Clermont Florida Triathlon Training - Guide To Swim, Bike, Run - Cycling Orlando, FL

Strava Heatmap of Clermont FL
Swim, Bike, Run
Clermont Florida is a popular destination for active endurance athletes who like to participate in triathlon or swim, bike, and run. It is just 25 minutes from downtown Orlando and the Orlando International Airport (MCO). It is a popular training destination and camp for many professional athletes including track & field, rowing, wakeboarding, water skiing, golfing, fishing, motocross, and triathlon. Clermont isn't your typical pancake flat Florida and is quite rolling and it makes for some great riding. Beautiful spring fed lakes make for great open-water swimming and the famous Clay Trail make for great running.

Numerous athletes have made their homes in Clermont including track and field Olympians Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin. Gwen Jorgensen, winner of the 2016 Rio Olympics Triathlon gold medal was a frequent visitor to Clermont along with permanent triathlon residents Sarah Haskins, Alicia Kaye, and Jarrod Shoemaker.  Many other world champions including: Richard Murray, Andreas and Michael Raelert, Mario Mola, and Katie Zaferes have all made Clermont a frequent training place. Many amatuer triathlon teams and camps have also visited including QT2, Base, and AJ Baucco Coaching.

This guide is primarily focused on those that are coming to Clermont for triathlon but is also applicable to anyone just swimming, biking, or running. If you have something to add or notice an error (even grammatical) please leave a comment below.


Swimming Resources & Pools 

Swim - NTC Pool
NTC Swimming Pool
Long-Course Configuration (50M)

Clermont is home to the National Training Center (NTC) which features an oversized outdoor Olympic Pool (50m). The pool is typically heated in the winter to 80-81 degrees and features the automated Thor-Guard Lightning Detection system in the summer to handle objective pool closures and reopenings. The NTC has a day pass at the cost of $15. Cheaper options may be available for longer stays.

The pool has great hours on weekdays and is open to 8pm. On weekends the pool is only open to 4pm. There is always a lane available except for rare regional swim meets. The pool switches between long-course (50M) and short-course (25Y) depending on the day and time of year. Long-course has typically been Thursday - Sunday during the past few years and primarily only in the winter.


Swim - Open-Water - Lake Minneola

Waterfront Park
Open Water Swimming
Clermont is home to super clean and beautiful springfed lakes. While many triathlons have taken place at Lake Louisa State Park, people generally prefer (myself included) to swim at Lake Minneola in Downtown Clermont. Specifically people swim at Waterfront park. There is a set of 11 poles that is roughly 200 meters longs. The poles are an equal distance apart and allow for athletes to structure workouts in open water. Alternatively you can just swim around the poles for a continuous swim. The water depth at the poles is generally 5-6 feet deep. The water is very clear for a Florida lake but has a strong orange tint to it.

Water temps in the winter can vary widely but usually range from 60-75 degrees. Water can get colder for a brief period in January but is usually fairly mild otherwise. In the late spring, summer and fall, the water temp is between 78-88 degrees but the lake can get considerably hotter with no rain and plenty of sun.

You will find lots of kids and families swimming in early spring thru late fall. While the lake is not free of alligators, generally the city will remove any alligator once it reaches a certain size. With that being said, please swim at your own risk. Pros have generally worn wetsuits in Dec, Jan, and Feb. Here is a strava file of mine.

Open Water Swimming @
Waterfront Park, Clermont FL


Swim - Open Water - Lucky's Lake Swim

Lucky's Lake swim is another popular option that has a daily swim that is attended by many people of many levels. A waiver is required to be signed but it is free to all. The swim is 1k and takes place in the morning.


Running Resources 


Waterfront Park - Downtown Clermont - 330 3rd St, Clermont

The lakefront path stretches 5 miles west of downtown Clermont and you can run 14 miles east to Winter garden. Many athletes, do brick workouts and park at Waterfront park. There are 4 sets of water and toilets in and around the Clermont section of trail but outside of Clermont you are on your own. Here is a strava file of mine.

Waterfront Park Run


Clay Trail Loop - 5 min south of Clermont - Intersection of 5 Mile Rd & N Bradshaw Rd

Runners at the Clermont Clay
The famous Clay Trail is one of Clermont's best assets featuring a 9.3 mile loop on soft clay roads that was once all orange groves. The course is very rolling and challenging and can be a few degrees hotter than you expect on a sunny day.

The clay trail is frequented by many runners on Saturday and Sunday mornings if you are looking for company. Parking at the Clay trail is free but please be considerate of the land. There are no porta potties or water.

The trail is easy to follow. Going in a clockwise direction (keep taking right turns) it is impossible to get lost. The loop is 9.3 miles in total but there is more soft clay out there if you want to explore and extend the run. Here is a strava file of mine.

Clay Trail Run Loop



Lake Louisa State Park - 5 min south of Clermont - 7305 US-27, Clermont

Lake Louisa State Park offers a quiet peaceful place to run, either on the road or thru the trails. Open 8am to sundown, 365 days a year. $5 to enter whether on bike or by car. Here is a strava file from a runner.


Green Mountain Scenic Overlook Trail - 15 minutes northeast of Clermont - 20700 County Road 455, Minneola

Green Mountain Overlook Trail is another soft surface trail that is a popular spot for athletes in the area. Often times it is where people do their long runs. Expect to see Florida wildlife on this run. There is parking and facilities at the trailhead. Here is a strava file from a runner.

