10 things I learned from camp + a workout + what to do about altitude!!!

I’M HOME!! After a weekend of running and talking about running I am feeling so motivated and inspired to get out there and work hard!

PS the kids were clearly excited to see me when I got home;)

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Finally they woke up and were excited though.  Bad news though, Andrew has the flu, I dropped our brand new camera and now we need a new lens.  So those are fun things.

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My last run before showering and heading to the airport was with Gina! She has done the Wasatch 100 (100 miles with crazy ups and downs…WOW).  She is just amazing in every way.  We ran on some trails by the water and we didn’t even get lost—>  success!

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I am having a hard time figuring out how to share everything I learned this last weekend but let’s just go ahead and try:)

1.  NUTRITION!  This session with Dr. Kyle Pfaffenbach (the Brooks Beasts nutritionist) was amazing.  I wish I could remember each word he said but one thing he really talked about is how EACH BODY is unique from a nutritional standpoint.  The human body is very complicated.  We all have different responses to exercise and nutrition.  The real question (instead of what is the best diet for health and performance) is how do we embrace our uniqueness and find a dietary approach for our own health and performance.

A few of his points regarding how our nutrition and performance work together:

*Accept that diet and exercise go together and that you can’t outrun a bad diet (dang it;)

*Focus on what you can control (not the things you can’t like age, medications, genetics, hormones, insulin resistance/sensitivity, economics, changing food supply etc)… focus on the things like behaviors and diet composition.

*Become actively engaged with your approach to diet and monitor it’s effect on training.  Get in touch with your body and the foods you are eating.

*Establish a starting point and experiment to find an approach that is right for you.   Diet, like training, is always a work in progress.

*A great recovery fuel that he recommended for us (within 15-30 minutes of finishing a workout) was Bobs Redmill Whey Protein mixed with chocolate almond milk.  Whey protein is the fastest absorbed protein which is why he recommends that and Bobs Redmill has nothing but the Whey Protein in it.  He also reminded us that EVERY run needs recovery fuel, easy runs require adaptations too so fuel well after every type of run.  The Brooks Beasts finish workouts and have a 3:1 ratio of simple carbs to whey protein.  They usually mix their whey protein with gatorade because both of those things are absorbed really fast.

*Omega 3 is great for anti-inflammatory effects (for low level inflammation)… aka beneficial for recovery for runners!  I’m going to start back up on this!

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He showed us a worksheet that can help us to figure out how much of each macronutrient we may need (PLEASE NOTE THE DISCLAIMER THOUGH… each body is different and this is just shown as a guide for where he usually starts with an athlete).

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2.  ALTITUDE!!! The Beasts do altitude training for about 6-7 weeks but results are shown from training at altitude from 19-20 days!  They recommend taking an iron supplement when you are doing this and to take the first few days at altitude easy.  The Brooks Beasts talked a lot about how they adjust their paces for the altitude and how hard it is for them at the beginning, loved seeing how real they are and how they all struggle with the same things that we do (they are just faster than bullets).

Training at altitude brings an increase in red blood cell mass which is what then carries the oxygen to our muscles.  They said it is even better for performance to live high (6500 feet is optimal) and train lower.  The Brooks Beast house was even higher up in the hills and they drove down in elevation (still 5300 feet) to do their workouts.  The best performance occurs for these athletes in races that are 10-17 days after they come back to sea level.

What do you do if you have a race that is at a higher altitude than what your body is used to?  Get in and get out or get there a week or so earlier to adjust.  If you get in to where your race is within 48 hours of the start you should be good to go.  They also told us to really experiment with it… don’t just dive into it.  Altitude affects people differently so play around with it if you can before going crazy at altitude.  Also, he talked a bit about those altitude masks… he said they don’t do the job as far as changing/adapting your red blood cells/hemoglobin etc. but they can help you learn to improve your control of breathing.  But the altitude masks do not do the same thing as training at altitude.

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3.  There is less oxygen (which our muscles NEED while running) available at altitude and some normal side effects from going up to altitude (and training there)—>  increased ventilation, shortness of breath, awakening at night, increased urination, anxiety (and gorgeous views… I added that one).  Take caution when you are dehydrated, fatigue or weak, dizzy or having a hard time sleeping.  Seek medical attention if you are having confused thoughts, loss of coordination, difficulty understanding or listening, vision disturbances, extreme fatigue, breathlessness at rest, fast shallow breathing.

