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

Posted on July 25 2014

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)!

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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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