Registrations for our 2015 are now open! To register, contact Melissa on 0406009824 for more information and check out our events page on http://www.facebook.com/RunTechnique.
The 2012 Camp is best described by one of the runners..so here it is, a big thanks to Andie!
Time out for running: Soul Runner’s Into the Wild training camp
“I’m an extra- curricular runner. I work full time, I socialise, study, have a beautiful (non- runner) partner, have just launched my own freelance business and love cross training activities (which support running of course!).
For me, running is a long- term pursuit. And like most extra- curricular runners, I only have a certain amount of time to dedicate to it. Much of the time spent on running and its supporting activities- eating, cross- training, planning, driving to inspiring destinations to name a few- is time spent while feeling a tad of guilt. And if you’re like me, and haven’t quite got the elevator speech down pat when asked the question, “Why do you run”, it’s sometimes hard to justify that time.
As I ran into the MCG in October 2012 just about to complete the Melbourne Marathon, my first marathon, I couldn’t help but reflect on how much I’d loved not only the race, but the lead up to it. All those kilometres clocked, speed sessions, advice from coaches, trail runs, practicing the right breakfast for race day, were fun; they were a series of moments stolen just for me to pursue my extra- curricular goal of being the best runner I could.
One thing all of this took was time. And time is precious.
At the same time I was rapidly becoming a ‘marathon runner’ according to my social circles. Oh that’s Andie, she runs marathons, I heard a few friends say. Well, I’ve run one marathon, I thought and often replied, smiling.
With renewed focus, I realised I had one big chunk of time coming up- the leave I had booked away from work over Christmas and New Year. The head coach of my running group knew I loved a good trail run and put me onto Soul Runner’s inaugural “Into the Wild” running camp at Falls Creek.
Hmmmm, I thought, running camp at Falls Creek. That’s five days of pure, unadulterated and blissful focus on running, getting better at running and all supporting activities related to running.
What better way to spend my down time?
What’s more, the camp was happening in the lead- up to Christmas. Thoughts of pre- Christmas at crowded shopping centres and bars and the associated mindless eating and drinking led me to know where I’d rather be.
Having lived, worked and done some training in the mountains before, I was also aware of the benefits of altitude training for overall athletic improvement and conditioning. There are scientific explanations for the benefits (maybe start here if you’re interested), but suffice to say here it’s said to be harder to run in altitude than down at sea level. Aside from the scientific benefits, running at altitude almost always means running surrounded by incredible, mountainous beauty.
I paid the deposit for camp and signed up.
Soul Runner is headed up by Melissa Vandewater. Coach Mel is herself a professional runner- dedicated, talented and disciplined. But I also can’t sing her praises enough as a professional running coach. Mel leaves any ego behind when it comes to coaching and focuses on her clients. Yep that’s right- she focuses on me, the extra- curricular runner who feels like running time is ‘stolen’ time.
(Ed note: here is an insight to a day on Camp): We woke up bright and early for a tempo session on the aqueduct trail. As the name suggests, the Aqueduct trail runs right along the aqueduct along the top mountain ridge of Falls Creek Village. In winter, you get to that ridge via a chairlift; in summer, a road then a path winds its way up there.
It was a misty morning at first and we did our warm up jog in characteristic mountain dew. But this lasted only long enough to remind us we were running in the clouds before it quickly cleared completely and opened up the entire high country to us with the sun beaming down.
Mel took us through a dynamic warm up session, a series of active stretches, leg swings and toe taps designed to open up the key areas runners need to engage while they’re on the move. The active warm up was new to me, but it’s now a firm ritual before any intense session where you say, “Oh glutes, there you are and a good morning to you!” (OK, so there’s a fair bit of inner dialogue in an individual sport). As I stretched out into the tempo run, I kept the self talk up to keep the pace, reminding myself that the only thing I had to go home to was more running- related talk and activities (and food).
By 11am we had cold water recovered and eaten and were settling in for our next session: flexibility and strength. Mel is a walking (well, running), talking example of how running- specific strength and flexibility are keys to a long running life. As we went through the talk, I nodded and smiled in agreement- after all, I did that strength stuff and I was sure it targeted those specific muscles? When we headed out to the grass area to put the theory into the practice, I soon realised just how specific we were talking- something else to add to the knowledge bank and practice.
The day finished with an easy run on one of the back trails out past the dam wall, followed by a stretch, dinner and our scheduled Q&A session. I’d filed away so much information during the day, then was able to keep chatting away, asking all sorts of questions and talking about running with an equally passionate crew. The running talk and learning was cut short only by a pressing need to go to bed. I’d never done two runs in a day let alone thrown a strength session in the middle- it was off to bed to prepare for another big day on the mountain”.
Join Soul Runner for an altitude running camp in 2013 at Falls Creek. This ski village is transformed into a runner’s heaven, attracting the best from around Australia. Train with elite coach, Melissa Vandewater and her team, to improve your running and learn more about it.
Stay tuned for dates! Contact Melissa: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0406009824. See our Facebook page for latest updates.