Altitude training is no joke.  I think I drank water the entire weekend non-stop and I’m already from a higher elevation!

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4.  Runners make the best friends.  I was able to catch up with these girls (Ashley, Tina, Kristen, Jesica, Emily, Lora, Meghann and Anne) and meet so many more amazing friends.  I swear the talks I have with people while running are some of my favorites ever.  I think we are all just more open about things more while out on the run and there are no distractions like cell phones taking away from the conversation.

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(Jen and Tiffany below)

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5.  Running in spikes is REALLY DIFFERENT.  I did the track workout in my Launch 4s which worked perfectly (seriously, they are the perfect fast trainer in my opinion) and then at the end did some strides with some spikes.  My first time ever wearing them and I was positive I was going to trip and by the end I started to figure them out a bit.  These Brooks Beasts are absolutely amazing (and so friendly… they made us feel cool even though they are all our heroes ha).

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6.  Coach Danny (the Brooks Beasts pro’s coach) told us to do something that I LOVED… he doesn’t look at his phone for the first 30 minutes after he finishes his workout and he has his athletes do the same.  He wants to take that time to really think about the run.  How did it go?  What felt good and what didn’t?  What went right, what didn’t?   So instead of getting on my phone and scrolling after a run, I want to take some time to really go through how everything went so that I can get to know myself better and  really figure out what works best for me.

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7.  The 10%.  Something that I’m not great at but it sure makes a big difference in our running.  Coach Danny asked if we are taking preventative measures each day?  Are we?  Let’s do it.  Not only will it make us less likely to be injured but our times will sure get faster!

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8.  I learned that dogs do a really great job working at the front desk of a hotel.

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9.  Coach Danny gave an incredible presentation.  He talked all about his philosophy for coaching and it was so helpful for me as I am on my way to coaching too.

A true coach develops the athlete.  <— LOVE that.

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10.    The Brooks Beasts have a lot of fun.  They are some of the best runners in the world and they have a blast doing it.

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On Friday we had a killer workout.  Between the heat (80 degrees and the sun just two inches from your face;) and some added elevation (for me it wasn’t too big of a change but it sure was for those coming from sea level etc) it was rough.  I had that fun cotton mouth feeling but LOVED being on a track again with so many amazing people.  Fun fact:  I will never wear capris again above the temperature of 40 degrees.  Not my best move on Friday.

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The workout we did is below!  For my 3 minute intervals the pace was 6:24, 6:10 and 5:56 and for the 200 meters I was between a 5:15- 5:30 pace per mile.

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The Beasts had us do a warm-up before the workout and this is what it looked like.  They are all about getting your muscles activated and working before going into a workout.  Note to self… get back in the habit of doing this.   This is a screenshot from their phone of the different things they do for this workout to warm-up! Lots to do before the actually run starts!

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Back to some good training again!  This is what last week looked like!

Monday:  4 miles on the hotel treadmill @ 8:34 average pace.

Tuesday:  10.44 miles total with middle 8 miles @ 6:48 average pace.

Wednesday: 8 miles @ 8:55 average.

Thursday:  9.25 miles on the trails @ 9:12 average pace.

Friday:  4.5ish miles at the track with some SPEED intervals.

Saturday: 6 miles on the trails (I don’t know pace for my Saturday and Sunday runs since we stopped a bajillion times for pictures and I didn’t stop my watch.  !

Sunday:  6.4 miles!

48.5ish miles for the week!!  Ready to get back to my weekly rest day and a race in 1.8 weeks wahoo!

Last night we celebrated my mom’s bday with some chocolate cake.  It was delicious.

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What was your mileage last week?  What was your best run or hardest run?

Last running related fact or experience you have learned?

What preventative measure(s) do you take each week with your running?

What was your weekend highlight?

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I went out for an easy 3 on Saturday and ended up feeling so good I ran 5.5 miles st more like a tempo pace. After months of slogging through injuries this run felt great!


I didn’t know that about whey protein being the fastest absorbed, thanks for sharing! I never use protein powder, partially because there are so many types and I’m a little overwhelmed by all of the options. Maybe I’ll give whey a try though! I also never do warm up drills (whoops), thank you for sharing those. I generally have no clue how to warm up other than walking or jogging for a few minutes. Have a great Monday!


