© 2017 Running Abroad

Owned by Toulouse Running Connexion - Association Loi 1901

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Train & Compete Camp

 

June  5th - June 17th

OVERVIEW

 

Held right after the American track season, this two-week altitude camp will give you a second breath and will provide you with the opportunity to race in one or two track meets in the South of France. But this is much more than a running camp! You will also explore the South of France (Toulouse, Narbonne, Carcassonne - by the Mediterranean Sea) with its numerous castles, cathedrals and tiny cobblestone streets. You will learn about those cities' ancient history, get to enjoy the delicious cuisine and study French during our 90 min daily lessons. Check out our schedule below: there is as much running as exploring/learning. As stated earlier, this is the perfect blend of an awesome altitude running camp and study abroad/immersion program. 

 

Now back to the running: Our staff, composed of current/former professional runners and national certified coaches, will evaluate your fitness the very first day of camp in order to build an individualized program for you. We will focus on small details that can make you go faster. We are very conscious that you will have already had a long track season when coming to our camp, so we will make sure you get the right training with adapted intensity. We competed in the US for 4 years in NCAA Division I Track and always competed in France right after, so we know how it works and how bodies react to long seasons.

This is a once in a lifetime experience that you can even put on your resume when you apply to colleges for a better chance at getting a scholarship. Finally, for those eligible, we also have a network of Division I coaches with which we can put you in contact.

Parents: You will see during our registration process that we are taking all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of your children. From keeping a comprehensive health log on each camper to having plenty of staff per camper, we take safety extremely seriously. Additionally, we will communicate with you daily through update emails (description of the day with some pictures). For more information about insurance, please refer to our registration page.

If you want to come to France to see your son/daughter compete and practice, we welcome you to do so! Bordeaux wine country is only a 2.5 hr drive from Toulouse, so the Southwest of France could be a great getaway for the whole family. All we ask is that we meet in Toulouse on the first day of the camp (June 5th). Please refer to our registration page for more details on camp logistics.

Our camps are limited to 24 spots so don't wait too long to register!

ELIGIBILITY

  • This program is for high school student-athletes between 14 and 18 years of age.

  • The camp is designed for distance runners (800m and above) of all levels (beginner to advanced)

  • Maturity is key for this program. Participants should be willing to integrate into a community and learn from our skilled staff.

KEY ACTIVITIES/STRENGTHS OF THIS CAMP

  • Individualized running program.

  • All inclusive stay at the International Altitude Training Center (CREPS) in Font-Romeu.

  • Do your runs and work-outs with Pro-Runner Martin Casse (3:56 - Mile)

  • Race in two meets (Toulouse & Narbonne) against French athletes. (Optional)

  • Study French with native French speakers during 90 min daily lessons (our staff is also fluent in English). Don't worry, we can accommodate all levels, from beginner (i.e., speaks no French) to advanced. (Option to opt out of French lessons with parental consent.)

  • Visit the beautiful city of Toulouse, which was founded in 200 BC.

  • Walk on the French/Spanish border in the middle of the mountains and visit a tiny Spanish Village that sits on the border.

  • Meet other French runners of your age and share a meal with them.

  • Visit the fortified city of Carcassonne (UNESCO World Heritage).

  • Enjoy the Mediterranean Sea on the beach of Narbonne.

  • Discover the beautiful mountains of the Pyrénées through running and hiking activities. 

  • Recover and relax in the natural hot springs of the Pyrénées and spa center of Calicéo.

  • Get strategic race advice and tactics from nationally certified coaches and professional runners. 

  • Learn about running in Division I and receive guidance and mentoring on getting a track scholarship.

  • Enjoy many other social activities.

  • Learn about the history of France as well as the history of all of the cities we visit. 

PRICE

   $2495 for the 2-week camp

  Sign up by April 30th to get the early bird discount of $250

   Sign up with 5 of your friends to get the group discount of $250/person

   Offers cannot be combined

The price includes:

 

  • Administration fees

  • Daily sleeping accommodations in a double room (single available for additional cost)

  • All meals (Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner) except the last dinner in Toulouse

  • 16 + hours of French lessons

  • All activities with our coaches

  • All entry fees to museums, castles, etc.

  • Entry and Registration fees to the meets at Narbonne and Toulouse

  • Access to all sport facilities on campus (training room, trainers, spas)

  • Social activities during evenings and weekends

  • Entrance to the Spa of Toulouse and the natural hot springs of the Pyrénées

  • All transportation starting and finishing at the Toulouse-Blagnac airport

 

The price does not include:

  • International airfare

  • International travel insurance

  • Passport and medical exam fees

  • Any healthcare related cost during the camp

  • Personal expenses and spending money

  • Personal snacks for in between meals

  • Last dinner in Toulouse 

 
 
 
 

SCHEDULE

This is a tentative program for the 2 weeks with us. This schedule is flexible and will change based on the needs and wants of each particular group, as well as the weather. The below schedule underlines the main highlights but there will be so much more during the camp. Expect to have 1h30mins of French lesson every day. 

Day 1 - Arrive at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport where you will be greeted by one of our camp leaders and meet your fellow trip-mates. With our private vans, we will drive to the hotel so that you can drop your luggage and freshen up if needed. We will spend the evening in the beautiful center of old town Toulouse, taking a group stroll and learning about this city that is more than 2,200 years old. This will be followed by dinner in a cute restaurant so that everyone can enjoy the French cuisine from Day 1. We will then head back to the hotel and everyone will be in their rooms by the 10pm curfew (our staff will be staying onsite to make sure the curfew is strictly enforced). 

