout of the day, which was a 15-20 minute easy brick run, followed by a 6 x 10 sec hill strides.
What a great way to end day 1 of camp!
Our campers were ready for some food after workout #3 so we didn't have a team meeting that evening but instead, scheduled a team talk for before the Friday bike workout. 

Day 2 - Run, Bike, Open water swim
Now that our campers were comfortable with each other, after giving them a good dose of training on day 1 of camp, we headed to the Clay Trail for the first workout on day 2 of camp. We met at the trail at 7:30am for a dynamic warm-up, followed by a run workout and then main set. 

All of our campers were required to wear hydration belts to stay fueled and hydrated. Even though it was cool outside (low 40's), the overall quality of workouts, throughout the entire camp, depends on proper fueling/hydration for every workout.

The nice thing about day 2 of camp is that the campers begin to form friendships with one another and you can see more teamwork and support for each other.
We gave our campers a specific interval workout to work on pacing on the gently rolling hills on the Clay Trail. The set included 4 rounds of 14 minute intervals of 8 min smooth endurance effort, 4 min moderate strong, 2 min strong and then 1 minute rest. This was a 1 hour main set for a total of 90 minutes of running. 

Since we asked our campers to run out and back sections in order to cover different stretches of the Clay road for different intensities, Karel and I were able to run with our campers and give feedback (or to give them a little push). 

I have to be honest and say that the Clay Trail is one of my favorite running routes. I just love the soft surface and the sunrise is picture perfect. 

After the run, we instructed our campers to drink their Cheribundi tart cherry juice to help reduce inflammation and to help with recovery and to follow up with a protein drink (Clif hydration). We just love tart cherry juice and we have been drinking it more regularly after our intense/long workouts to offer a natural way to reduce inflammation. I am a big proponent of juice post workout as it is easy to digest and it is refreshing and rehydrating. 

What a great workout to start day 2 of camp! 

We gave our campers about 2 hours of recovery before we headed over to the team house/Duplex for a talk on bike execution, managing terrain and changing gears. It was a very beneficial talk as Karel did an exceptional job explaining the most efficient ways to ride on hills and in wind. 

After the 1 hour talk, we all headed out on our bikes to recon the Olympic distance course. We gave our athletes a few intervals to do but nothing too intense. This was another opportunity for us coaches to ride side by side with our campers and help with changing gears, when to sit up and when to get out of the saddle. Assistant coach Joe also helped us out on the course - he was a great help at camp. 

After the almost 1:45 hr bike ride, our campers gathered their swim gear and we all walked down to Waterfront park for an open water swim. This was a great opportunity for our campers to get comfortable in open water, test out their wetsuits (which have been sitting in the closest for several months) and work on sighting and building efforts in the open water. A big thanks to New Wave Swim Buoys for providing buoys to all our campers. Not only does this make it easy for us to see our campers but the buoys act as a way to rest, in the case of an emergency like shortness of breath or a cramp. 

After the open water swim, our campers returned back to the team house to clean up and Karel and I went back to our rental house, before heading out to Lil Anthony's to pick up the pizza. At every camp, Karel and I treat our campers to a team dinner, which typically is a pizza dinner. We ordered 6 XL pizzas (3 vegetarian and 3 for the meat lovers) and 1 small gluten free pizza (for our athlete/camper with Celiac). It was a yummy way to end the evening.

Day 3: Ride, run

With only one day left until race day, our campers were carrying around a bit of fatigue. We know that day 3 is always the tough day as the body is sore, the mind is tired and well, some campers are just moving slow. But, in a group environment, others can bring out the best in you.

With chilly temps at 7:30am, we rolled out and headed toward Buckhill for 4 loops on rolling terrain. We finished our last bike workout of camp with 3 hours of riding and our campers did amazing. We had our campers team up with athletes of similar abilities to ride loops on the hills and to ride at a steady/strong effort. Karel and I would ride with the groups for a little while and then branch off and join another group. We had a SAG vehicle available in case anyone needed anything. We could not have been more proud of our campers as everyone rode strong and applied all the tips that we discussed during camp. 

After the ride, it was time for one last brick run (before the race), which was a short 15-20 minute shake out run.

As for the rest of the day, the campers had an optional open water swim (on their own) as well as picking up their race packets at the race venue. 

Karel worked on our bikes in the afternoon to get them race ready and while he was working on our bikes, I laid out all my swim/bike/run gear to get it all ready for race day. 

Karel and I headed down to the race venue to get our packets in the mid afternoon and then Karel went for an open water swim (he swam the race course) as I watched him and chatted with my friend Elyse.

Around 4:30pm, Karel and I had our last chat with our campers to discuss race strategy for Sunday's event and a Q&A where our campers could ask us anything. Karel did a little bike mechanic work on a few bikes and then it was time for our campers to eat their pre-race meal before getting everything ready for the race on Sunday. 

While laying in bed around 8pm, I found myself with some pre-race nerves on Saturday evening. Although this was just a fun race and a great way to end camp with our campers, no training session can replicate what you feel on the night before a race or on race day morning. I talked to Karel about my race strategy for Sunday and he gave me reassurance that I could bike hard (like really, really hard). In other words, this race was all about taking risks, trying new things and being willing to fail. 



With so many distractions, responsibilities and stressors in life, a training camp offers a safe, fun and interruption free environment in order to learn, stretch your comfort zone and to train with others. If you are considering attending a training camp in the near future, don't be afraid of what you can't do but instead, get excited about what you will be able to do with your amazing body.