Thanks for sharing all you learned! I think you’re going to make a great coach. Right now, the preventative measures I take are actually listening to my body and making sure to roll as often as I can. I’ve discovered rolling the lower outside part of my legs helps keep that pesky plantar fasciitis far away.

My mileage has been really low lately, but I’m hoping to be able to build it back up after I recover from my surgery this Thursday (kidney stuff). I’ve really missed training hard and especially racing. :/


looks like you had a blast and learned a lot! I hope the rest of you don’t catch the flu and that Andrew feels better quick. and that chocolate cake looks perfect!


Hope Andrew feels better – flu is the worst! That chocolate cake looks amazing after a weekend of very few desserts. :)


THANKS ASH (PS I ALREADY MISS YOU))!! Luckily he woke up today feeling great so now we are guessing food poisoning? Hahaha yeah, my body doesn’t do well with that… next time I’m bringing more candy. Also, so glad we made sure that the ice cream did happen;)


Sounds like such an interesting experience! I ran hills over the weekend in a mountain next to a ski station. It was pretty intense but super fun. Not so much fun this morning : woke up with a stuffy nose so as a preventive measure, I am taking a day off today and will reduce intensity for the week. After 15 years of running I still haven’t find the ulltimate solution to deal with running with a cold but I noticed that they usually take a little more time to go away if I don’t take it easy for a few days.


Great to hearabout omega3! I used to take those… stopped for a while and am back on them now. So glad you had a great weekend and got to learn a lot! Highlight of my weekend was sunny weather on Friday!


I loved seeing everyone’s Camp Brooks pics on Insta/Instastories!

Also. I love this — “Diet, like training, is always a work in progress.” YES YES YES.


I was nodding my head with the whole nutrition part until I got to “they mix their whey protein with gatorade.” Ewww. There must be a better way! Man, I am so impressed with the Beasts, because I could never get that down. I will definitely try mixing it in chocolate milk, though!


Yeah… I couldn’t do the gatorade mix either but I guess the whey protein is flavorless that they use… but still. I’m just not a gatorade person. I’m all about the chocolate milk too! I hope your day is a great one Lynn!


39 miles last week in week 11 of training for Big Sur. At this stage of my training I am doing a ton more foam rolling and have resumed my epsom salt baths after my weekend long runs. I put a couple of drops of essential oils in the bath and I swear it makes a big difference in recovery.


WAY TO GO ROSIE. I’m stoked for you to do Big Sur! Please keep me updated with how you are doing and how the race goes!


We learned so much great info at camp! I thought I took good notes but this recap is awesome! So much we can learn from! I can’t wait to implement some of the new things the Beasts taught us. Hope Andrew feels better and you all don’t get the flu. We got it in our house two years ago and it was the worst! Hugs! xo


Didn’t know about the whey protein, I go through phases of using protein, but always good to know.

I did 8 x 800 at HMP with 1 minute rest last week, I had to take it inside to the treadmill and it killed me. I couldn’t finish the last few without a short breather in the middle. So it was kind of a confidence buster. I’m hoping my speed workout this week is better.


Jessie, killer workout… way to GO! You did it (I do short breathers with some of my speed workouts not he treadmill too… you aren’t alone). I hope this week feels better too but way to go on getting through those tough ones!


Thanks for sharing the nutrition piece. Nutrition is definitely not “one size fits all” and different things work for different people :)

Just curious if he specified any ranges for macronutrients rather than giving 1 value? For protein, I’ve mostly seen ~1.2 gm/kg for starting to increase distances and then 1.4-2 gm/kg once you get into endurance athletics.

Hope you have a good day!


Lately, I’ve been really bad at stretching and foam rolling so that is one area I am really working on! The last two runs I’ve finished, I’ve taken about ten to fifteen minutes afterwards to give my legs a deep stretch and slow foam rolling session! It is amazing the difference I already feel. No wonder why people encourage stretching afterwards ;)


The scenery on your trip is so pretty! I hope Andrew is feeling better soon, the flu is pretty miserable.

The highlight of my weekend was celebrating my 3 year anniversary with my boyfriend. We ended up talking about our first few dates, which seem like such a long time ago now.


