New Forest Training Camp

A few weeks ago I heard that Ealing triathlon club had a space available on a weekend triathlon training camp in the New Forest. I know their head coach, Christine Meeks, through my work with Triathlon England so I got in touch and asked if I could come along. I thought I’d write a short blog about the experience, with the possibility of WTC organising something similar in the future.

Ealing have been running this training camp for a few years now and have a well established routine. They rent a large house in Lymington, capable of sleeping around 20 people and bring pre-cooked meals with them. People started arriving after 4pm on the Friday but there were no takers for the optional swim that evening at the local pool. The following morning we headed out on a fairly flat 50km ride in the New Forest and then had a swim session. Amazingly, the pool operators let us have exclusive use of the six lane 25m pool for an hour, only charging the normal entry fee per person. After that it was back to the house for a ‘full english’ brunch and time to chill out for a couple of hours. We ended the day with a flat 8km run along the Lymington coast line, with gorgeous views of the harbour and surrounding countryside. Then it was back home again for a well deserved dinner, a few drinks and a good night’s sleep.

We were up early on Sunday and cycled the short distance to the ferry terminal for the Isle of Wight. Here we caught the ferry across to Yarmouth and started our 92km loop around the island. Those of you who’ve cycled there will know that it’s surprisingly hilly and we also experienced strong easterly winds. My last visit to the island was to see Jimi Hendrix play at the infamous 1970 pop festival when 600,000 ‘hippies and freaks’ descended on the unwelcoming population of 100,000. I was better received this time, although we did have a minor run-in with a motorist moaning about ‘bloody cyclists’. We cycled back into Lymington as the sun was setting and an evening chill was setting in. A few of the group had to drive back to Ealing on Sunday night but the remainder stayed over, with the promise of a 5km trail run on Monday morning before heading home.

So, would our members like to do something similar? Each person paid £130 to cover house rental and all food. The return ferry ticket (£15) and pool entrance (£4.40) were on top of this, plus we had the cost of travelling to/from the New Forest. Please let me know what you think.


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