Day 2 - Get up and eat a fresh croissant at the hotel. Everyone will then hop in the van and enjoy a morning run around the forest of La Ramée in Toulouse. Most runs with the group will be made with our professional runner, Martin Casse (3:39 at the 1500m, see "about us" for more details). After the run, you will take your first French lesson. We will enjoy the afternoon exploring more of the beautiful city of Toulouse with its tiny cobblestone streets. You will learn a lot about this city founded in 200 BC and get to see a lot of buildings older than 600 years old. We will visit the majestic Saint Sernin Basilica in the center of Toulouse, founded in 1180. We will stop by a cafe to enjoy some hot chocolate with one condition: You have to order in French! (Don't worry, we will help you.)

Day 3 - Light jog in the morning followed by our daily French lesson. For lunch we will eat salty crepes in a cafe in Toulouse and learn more about this city by visiting the city hall and the famous Capitole. In the afternoon, you will have your first opportunity to compete at a meet on the Balma track. Balma Track Club is one of the most popular clubs in South of France. If you do not feel ready, you will be able to opt out of the meet for an interval workout instead. Everyone is here to have fun! You will enjoy a barbecue dinner by the track where you will get to meet all the athletes who competed at the meet and share your stories. Great opportunity to practice the few sentences of French you have learned but also meet other high schoolers from France. During this time of the year, evenings are usually around 77 degrees so it should be delightful.

Day 4 - After your morning French lesson, it will then be time to head to the International Altitude Training Center of Font-Romeu in the Pyrénées. We will take the scenic route so you will have many opportunities to take pictures of the tiny villages we come across on the way. Because we will be out of the big city, there will be very little tourists and everything you see will be 100% real! Once we get to the city of Font-Romeu, you will be able to enjoy your first workout in altitude - we will take it easy. That evening, we will enjoy dinner at the altitude center, followed by board/card games for those interested. 

Day 5 - Get up and open the window, what a view! You are in the middle of the mountains facing the highest track in Europe. You will have a French lesson in the morning, then accompany the group to buy groceries and snacks in Font-Romeu, a cute little town nestled in the mountain. In the afternoon, we will workout on the track and focus on technic, plyometric and speed. We will have a different workout for each athlete as we will focus on your unique needs for the upcoming meet. You will have a good chance to spot many Olympians. This track is often their favorite place to train all year long. You will then get to relax your legs in the training center's on site spa. In the evening, we might have a surprise at dinner with some professional runners coming to meet you!

Day 6 - Today we are going to practice our French! On the track, at the store, at the facility, with coaches, everywhere… The best way to learn is to practice! (Don’t worry if you are shy, we won’t make you do anything you don’t want to do). Today we will also do a sizeable workout on the track (specialized per athlete). In the afternoon, we’ll do something very exciting: walk on the actual France/Spain border (only 30 mins away) that is literally in the middle of the mountain. We will then cross the border and visit a lovely, quaint village that is located right between the two countries. If you have never been to Spain, you will be able to cross another country off your bucket list! After dinner, Martin will tell you all of his secrets about his race strategy for the 800m and the 1500m, including how he got to 3:39. He will engage in a discussion with all campers so that you can learn the most from of his experiences. ​

Day 7 - For those who want to, we will do a small jog early in the morning before breakfast to recover from the hard workout from the day before. After breakfast, we will head to the Lac des Bouillouse where we hope to observe wildlife. For the most courageous ones, you can put your legs in the lake or even dive in. As we are in altitude, the lake will be cold, even in the middle of summer. We will then head back to the facility for lunch and to nap/chill/watch professional runners train on the track until it’s time for the workout of the day, which will be short intervals on the track. Diverse social activities offered after dinner.

Day 8 - Day off running as we will be taking a group hike in the beautiful mountains. The Pyrénées are breathtaking (Google it)! After the hike we will enjoy the natural hot springs of "Bains de Lio". We will have our daily French lesson where we see fit depending on the weather. That evening, listen to a talk given by Martin Casse on his experience running in Division I, including useful advice on the best way to get a track scholarship.

Day 9 - Pre-race day. Sebastien Gamel, nationally certified coach and president of Toulouse Running Connexion, will give a presentation on race strategy, tactics and the best mindset to have before a race. We will do a light run and some strides on the track in preparation for the big day. French Lessons will be held in the afternoon and everyone will have choice between a stroll by the lake or a hot chocolate in a cute little cafe in Font-Romeu.

Day 10 - After your morning French lesson, you will pack your bags as we will be heading to a big meet in Narbonne. You don't have to compete if you don't want to. After the meet, we will visit the city of Narbonne and do some shopping. That evening, we will eat Nutella crepes on the port and take a stroll in the city right after dinner.

Day 11- As Narbonne is located by the Mediterranean Sea, we will enjoy a great run along the beach and go for a swim! Today, the French class will be... on the beach! In the afternoon, we will take you to the fortified city of Carcassonne. You will be impressed by the beautiful castle dominating the medieval fortified town (UNESCO World Heritage). We will learn about how this city resisted assault for more than 2,000 years and how life was during the Roman Empire. In the evening, we will make our way back to Toulouse.

Day 12 - French class in the morning followed by a fun workout. You will get to enjoy some typical French plyometric exercises on the track. You will also get a chance to measure your speed against our staff as we will do a mini race-relay for those interested. We will then focus on recovery as we will take you to Calicéo, an amazing spa center (check out the "facilities" page for more info). And guess what! Award night will be kicking off! We’ll get together to give out awards, as well as diplomas to everyone who completed the camp.

Day 13 - Is it time to fly back home. We will escort you to Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in coordination with your flight time. You will be then able to tell your family and friends about your French experience! By this time, you should be able to have a basic conversation in French! Bravo et bon voyage!