9 miles was my mileage last week. Very low, but good enough after injury recovery.
The nutritional info looks very interesting! Thanks for sharing, Janae:)

My highlight of the weekend was seeing two of my best friends that came to visit!! I haven’t seen one in months and the other one in years. I felt so happy:)


Running while pregnant is hard. I didn’t run at all the first trimester fearful of me having a miscarriage (after going through IVF and being told no a bazillion times, it really gets to your head) and so I’m working back up and taking it slow.

I went to SLC Comic Con (FanX) and got to meet Zachary Levi (who plays Chuck) which was pretty cool.


It looks like you had such a great time Janae! What an awesome opportunity :)

I always love going back home to visit my parents in NY because when I run I feel like I have “hulk lungs” from running in Colorado.


HAHAH I am going to have to copy you and call them hulk lungs:) I love it! Hope your Monday is an amazing one Aimee!


Oh my gosh, I would love to go to a running camp like that! What a fantastic experience!! Just reading your recap inspired me :)
I didn’t get a chance to wish your mom a happy birthday yesterday, so Happy Birthday HRG mom!! <3

Yesterday, my hubby and I ran the LA Marathon! I love this marathon! It is so fun, like sight seeing your way from Dodgers stadium all through fantastic parts of the city and ending in Santa Monica! It really is a great way to spend a beautiful Sunday morning, especially side by side with one of my favorite people!

Happy Spring everyone!!


Thank you so much Wendy, I’ll tell my mom!

CONGRATS ON THE MARATHON!!! It sounds absolutely amazing… I want to come do it. I am so glad it was a beautiful day and that you had your husband there running it too! Recover well and congrats!!!


I’m glad you had such a great time and that they touched upon nutrition. I do think people overlook nutrition.


That training looks incredible! I’ve been following Hanson’s Marathon Method lately and it is definitely a humbling experience. Running by effort (and not just speeding through) has been an interesting experience… but I can now say that I have been truly ENJOYING my runs, not just struggling to complete them.


I am SO happy to hear that Kristy. I have also followed the Hanson’s method (for half marathon training though) and I also had am amazing experience with it. SO glad that you are enjoying your runs now! Enjoy the rest of your day!


Monday’s run was my best. I felt great, went longer than planned, and each mile was faster than the previous. Thursday’s run was tough, I was sore from shoveling ice and snow for 2 days and doing hip and glute work with a theraband. I worked out a lot of kinks on that run. :)

I make sure to eat a variety of anti inflammatory foods, including Omega 3’s. I stretch regularly and strengthen my whole body with a focus on core, glutes, and hips. When I don’t I end up injured.

The highlight of my weekend was spending a lot of time with my husband. It sounds funny because we both work at home during the early part of the day but I don’t actually see him that much during the week. (at least where we have time to talk and connect). Then he teaches music most afternoons and some evenings and I do wellness coaching. Oh, and the dog insisted on coming along on our outing Sunday. She literally runs to the garage door and sits in front of it. If we don’t come down quickly enough she runs back up to hurry us along.


So glad you had an amazing run last week Nina! Oh I bet those things made your Thursday run not feel as heavenly as Tuesday! You are rocking the preventative things with your running. Yay for quality time with your husband, the absolute best. PS I want to meet your dog!


Sounds like an awesome weekend. So jealous!

My runs have been okay. I’m still dealing with achilles tendinopathy but it seems to be fine once I just get warmed up. My best run this week was Saturday- 1 mile w/u –> 7 miles @ 7:08 pace –> 1 mile c/d


I hope Andrew feels better asap! At least he didn’t have the flu on his birthday!


Thank you…. so so true! Luckily he woke up today feeling normal. Maybe he just had food poisoning yesterday? Thanks Julia and I hope you are having an amazing day!


For your camera, did you purchase it with a credit card?? On my honeymoon, my husband dropped a lens when he was changing them on our 2nd day in Italy! When we got home, I was able to get it fixed for free thru a Nikon repair shop that works with American express, since that is what we used to purchase the camera and they provide a warranty for so many years.


Oh I am SO glad that you guys were able to get it fixed (Lame it was on your honeymoon)! So we just paid for it with cash (we had sold our last cameras and just used that money). We just took it into the shop and the guy says he can fix it for $55 and we get it next week. I am crossing every finger and toe I have!