Green Mountain Trail


Clermont Park Run @ Lake Hiawatha Park - Downtown Clermont - 450 12th St, Clermont

Clermont Park Run is a weekly free 5k that is done every Saturday morning at 7:30am. You must register prior and complete a waiver and and bring your barcode in order to race. Registration is handled online only. The course starts and finishes at Lake Hiawatha Preserve, 450 N. Lake Minneola Shores, Clermont, FL 34711.


Cycling Resources

Bike - Ferndale - Montverde Loop 

The Ferndale loop is a popular loop for people all around the state to come ride. It is very rolling and is 12.5 miles around. In the dab smack middle is Sugar Loaf Mountain.

An easy way to access the Ferndale route is Waterfront park. Take the trail East until you get to your first stop and go light (Hancock Road). The trail splits and goes two different directions. Take a left on Hancock will take you north to the Ferndale loop. Take Hancock till it ends out in the country and take another left. You will be now be on the Ferndale loop going in a clockwise motion. Here is a strava file with a Ferndale loop in it. Alternatively you can also ride and do all other rides from the NTC.

Ferndale Loop

Bike - Centerhill 

Centerhill is an easy add on to the Ferndale loop ride and adds another 33 miles or so. You have a short ride on a busy SR-19 before turning on to a remote and rolling Dewey Robbins road. Then you have 1 mile stretch on US-27 before getting back on a nice quiet road and rolling into Centerhill where the is a Dollar General to refuel. A lot of people will ride intervals and park at the corner of Dewey Robbins and SR-19. There is also a church a few blocks away on SR-19. Here is a truncated strava file of mine.

Centerhill Ride



Bike - Van Fleet Trail - 72 miles round trip

The Van Fleet is a multi-use path that goes thru the heart of the green swamp and is pancake flat. You are likely to see plenty of wildlife on this ride including alligators, snakes, and many turtles. There is easy access to the start of the Van Fleet just 12 miles west of Clermont and right off Highway 50. The trail is highly shaded in many parts and makes a great place to beat the summer heat.

There are bathrooms, water and parking at the trailhead start. Heading south, it is about 10 miles to the next bathroom and benches but there is no water there. It is another 10 miles south to the next bathroom, benches and water. Then it is further 14 miles to the end where there is a bathroom, benches, and water. There is also a couple of convenience stores just another 1/2 mile away if you need something additional.

Van Fleet Trail


Bike - Winter Garden Coffee Ride

Park at Waterfront Park in downtown Clermont and ride to Winter Garden to enjoy some coffee at Axum Coffee. You can take a multi-use path trail the entire way. Route is about 26 miles. This is ride does have quite a few stop signs and makes a great recovery ride.

 Clermont - Winter Garden Coffee Ride



Bike - Sugarloaf Mountain

Riders ride up Sugarloaf mountain
Sugarloaf is the highest point in Florida and the closest thing we have to a mountain. A lot of athletes will do intervals out there. Like many Clermont rides you can park at Waterfront park or the NTC and take the trail system out to the country or use the bike lanes too. People also park out at Sugarloaf but please be considerate of those who live out there. There is a family at the top of the hill that provides water to athletes via a small water station.

The following ride file is from some intervals I did with the Base camp at Sugarloaf and leaving from the backside parking lot at the NTC.

Riding out to Sugarloaf
 from the NTC

Bike - Lake Louisa State Park

Many people will bike at Lake Louisa state park. The cost is $5 to enter and there are a lot of other activities you can do as well. The park itself is quiet and the roads are in great shape. You will be limited to loops of about 10 miles.


Events - Triathlon, Running and Endurance Events

Clermont is home to quite a few triathlons, swims, bikes, runs, aquathlons including:

- Florida Ultraman
- The Great Floridian
- Cool Summer Mornings Triathlon Series
- Girlz on Fire Triathlon
- Great Clermont Triathlon
- Lake Minneola Sunset Triathlon
- Clermont Splash n' Dash Aquathon Series
- Clermont Clay - 15k & 5K


Triathlon Camps Clermont (Jan-March)

- QT2
- AJ Baucco Coaching
- Base


Other Resources

The following are some resources that you might enjoy while in the Clermont Area

Pool Swim - NTC National Training Center - Clermont FL right off 50

Mobile Bike Shop - JPR Mobile Services - He comes to you

Bike Shop - Winter Garden Wheel Works - Downtown Winter Garden FL

Bike Shop & Coffee Bar Epic Cycles - Downtown Clermont FL

Triathlon Run Shop - Dash Sports -  Downtown Clermont Fl

Chiropractic - Dr. Sorchy (works with a majority of the athletes in town) - Clermont FL right off 50

Sports Massage - Maria Arrendondo - Maria give amazing sports massages and has travelled as a staff masseuse with team Australia. Originally from Columbia, Maria has worked on many World Champions and Olympic Gold medalists.

FoodLucky's Market - No Whole Foods but we have a Lucky's Market with lots of healthy eats. Makes for an easy stop either going to or leaving the NTC.

1 comment:

  1. Well, it’s a nice one, I have been looking for. Thanks for sharing such informative stuff.

    ReplyDelete