My running camp experience
I follow a few running blogs and a few weeks ago as I was reading Lazy Bones Running there was a post about "Mean Deans"! It was a really hard speed/strength running workout. I was curious so I clicked on the link and that is where I was introduced to Coach Dean and his Elevate Running Camp. It sounded interesting and helpful but what are the chances that I could go and am I brave enough to go to a running camp when I really have no clue about running? If it was basketball, soccer or spa camp sure, but running? Anyway, I pondered on it but didn't really consider it but I just kept thinking about it, and thinking about it. Finally I asked Travis if he was going to be in town during the dates of the camp and miraculously he was. I emailed Coach Dean and asked if there was room for one more and a week before camp I found myself signed up and paid and that was that. Suddenly I was going to running camp?! AHHHH!
Below is a picture of Coach Dean Hebert the director of the Elevate running camp. He has too many achievements and credentials for me to list on my blog so take a minute and check out his site if your interested. I'll just say that I learned more from him in the 4 days I was at running camp than I have in the last 5 years I've been running. (And if I've ever given you any advice on running than forget it because I was pretty much wrong on everything) Thanks to Coach Dean I'm excited again about running and feel like I have the tools I need to become the runner I want to be.
Coach Dean giving Alisha her Elevate Running Camp T-shirt! Woot woot!We learned SO much it would be impossible to list everything but some of the topics presented and discussed were:
- Neuromuscular training
- The "old" philosophy of training of more miles vs the New Science of quality over quantity
- Learning how to prioritize training workouts
- What workouts you should do
- Eliminating "junk miles" or "tweeners" which are basically just going out to run a certain number of miles without any purpose (probably most of the way I ran before)
- Hill running and how to run hills
- Speed workouts, speed and strength workouts
- Finding what pace you should be
- Mental training
- Injury prevention
- Aqua running
- The three "R"s
- How to make your own effective quality running plan
- Along with much more detail within all these topics.
A picture of Rob and Kyle sporting their new NAU (Northern Arizona University) shirts. The camp took place on the University Campus in Flagstaff Arizona. We stayed in the dorms :) It was comfortable and the camp fee was great ($325 for 4 days-including room, food, and everything for the camp)
Fellow campers Michael, Renee and Rob
As you can guess at running camp you go running a lot. Who knew? :) Here we have Coach Dean explaining to us how we should run up hills. Here is a short steep hill we are suppose to run up at mile pace (the pace we would run if we were only running 1 mile, not a all out sprint but a fast pace)
Renee, Christina (author of Lazy Bones Running blog), and Alicia
Jackie and me running up the hill
At the top catching our breathHere is another workout that was a long steady hill run we did and we were suppose to try and stay at 5K pace since it was a longer hill. This is considered a more passive hill running workout because of the steady pace and running up and down the hill. Deb is a strong athlete and would get a head start and try not to let Rob catch her. Rob is a strong runner and made hill running (and any kind of running) look easy.
Kyle is a fast runner and is a twenty-something single guy who acted like a twenty something single guy and we liked to tease him but it made camp fun. He usually lapped me several times on all workouts and on this last hill workout I was finally getting to the top of the hill with about 50 meters to go and I suddenly heard some breathing behind me and I turned around to see Kyle come around the corner about 70 meters back and I'll be damned if he wasn't going to pass me on his SECOND hill run and it was only my first hill so somehow I managed to dig deep and pull out a kick and make it to Coach Dean before he overtook me. I have to celebrate my victories even if they are just to only get lapped by Kyle twice instead of three times :)
Here we all are at the top of the hill at Lowell observatory (this is where they discovered Pluto)
I was by far the most inexperienced runner and the slowest runner of the group but runners are amazing people and my new running friends from Elevate Running Camp were no different and took me under their wings and helped me feel welcome and I learned so much. Deb was so inspirational and such a strong person it was comical to me that she didn't think of herself as a runner (her real sport is nordic track skiing-she is on the US nordic track team and she is a ultra runner and her short races are the 50 milers, preferring the 100+ mile distances) Christina is an amazingly fast runner and circled back several times after finishing her run to help me get through the last of my run. Michael did the same. Renee and Rob always offered me words of encouragement. It didn't go unnoticed and I appreciated the support. Sometimes in life you do something out of you comfort zone and you think "Why am I even here?" I was very much feeling this way before I came to camp and the first day of camp I was trying hard not to let my emotions show but let's face it I don't have much of a poker face and I wear my emotions on my sleeve. It was quite obvious from the first run that those at the camp were much better than me and if I could of out run them I might have headed for my car and got in and never come back but I stuck it out and it was an amazing experience.
Here is a picture of all of us having a "night out" from the cafeteria.
From left: Alicia, Christina, Renee, Jackie, Rob, Michael, Coach Dean, me, and Deb (missing from picture is Kyle)
Thank you Coach Dean for an amazing four days of running and life education, running workouts and therapy! It was awesome! I'll be back next year!