5 Fabulous Women's Running Retreats

Halfway through a group run on a winding Rocky Mountain National Park trail, I wondered, when was the last time I had an entire week all to myself? One week to get away from the daily grind, where I could really focus on me. One week to meet other like-minded women--to sweat, laugh and even cry together. It seemed like such a luxury, and yet there I was, a participant at Active at Altitude's Women's Running and Conditioning camp--my first week "just for me" in nearly 20 years. No matter what your running goals, there's a retreat out there for you. It all begins with your intention. Take that first step, and you may find yourself running at one of these five fabulous retreats.

Run for Inspiration

Dreamchaser's Women's Running Camp Teton Valley, Idaho

March 2010
6 days: $1,795 double

Find a dream and chase it down in the Grand Tetons. Dreamchaser's training camp is committed to helping women of all fitness levels set big goals and achieve them. This camp is for women ready to step outside of their comfort zones, both on and off the trail.

Endurance athlete and camp founder Lisa Smith-Batchen begins and ends camp with a gait analysis, so each gal has the opportunity to perfect her form. Expect three workouts per day: one run and two other activities such as core work, yoga, Pilates, snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, hiking and aqua running. Certified coaches and experts lead all activities.

Accommodations: Luxuriate at the 780-acre Teton Springs Resort's Headwaters Club located 20 minutes from Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Cuisine: Meals take place at the resort's Headwaters Grille, serving up mountain-style pub food. Or venture off on a sleigh ride dinner to nearby Grand Targhee Resort, featuring meats and veggies made to order in a yurt.

What to Bring: Gather lots of layers for this winter wonderland camp. Don't forget a hat and gloves as well as a bathing suit for the hot springs. Don't worry about lugging your own equipment because all activity gear will be provided.

Run for Development

Lake Champlain Women's Running Camp Vergennes, Vermont

June 2010
Week: $1,750 single, $1,400 double

Improve your running confidence and learn healthy lifestyle habits in a supportive atmosphere. The Lake Champlain camp is for women relatively new to running, or those seeking time away from their hectic schedules to concentrate on training.

After morning yoga, run flat backcountry roads and trails around Basin Harbor's 700 serene acres, set against the backdrop of the Green Mountains. Daily workshops will improve performance through form drills, stretching, core strengthening, water running, track workouts, as well as discussions on sports psychology and injury prevention. Camp founder Andrea Sisino puts special emphasis on nutrition, teaching women how to fuel for running, and for life. Spend the afternoons kayaking, swimming, hiking and relaxing on the beaches of the Basin Harbor Club.

Accommodations: Share a two- or three-bedroom cottage with lake views at the charming Basin Harbor Club.

Cuisine: With an on-staff nutritionist and locally grown whole grains, fruits and veggies prepared by the Basin Harbor chef, meals have been mentioned as one of the highlights of this camp for six years running.

What to Bring: While temps reach the 70s during the day, they can go down to a chilly 40 degrees at night. Along with your running attire, bring yoga attire, a swimsuit and warmer clothes for the evening.

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