PS thank you so much for taking the time to write me and tell me about that… next time we are going to use our AmEx!


I love this post! And I really do need to focus on (1) making sure my diet isn’t ignored… it turns to junk if I”m not actively engaged in planning and prepping AND (2) the 10%!! I’m terrible at all things recovery/prevention. I need to be better!


Preventative…Hmmm. I’ll be honest, the only thing that I’m REALLY good at is stretching!!


Looks like you had a fun and educational weekend!!

I ran the Lake Tahoe Marathon a couple years ago and it was TOUGH. Lived/trained in Chicago all summer so the altitude was nothing I could prepare for. Fortunately, I had incorporated swimming into my training once or twice a week which helped quite a bit!

Weekend highlight – Seeing Beauty & The Beast … SO good!! You guys should go as a family!!


I’ve loved seeing where I live through your eyes! I live a couple of hours east of Albuquerque at 4,700 ft. I’ve felt like it’s been an advantage to consistently train at a higher altitude. I’m so happy to live here where the sun shines almost every day and I can run trails or roads and enjoy the incredible views of nature and the quiet.

I Pr’d a 10K trail race this weekend! I ran it last year and ended up with a femoral stress fracture so this year was all about my mental game and overcoming my fears of re-injury. Mission accomplished!


RACHELLE…. WAY TO GO!!! That is so awesome that you PR’d on your trail race (trail races are no joke). So so happy that you have recovered so well from your stress fracture. You live in an amazing state… I loved it there!


I ran 30km yesterday!! (18 miles) I was never expecting to go that far but it was a beautiful sunshiny spring day and there is so much to see while running through a city (downtown Toronto)
I am running a spring marathon on May 7th and hope to BQ!! wish me luck!!

I am sooo hungry today…that chocolate cake looks delicious!! :)


WAY TO GO… 30km… NAILED IT! Good luck on May 7th! I want to hear all about it:) Get yourself some chocolate cake after 18 miles!


Thank you so much for sharing what you learned out there! Some seriously good information and I will definitely be rereading this post :)

My mileage last week was 17 miles, I was on vacation for part of the week in Asheville, NC. If you include hiking in the mileage it was more like 50 miles, though! My best run was bridge repeats I did just yesterday. I’m incorporating them back into my routine now that I feel confident in my running base again and it was fun to get back to it! I live at sea level so bridges are the only real altitude training I feel like I can get. If you have any other tips for us sea-level folks it would be greatly appreciated :)

I foam roll and try to do yoga once a week, with ‘try’ being the key word there :). My weekend highlight was having friends surprise me on St. Patty’s Day, I haven’t seen them in a while and they showed up unexpected, it’s always good to see old friends!


Ah no way! Gina coached me for my last full marathon! We live in the same city and the girl is insane, she runs like crazy and all the time! She’s super inspirational and a great coach! So fun that you two went running together! It’s a small world!


Wow so much good information!! I especially love the one about not looking at your phone 30 min after your run. My weekend highlights are a tie between seeing Beauty and the Beast with the hubby and running outside in Colorado in March in shorts. It was almost 70 degrees and I was actually super hot at the end.


I love reading your blog! What type of camera did you get? That would be a fun blog post for the future — if you have any recommendations on camera/lenses. That’s something I’ve been looking into recently for a future investment.


Thank you for sharing all you learned while away at Brooks Camp, its like being a fly on the wall lol
My mileage last week was 20 miles. I am in week 11 of a 15 week 1/2 Marathon training. My best run to date was getting caught in the rain while out. Something about it gave me all this extra energy and it was to date my most epic run….. My hardest run was today after almost being denied to purchase water at a local convenience store where i have always prepaid for them. Some new guys was on and i understand him not knowing me. He told me not to open it as i was opening it and i started to chug my water… when i put my money on the counter (loony) he smashed his hand over the money yelling get the *%^@ out ..after that episode with only a mile to finish….(5.5 total) i let that bad experience get in my head and my pace and fun “ran” out the window. What i did learn from that “episode” in answering you next question. is that i am going to now purchase a hand held hydration bottle so that never happens again. Im still shaking my head over it.
Im sorry for being so long winded….i guess im venting over the H2O incident.
Weekend highlights was Saturday’s 9 miler…my longest run to date!

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