The Thrill of the Skill

Running and Wellness

Apr 1, 2004
Outside Magazine
adventure sports camps Yoga, Running, Fitness

Keep pace with your ambition: Find some guidance    Photo: Abrahm Lustgarten

Tip #4:

"The most important thing is an open mind. You'll get the most out of camp if you're open to new ideas about training, nutrition, breathing, and technique."
—Scott Jurek, yoga practitioner and director of Beyond Running Trail Running Camps, Seattle, Washington

Dharma Yoga Center
Miami Beach, Florida
Shri Dharma Mittra, 65, earned the nickname "The Teacher's Teacher" in 1984, when he demonstrated 908 postures for the Master Yoga Chart, one of the most comprehensive yoga references in the world. Each December, the guru leaves his Manhattan studio to run a seven-Day miami beach yoga intensive for yogis of all levels. Attend up to five one- to two-and-a-half-hour sessions a day in open-air classrooms and spend your free time practicing downward dogs on South Beach.
End Game: Accepting, not perfecting, your half lotus.
Info: $710 (including accommodations and daily breakfasts), December; 212-253-1289,
Or Try: Shambhala Mountain Center, in Red Feather Lakes, Colorado, for seven days of hatha yoga practice and meditation; $687–$1,219; 970-881-2184,

Coach Benson's Smokey Mountain Running Camps
Asheville, North Carolina
After 32 years, former Olympic coach Roy Benson is still drawing all levels of runners to his Six-day Adult Running Camp on the UNC–Asheville campus. Using a videotaped deconstruction of your stride, you'll learn how to correct pronation and other common problems with Benson's biomechanic drills. Mornings, pace yourself on a spiderweb of trails through the Pisgah National Forest; after lunch, sit in on talks by Nike pros and carbo-load on fresh-baked bread in the dining hall.
End Game: Training for your next—or first—10K or marathon with a personalized, Benson-approved workout.
Info: $695 (all-inclusive), June; 770-457-9866,
Or Try: Beyond Running Trail Running Camps, in Sonoita, Arizona, to take your training off-road, compliments of Scott Jurek, five-time winner of the Western States 100; three- to six-day camps, $650–$1,350; 206-325-0064,

Seal Training Acadamy
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Founded in 2000 by 21-year Navy SEAL vet Don Mann, with a faculty of burly former Special Forces instructors, this hard-charging seven-day fitness camp for civilians is as close as you'll get to an authentic SEALs Hell Week. After a 5 a.m. wake-up call at "barracks" (your tent at nearby First Landing State Park), you'll be coached through killer sessions of sit-ups, push-ups, beach sprints, and endurance runs. You'll also skydive from 12,500 feet and earn your scuba certification. "Some people train all year and then come to camp, others come looking to get in shape," Mann says. "They get their asses kicked, but everyone enjoys it."
End Game: Being tough enough to crank out another 12-mile lap while your Navy coach razzes you on.
Info: $2,450 (all-inclusive), May; 757-645-3397,
Or Try: Cycling and running sessions at Davis Mountain Fitness and Training Camp, in Fort Davis, Texas; seven days, $400–$750; 915-584-0227,