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Benefits of a Running Holiday

By: Scott McBride - Updated: 2 Apr 2012 | comments*Discuss
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If spending two weeks lying on a foreign beach soaking up the sun sounds like a waste of good training time, you may be the kind of runner who would enjoy a holiday training camp. Clearly this would be purgatory for some, but there is no shortage of running enthusiasts ready and willing to spend their summer vacation pounding out the miles.

Such an intense period of uninterrupted training can be ideal for those preparing for a big race. It can help runners who have hit a plateau get to the next level, or put a spring in the step of those exasperated with the British weather.

Less experienced runners may fear that these warm-weather training camps are full to bursting point with super quick and super fit athletes, but this is not the case and the majority of camps cater for runners of every speed and ability.

Priceless Tips

Often, those at the back of the pack will find they get even more support from coaches and fellow runners than those at the front. Also, by training and socialising with more experienced runners, beginners can gain a wealth of knowledge and some priceless tips.

As well as a schedule of varied, organised runs, camps offer top-class coaching and tailored advice from experienced running coaches and former elite athletes. There will be a plethora of like-minded runners to keep you company and, because there are runners of all abilities at the camps, it is easy to seek out those at your level as ready-made running partners.

Just as there are beach holidays for all budgets, there are training camps to suit every pocket, from low-cost weekend breaks in the UK to lavish longer breaks in Switzerland, France and Portugal. It doesn’t have to be all about running, either, as there is time for sight-seeing and relaxation too.

Added Incentives

Nevertheless, runs along spectacular clifftop paths and forest trails can be exceptionally appealing, especially to those more accustomed to dodging puddles on pavements, and that makes it far easier to reach for the trainers and go for a run.

So there are few places better to attack personal best times, and coaches at training camps are geared up to help runners achieve just that. The coaches are on hand to discuss individual problems, look at training schedules and make recommendations that should allow runners to improve rapidly and see personal bests tumble.

Whether it’s a thorough body fat analysis, the use of a personal trainer, or the introduction of hill work or tempo running to a training programme, the best training camps have all the facilities that are necessary to help runners make the most of the talent they have.

Of course, those runners who do opt for two weeks lying on a foreign beach soaking up the sun instead of a running holiday mustn’t try to make up for lost time by launching into a punishing schedule on their return. Take it easy at first and gradually build up the training routine again, else risk injury and an even longer lay-off.

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