Alpine Trail Running Camps
Trail run with us in Chamonix the heart of the French Alps! Designed for regular runners wishing to improve their performance or those simply wanting to 'get started' off-road. We base these weeks in what's now seen as the running capital of the world. Experience running on sections of the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc and the Mont Blanc Marathon while surrounded by awe inspiring vistas and glaciated peaks.
You don't need to be a marathon runner or a speed demon to join our running camps.
During your week our experienced coaches will share their expert advice and provide you with a balanced itinerary of getting out onto the trails and running along with coaching tips & time to relax. Our camps are ideally suited to regular runners who love the freedom of getting out and exploring new places. If you can run 10km or more, at any speed, then our trail running holidays are for you!
LOVE RUNNING? THEN YOU'LL LOVE THIS. TRAIL RUNNING IN CHAMONIX.
Best Health & Fitness Retreat of 2015
|Trip||Departure date||End date||Price||Status|
|ATR1 17||Sun 18 June 17||Sun 25 June 17||£1395||Places available | Make a Booking|
|ATR2 17||Sat 15 July 17||Sat 22 July 17||£1395||Places available | Make a Booking|
|ATR3 17||Sat 12 August 17||Sat 19 August 17||£1395||Places available | Make a Booking|
|ATR4 17||Sat 9 September 17||Sat 16 September 17||£1395||Places available | Make a Booking|
Excellent training and thrilling trails!
Not only will you simply have fun running in the mountains with like-minded people, you'll also learn A LOT!!!
- Run with qualified mountain professionals
- Training given by Team Vibram athlete Carlton Rowlands
- Breathtaking mountain vistas every day
- Healthy, balanced and delicious food
- Luxurious accommodation in a lovely mountain chalet
- Learn how to plan and navigate your own route
- Expert advice on equipment, clothing, racing, training and safety
- 'Run Fit' Sessions to enhance your core strength and conditioning
- Flexibility classes: combining 'pre-hab' and yoga style stretching sessions
- Focus talks including injury prevention and advice on barefoot running
- Optional Heart Rate Monitor Zone Testing
- A complimentary sports leg massage
We aim to offer a comprehensive week of trail running, performance guidance and education so that you can go home feeling confident and informed to explore. The skills learned on this week can be transferred to many other adventure sports.
A Runner's High
REVIEWS!!! Our running camps have been joined by many keen sporty journalists including; Susan Greenwood writing for the Guardian, Claire Maxted for Trail Running Magazine, Ben Arogundade for the Telegraph and Katy Dartford for Zest Magazine and Sport Sister. To read these & more reviews go to our News and Press pages.
Great news received from Helen just one week after our September 2012 running camp as she smashes a personal best! "I do believe that all that altitude training really helped as I did feel like i was flying for the first 10 miles - possibly a bit too much." Helen, Sheffield
Which Month to Choose?
23-25 June 2017 'Marathon du Mont Blanc'
If you are joining us for our week in June then there's the added opportunity to watch or to take part in an international running race. Each year Chamonix hosts several trail races in the same week: a 10km, a vertical kilometre, a half and a full marathon. For full details: Club des Sports
Consider July making it ideal training and race preparation for events later in the season.
In August enjoy quiet trails but a vibrant Chamonix whilst runners are resting and preparing prior to the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc starting.
September our runners benefit from cooler temperatures, the start of the autumn colours and again the trails to themselves.
Running with nature can add many new dimensions both to your health, mind and other sports. Getting off the beaten track and varying your training with time on the trails can help prevent injuries, improve your strength and fitness and provide an easy way to explore the great outdoors where ever you are.
We always aim to complete the itinerary as outlined below, however, the following itinerary will be followed only when conditions and weather make it appropriate, both in terms of safety and enjoyment. Your guide will make a decision on your route based on those conditions.
Day 1 Arrival in the Chamonix Valley
Your running guide will meet you at your chalet in the evening and brief you on the week ahead. Relax and unwind by tucking into the first of many tasty dishes to come. Our menu for the week offers a healthy and nutritious selection of meals designed by to keep you strong on the trails.
Day 2 Chamonix Valley 10km & Route Planning
Morning: After a kit & clothing chat we start our week with an easy wake up run with stunning views of the Mont Blanc range. We plan to run the course of the Chamonix 10km trail route offering you a chance to test the trails and get acclimitised to your new surroundings. Speed is not the issue!
