At Run Wild Retreats + Wellness we’re committed to designing and delivering a special kind of travel experience that has the potential to be deeply transformational. Travel can be a powerful opportunity for inner exploration as well as an external adventure, so we consider it our job to support you—both as a runner and a person—in whatever ways you need to have a deeply impactful running experience.
Even now, in our tenth year of offering women’s trail running retreats around the world, we continue to evolve our itineraries, our leadership and our mission to better support you. Our most recent changes address the issues we’ve seen arise around the use of technological devices during the retreats through the Presence Policy, which you can learn more about here.
But we didn’t want to stop there.
As life-long runners, we appreciate the importance of measuring and recording miles run. The development of better and fancier GPS-enabled watches makes it easier than ever to do this. While this data plays a valuable role in run training and monitoring your fitness progress, it’s not so relevant in a retreat setting, where our goal is to engage in the process of running.
For this reason, we’ve removed the mileage from our retreat itineraries and replaced those numbers with the amount of time you can expect to spend on the trail each day, (i.e., 2 – 3 hours, or 3 – 4 hours).
Those numbers don’t represent only the time spent running, rather, they include stops to take photos, sip from your hydration pack, eat a snack, wade shoeless into the Mediterranean Sea, do a yoga pose, sit and gaze out at a glacier, have a shot of espresso and bite of chocolate or partake in some other silly, spontaneous moment.
While we still list a range of miles you can expect to run during the course of the entire retreat, (such as 23 – 30 miles or 35 – 43 miles), we no longer publish a specific mileage for each run.
We made this change for a number of reasons that we’re happy to share with you:
1. To help you pace yourself better.
Knowing the mileage doesn’t actually represent the run’s duration or difficulty. When your retreat leader tells you you’re running 8 miles, that may be a distance that’s very familiar to you, and so you expect to the on the trail for perhaps 1.5 hours like it does at home. But in a place like Iceland, for example, where we have terrain and obstacles that you’ve never encountered before, that 8 miles could feel more like 18. The reality is that you’ll be on the trail for 3 to 4 hours to complete that “8 mile” run, and yet feel way less tired at the run’s end.
2. To better prepare you for the day’s run.
Each day your retreat leader gives you a “trail briefing” about the next run to come so that you can plan your water, food and clothing appropriately. You’ll have all the information you need about what to wear, what to have in your pack, how much food and water to have based on the amount of time you’ll be on the trail. We’ve found this to make all the difference in fueling and hydrating! For example, while you may not think to bring solid food on a typical 7-mile run at home, you wouldn’t hesitate to stash some snacks for a 3-hour adventure in an unfamiliar climate.
3. To support your mindful running practice.
Mindful running principles are woven into all aspects of the retreat experience because we believe whole heartedly in their power for running better, lowering stress and making running a healthy, sustainable part of your lifestyle. Like any new technique, mindful running requires deliberate practice and attention. It’s far easier to practice running mindfully when you are tuned into how your body is feeling (biofeedback) rather than following your progress on a watch. Since our Presence Policy strongly discourages the use of watches and other GPS-enable devices, your attention is free to focus on pacing by feel for duration of your time on the trail.
4. To ensure your safety on the trail.
Your personal safety is always our number-one priority, even if that means changing a planned route at the last minute. At any time, your retreat leader and our professional running guides may need to modify the day’s run based on such factors as weather, trail quality, trail closures and runners’ pace. We always want you to have the best possible running experience, though we would never comprise runners’ safety for sake of covering a specific distance.
5. To redefine success by your enjoyment level rather than miles run
Does running five miles mean you got “less” of a retreat than someone who ran eight miles? We don’t think so. The quality of your retreat experience has nothing to do with how far you ran and everything to do with your state of mind.
- Are you rushing through each mile or soaking in every little detail along the way: the fuchsia wildflower, the turquoise bird, the mountain view?
- Are you focused on your pace-per-mile or your gratitude to be in this place in this moment?
- Instead of defining your running success (or degree of satisfaction) by miles run, what if you measured it by how you feel? It’s far easier to be aware of your enjoyment level when you’re not focused how far you ran.
Join us on a retreat to experience for yourself what a going on a mileage-free running and wellness retreat can do you for your fitness, your confidence as a runner and your stress levels. Click here to browse the retreats available for booking now.