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10 Things I’ve Done While Coaching at the Craftsbury Masters Running Camp This Week

For the past five days I’ve been working as a coach for the annual Masters Running Camp up in Craftsbury, Vermont. This is the second year I’ve worked at the camps, and the experience has been incredible once again. The camps, held at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center, are run by Lynn Jennings, and it’s very cool to hang out with an Olympic medalist for a week. Lynn does an amazing job organizing the camps and keeping things running smoothly, and it’s been a pleasure to work with her once again!

I thought I’d write up a photo-heavy post to give you an idea of what it’s like to attend/coach at the camps, so I put together a list of 10 things I’ve done since arriving last Sunday.

1. Presentations and Gait Analysis. My role at the camp is to serve as the exercise physiologist, gait analyst, and shoe guy (in addition to general coaching duties). I kicked off the week with a presentation on training physiology – gotta love a place where you can lecture while barefoot and in running gear (photo by Caleb Masland)!

Pete Larson Lecturing

I filmed the runners at the track while they ran an interval workout, then we met as a group and went through the videos. Always fun to look at the variation in form among a group of 20+ runners.

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2. Coaching Clinics. My friend and coach Caleb Masland joined us this year and he has led clinics on strides and drills, training theory, and the goals of various types of workouts.

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3. Post-Run Swim in the Black River Bubble Pools. After a packed day on Monday, the campers ran 3.5 miles over hills to the Black River, then we hiked up to a little swimming hole. Better than an ice bath!

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4. Wine and Cheese. On two nights during camp week we have wine and cheese on top of the hill overlooking the lake. Great way to end a busy day!

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5. Living in Dorm-Style Housing. Accommodations aren’t fancy, but there’s something nice about the simplicity of being in a no-frills place that lacks cell coverage (Craftsbury is a bit remote!). I’ve been staying in a place called Cedar Lodge, which is the main housing unit at the Outdoor Center. There are also cabins for those who want to upgrade to something a bit comfier, but to be honest the only time I’m really in my room is to sleep, and I don’t really need much more than a bed.

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6. Yoga in a Yurt. Always a good reminder of how inflexible I am, and that I should take advantage of the fact that my wife is a yoga instructor and do it more often. Coach Donna (at center in the image below) was our instructor this week.

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7. Hiking Mt. Hor. We do lots more than run (though we do a lot of that!), and one of the highlights of the week is Endurathon day where the campers bike 10 miles, hike up and down a mountain (Mt. Hor or Mt. Pisgah), run 6 miles to a beach, then cycle 10 miles back home.

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8. Running Along Lake Willoughby. This is one of the highlights of the week for me. We do a six mile run in the middle of our Endurathon, and the route offers incredible views of Lake Willoughby. This year a thunderstorm rolled in while we were on the run, and I ran the final mile in a downpour. Unfortunately, lightning meant no swimming, and the return bike ride was canceled.

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9. Eating Great Food. The dining hall is one of my favorite spots, and the Craftsbury dining staff makes some amazing food. They source as much of the food as they can locally, and they even grow produce and raise chickens and pigs right on property owned by the Outdoor Center.

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10. Hanging in a beautiful place with good people!

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For more about the Craftsbury Running Camps, check out the Craftsbury Outdoor Center website.

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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer. He's also a father of three and a fanatical runner with a bit of a shoe obsession. In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly, and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. Follow Pete on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and via email.

Comments

  1. This is awesome! I’m looking for a camp in the future. Everyone has said running camps are a very positive experience!

  2. Jesse Gonzalez says:

    That menu….sounds amazing! Im so hungry now, haha

  3. Thanks for the pics Pete, looks like alot of fun! :) P.S. Looks like some of them guys need alittle sun on them there legs. :)

  4. Susan Leveret says:

    Pete, Are all the runners at Craftsbury front of the packers? I would love to go there, but I’m a slow runner.

    • Great question, and the answer is that we have the complete range from back to front of the packers. The week is tailored so that anyone of any ability can attend and benefit. We’re a very inclusive camp, and all of the runs are optional and can be shortened or lengthened depending on an individual’s needs and ability. I would say don’t let your speed be a factor at all, there will likely be people who are slower than you, and some who are faster, and we all have a blast together!

  5. This event looks like a blast. I’m happy to see more and more events like these being created. Way more beneficial than learning your stuff via YouTube videos and runners world. ;)

  6. Looks like so much fun! And that run along the lake is gorgeous! Would love to get to a camp like that at some point.

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