Afternoon: Following a light lunch at the chalet there will be a practical session on planning routes & mapping runs and an introduction to basic compass work. We then put it into practice with the opportunity to try a professionally marked French orienteering course in the Bois du Bouchet.
Day 3 Injury Prevention, Heart Rate Monitors & Mountain Highs
Morning: Delivered by chartered physiotherapist Benjamin Theys we start with a session on the Chamonix track looking at running style & technique along with injury prevention techniques using a method called 'Run Fit'. This is then followed by an opportunity to test your heart rate 'zones' on a treadmill ramp test giving you individual heart rate monitor data to enable you to further your training knowledge.
Afternoon: Following a picnic lunch we plan to take a cable car up to the 'middle mountains', at 2000m, to reach the 'Petit Balcon' trail and run a classic 10km section of the Mont Blanc marathon course. The route covers wide and single track trails over rock, forest & mountain meadows. Our focus today will be how to wind our way safely along and down some more challenging descent tracks not forgetting to take in some of the most spectacular views of the Chamonix Valley and Mont Blanc itself.
Day 4 Vallorcine Valley & the Aiguillette des Possettes
Experience the benefits & power behind poles on steeper climbs! Today we plan on a longer day out in the mountains. Using the delightful Mont Blanc Express train to reach the neighbouring valley of Vallorcine we have a numerous trail options to explore this more remote valley. With the use of light-weight running poles we'll practice a mix of 'fast uphill hiking' and running following the route of the famous 'Tour du Mont Blanc' walking circuit and yet more of the Mont Blanc Marathon as we aim for the Aiguillette des Possettes, 2201m. This route can easily be shortened or lengthened to suit individual needs. 10-15km.
Afternoon: Yoga style stretch class & massages.
Day 5 Focus Talk & Trail Training Session
Morning: Revamp your training with our focus talks with physio Benjamin Theys and Carlton Rowlands from the Chamonix 'Clinique du Sport' as we put into practice how to train with your heart rate monitor results, look at setting out programmes & how to improve your trail nutrition.
Afternoon: Our chalet base is ideally situated to access perfect undulating mountain trails. Today's aim is to look at how to use simple training techniques that can be used anywhere to enhance your fitness for the trails. 10-18km & final massages.
Day 6 Balance & Core with Free Afternoon
Morning: We look at ways to improve our strength and stability with a Pilates style core stability work out followed by a flexibility class.
Afternoon: Time to explore Chamonix or just relax in the chalet and enjoy the views!
Day 7 Peak of the Week!
Full Day: Today is all about putting everything into practice. Looking at the weather, setting a route, having the right equipment and the 'know how' to plan a fun full day out in on the trails. We plan to run/hike to a 'summit' & ensure that you finish your week on a true high! We'll cover some distance and height to gain unforgettable views and memories. You will go home with the confidence and motivation to hit the trails when you return home. 15-20km.
On the last weekend of June Chamonix hosts several trail races. The atmosphere that week is always exceptional and as a runner you just want to be involved. If you wish to take part then please us know and we can accommodate this into your week.
Day 8 Departure Day
Today is departure day and the package finishes after breakfast.
Thank you SO much for an incredible week. I had a fantastic holiday, and can't wait to look back through all the photos to remind me of the awesome adventure. Send my thanks on to Neil and Julia for their expertise and guidance through the week. Meeting Kilian & Anna was a added bonus, but it will really be the trails that I remember most. Fingers crossed the Alpine flat training leads to PBs at the weekend! Camilla Ray, June 2013 Camp
Meet the Coaches
Julia: as Director of Tracks and Trails she works full time as an International Mountain Leader and cross country ski teacher in the Alps. She's happy to admit that everyday her office window has a new view! Julia's sporting vices are Nordic ski marathons, trail, fell and mountain marathons, climbing and biking. Her life before the mountains was as a personal trainer and triathlete in London. Julia gets great pleasure from sharing skills with others so that they can explore the outdoors with confidence and achieve their goals.
The Chamonix based 'Clinique du Sport' have a unique team of Physiotherapists with a wealth of knowledge and experience working with elite and international sports (including various Olympic and Commonwealth Games). Director of Physiotherapy Neil Maclean Martin is a clinical specialist in Musculoskeletal sports injuries and Masters in Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Science. Neil's experienced and highly qualified team include Team Vibram trail running athlete & Osteopath Carlton Rowlands and Physiotherapist and Personal Trainer Benjamin Theys. Apart from running the clinic they work numerous elite climbers, cyclists and runners in a coaching capacity by helping them with their training programs. So whether you need help with an injury or it's prevention, in need of a sports massage, require nutritional or training advice on any event La Clinique du Sport can help.
