Below is an overview of the three levels of trail running and wellness retreats we offer. For more specific information about each retreat’s runs, click on the green button below to see its full itinerary. We characterize each day’s run by “time on trail” rather than mileage because the distance you run depends partly on your run pace. Faster runners will cover more mileage than slower runners on some days. These run times include breaks to enjoy the views, take photos, eat and drink and take part in running clinics. Plus, the precise route and trails run may change due to changes to trail routes, weather conditions, guide recommendations and other safety considerations.
In general, we approach all the retreat runs with a very relaxed, social pace. We stop frequently to eat and drink and take photos (there are always lots of photo ops on our runs!). And depending on the terrain, there are often occasions where we hike rather than run. The group size is typically between 10 to 16 women, and so within every group there’s always a wide range of running pace, which is why we always have one or two guides with us in addition to the retreat leader. One guide is at the front the group, one at the back and one floating around between the various pace groups. This way, everyone gets to go at their own pace and not feel rushed.
Level I Retreats
Time on Trail Each Day: 30 minutes – 2.5 hours
Approximate Daily Distance: 3 – 6 miles
Terrain: These run-walks take place on undulating trails with rocks, roots and short uphills and downhills, though overall have minimal elevation change (this means no big mountains!). We mostly avoid any exposure to heights or high altitude.
If you’re just getting started or recovering from injury, our beginner retreats are right for you. We’ll run-walk up to 6 miles a day, and spend more time “workshopping” specific running posture and techniques to help you start running consistently while avoiding injury or burnout. There’s no need to worry about being the “slowest!”
It’s OK if you’ve never run trails before, though you can expect to feel challenged and rewarded for taking your running off road with us. Your retreat leader will provide specific tips that will help you quickly adapt your running pace and stride to the trails.
Level II Retreats
Time on Trail Each Day: 30 minutes – 4 hours
Approximate Daily Distance: 3 – 9 miles
Terrain: These runs are a bit more challenging, though the scenic rewards make them worth the effort. While the environments vary widely depending on the location, you can expect to be mostly on singletrack (narrow) trails that may include some sustained uphills and downhills that at times can be steep (which we usually hike anyway). These trails may take us on loose, rocky terrain or through muddy sections, along sea cliffs or other high, exposed terrain.
Runners who can run at least 8 miles on the road comfortably. You don’t need to be “fast,” though you should have sufficient fitness for running consecutive days (including lots of hiking sections, as the terrain requires). We recommend these retreats for those who are OK with running on rooty or rocky terrain and who don’t mind some exposure (such as narrow mountain trails or along sea cliffs) for brief periods of time, and the occasional stream crossing in which your shoes may get wet.
Level III Retreats
Time on Trail Each Day: 30 minutes – 5 hours
Approximate Daily Distance: 4 – 11 miles
Terrain: These runs will take you on world-class singletrack trails through mountainous terrain that will take your breath away! These rewarding runs feature big, long climbs and descents on rocky and rooty trails, may involve crossing scree slopes and steep terrain that requires you be confident with your footing. You may encounter stream crossings and other obstacles, as well as high altitude (above 7,000 feet).
Those with trail-running experience, good fitness and some experience running on trails, preferably in mountainous terrain. Runs range from 4 to 11 miles on superb, though challenging, singletrack trails. You should feel comfortable with heights and have the fitness to run up to 10 miles or more on the road comfortably.