Estes Park running camps deliver empowerment for women

"A once in a lifetime fitness retreat for women." Shape magazine, 2015

Women runners continue to lead the way in running in the United States. The 2017 Running USA report on road race trends shows that despite the total number of race finishers reducing, the proportion of female finishers is at 57%, a proportion that has been consistent over the last four years. The number of female finishers has grown by 15% over the last sixteen years, with female finishers now outnumbering males by more than 2.7 million.

Recent surveys have also highlighted some telling trends that could go to explain why women’s running is so hot, and why men are getting left behind. Women tend to be more social runners, with 35% sharing that they run with at least one other person. Men see themselves as being more competitive, while women are more likely to classify themselves as a fun runner. When it comes down to reasons why women run, a wide variety of reasons were given, from improving their state of mind, the opportunity to socialize, relieve stress, and achieve a goal. Women also use social media much more so than men for running related activities, with 70% of women posting pictures and videos. Women rated having fun, having time to train, benefiting a cause and medals as all being important factors for why they run and race. Recent coverage from Shape magazine and the Wall Street Journal highlight how women have taken over the running world. This effect has also meant that athletic shoe and apparel manufacturers have changed their products and marketing to meet this new growing demand. The recent growth in women’s running has been phenomenal, especially when you consider that women runners first took part in track events at the Olympics in 1928, and the first women’s marathon at the LA Olympics in 1984.

There are now a number of adult running camp options available, where, as a recent Competitor article states, “the singular focus on the sport, attention to nutrition and camaraderie formed at the running camps contribute not only to the athlete’s training, but also to shaping a more positive outlook and experience.” Ironically, there are relatively few training camp options for adult women, especially camps that can cater for varied ability and performance levels.


Active at Altitude, based in Estes Park, Colorado, will be holding their twelfth year of women’s running camps in 2018, with three levels of camps for beginner, intermediate, and advanced women runners. Every camp attendee has benefited from the expert coaching they receive at these camps, setting new PR’s (personal records), learned how to run a BQ (Boston marathon qualifying time), understand Lydiard training principles that center on feeling based sustainable training, run their first marathon, their first trail race, and many other physical accomplishments. The many health benefits of running have been well documented, across every level of human wellness.

"This camp is so much more than running and training at altitude. It is also a safe, happy, comfortable space that allows personal reflection and group encouragement. Active at Altitude is beyond running!" Gretchen, Boston, MA

Yet there is so much more to these camps than just running breakthroughs. Camp Director, and Owner of Active at Altitude, Terry Chiplin, adds: “We have had women runners leave our camps deciding to end a relationship, re-commit to their marriage, decide to develop a completely new career path, and to become self-employed. Our camps are focused on empowering women on every level – what is happening in the rest of our lives also has an impact on our running.” These camps have a proven track record of delivering empowerment for women in a small group experience for runners across four levels:


  1. Physical empowerment – each of the camps includes sessions devoted to teaching the five guiding principles of Lydiard training, where runners learn to use feeling based training, tuning in to your inner coach, using principles that make sustainable training possible, and reduces the risk of injury. Attendees will learn how to create a training plan for themselves using these principles, and also have the option to work with a Lydiard certified coach.
  2. Mental empowerment – sessions during each camp will deal with discovering the blocks that hold runners back mentally, learn how to spot the blocks before they happen, and develop tools to create new supportive responses. Each run during every camp will be preceded by a guide imagery session, and visualization techniques will form a core part of positive mental training throughout the camp.
  3. Spiritual empowerment – the camps are designed to create an atmosphere where collaboration, community, creativity, fostering, and supporting one another is naturally encouraged. Women may arrive as strangers, and leave as friends committed to supporting and helping each other. The Estes Park area and Rocky Mountain National Park are areas of incredible majestic beauty, where your spirits are lifted just by being here; once you run here as well, your life will never be the same.
  4. Emotional empowerment – attendees will learn how to focus on the natural joy that is part of the experience when you run, and that this is a more important factor than goals based purely on performance. Finding your voice is an important element in this process.

There are currently places available for all three camps, although we recommend booking early to ensure your place as they do sell out! Click on the links below to see more details on these empowering camps for women runners!

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