Chloë Lanthier: BA in Exercise Physiology/ Masters Science of Biomechanics & Human Performance and ambassador for Patagonia Trail Running and Ski mountaineering. For over 15 years Chloë has been working with athletes in Canada, USA, Switzerland, New Zealand and France. Chloë is the Founder/Director & coach for xtrainingschool.com. Her specialities being sports performance, functional anatomy & biomechanics and sports specific prehab & rehabilitation for greater performance. Originally from Canadian but now living in Chamonix, Chloë coaches on our camps specialising in: injury prevention, heart rate monitor use & schedule building, performance advice mountain trail running and trail nutrition. When not on the trails Chloë is writing for outdoor/running magazines in France, UK and North America.
We stay in a modern chalet perfectly designed with runners in mind known as the Runners Refuge. The Refuge is within easy reach of the centre of Chamonix and is ideally situated on the trails of the 10km & marathon circuits. The guest bedrooms are based on twins, with en-suite bathrooms, the chalet offers a spacious living and dining area, free wi-fi, garden & hot tub where you can enjoy views of Mont Blanc. If the weather allows we can use the terrace for stretching and sitting in the sun with a cool recovery drink! Use of this chalet as our accommodation for this trip depends on numbers, availability and the time of confirming the bookings once the minimum numbers for the trip have been met. If the chalet is not available then we will book hotel accommodation of a similar standard. Single rooms may be available on request but would incur an additional fee of £150. Each chalet also has a bunk room which can be booked as a twin at a lower rate.
Included: Full board accommodation (except lunch on your rest day), based on two people sharing in a luxury catered chalet, a planned healthy runners menu, 2 x coaches, 1 x single cable car ticket (if needed), equipment hire for all sessions within the itinerary, 1 x sports leg massage, flexibility session, Run Fit session, pre-hab/core class, fitness testing and of course plenty of trail run training.
Not included: Flights, airport transfers, insurance, 1x lunch, drinks on the trail, maps and race entry during the Chamonix running week.
In mountainous terrain the weather can vary considerably. Temperatures can reach over 30°c in the height of the summer (July/August), but can be as low as 5°c on the passes. It is often sunny with good clear days, but it can rain and snow (even in July or August) so you should be prepared for any eventuality. The average temperatures range from 15-25°c in the valleys and 5-15°c on the passes.
This week will run once a minimum number of 4 clients have booked, we will take a maximum of 12.
Please note that you must have the appropriate insurance for your chosen activity. As we will be running in the mountains you must be covered for helicopter rescue, repatriation and medical costs. With regard to this please be sure you have read the Insurance section in our Terms and Conditions.
Upon booking a full kit list will be provided. The itinerary is designed to cover the essential information for those starting out or wanting to improve their trail running. We will certainly cover all aspects of the itinerary but due to changing mountain weather conditions we ask you stay flexible so that we can get the most out of each day.
If you would like to join our June dates that coincide with the Chamonix Marathon and other trail races and would like to take part then please ask for more details on how to enter or visit the Chamonix Club des Sport website. To be sure of a place for any of the events we advice that you book your race place as soon as you can - the marathon distance normally fill up soon after booking open online. The 10km though is normally possible to book the week of the event.
To get the most out of your week you may wish to buy a copy of the French IGN: Chamonix Massif du Mont Blanc 1:25,000 map this is available on arrival or online. Compasses would also be useful. Some are available for loan during the week.
Guided Running & Training
Our coaches are experienced in racing many sporting distances and disciplines. As well as our guided run along the Mont Jura, through Provence & the Verdon Gorge and around Mont Blanc we offer bespoke training and coaching for ultra marathons, triathlon and ski racing. So if you have a specific goal in mind and would like personal training or private guiding on the routes then we can help you. Please contact us with any questions.
Chamonix is easily reached from other European and worldwide destinations by road, rail, coach or plane. For suggested travel links please refer to our Booking & Information pages for further details. Geneva is the closest international airport, only 75 minutes away by road, making shared transfers, buses or trains easy to arrange. Please contact us if you need further advice on your specific travel requirements.
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Trail running has done more than make me a stronger, happier runner: It has made me a runner that truly enjoys the act of running for its own sake.