One time, at running camp.

So I just got back from coaching at running camp, and every year I go, I’m even more sad to leave when the week is over! To some, running camp might not sound all that fun… especially when you’re a high school kid and it’s your spring break… and you could be in Florida with your family… but instead choose to go to Lake Placid, where its freezing cold and you have to run all week.


But let me tell you, this is not just any running camp. Its pretty much the greatest running camp of all time (and I may be biased since I’m a coach, but ask any of the athletes)! The High Peaks Elite Distance Camp has been going on since I was like 2 months old – I was lucky enough to be invited to camp as a high school runner and even luckier to be invited back to coach on a phenomenal coaching staff!

There’s little HS Jenn at camp in 2008 (bottom left)

So, what do you do at running camp? Just run?

Camp is probably one of my greatest memories from my childhood, and continues to be a great time now as an adult (wait, am I considered an adult at 26 yet?). Camp really isn’t about the actual runs.

Things we’ve done at camp over the years besides run:

  • Climb mountains (we climb in the High Peaks in the Adirondacks!)
  • Eat delicious food and have ice cream every night
  • Get to live at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid for a week
  • Practice meditation and mental rehearsal
  • Recover like a pro with the ice bath and compression pants
  • Cheer on the athletes at IRONMAN Lake Placid
  • Orienteering race
  • Listen to motivational speakers
  • Create a training log and goal sheet
  • Take a crash course in Exercise Physiology with world-renowned exercise scientist and Olympian in Modern Pentathlon, Dr. Jack Daniels
  • Explore the village of Lake Placid
  • Ping pong tournaments
  • Strength training for runners
  • Learn about running in college
  • Do yoga
  • Learn about running injuries and prevention
  • Break a board with my hand
  • Film and breakdown biomechanics on the big screen
  • Share personal stories of running and life
  • Make great friends!
Taking the kids into town after a hike with Coach Ryck
My hiking group on top of Rooster Comb
Recovering in Sports Med

Camp is all about learning how to be a 24 hour athlete. Most of the top runners in your area are doing good workouts. What sets you apart? How about doing all the little things. Like monitoring your resting heart rate, making sure your sleep is consistent and adequate and making good nutritional choices. Or doing some work in the weight room. Or having good communication with your coaches.

Clinic time with Coaches Moore, Deckman, Guido and Reinhardt

But we do actually run! Being spring break, these guys are mid track season. So there is still work to be done! Many of these kids had a meet just a few days after getting back from camp – and many ran PRs! So proud.

Warming up for a track session with some drills


Being around such a motivated group of young runners for the week has definitely brought my own training up a notch after a long winter of solo, freezing training.

So Rochester, with your threats of tornadoes and snow flurries, bring it on!

If you want to see more about camp, check out this video of our week!


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