What's the daily schedule like in a trail running holiday?
Each holiday is unique and the schedule varies from one destination to another. Generally, we devote half a day to our trail running excursions and the other half to complementary activities (i.e., a visit to a historical site) and relaxation. On some days we also need to factor in some time for transportation to our next destination. In the evening, participants are free to eat wherever they want, unless dinner is included in the package.
How do I know if I'm able to follow the group?
Our holidays are graded into three effort levels, which you will find below. Make sure you choose a holiday that matches your abilities. Note that this classification serves as a general guide and that some factors may overlap.
Stroll: 5-10 km and 0-500 m of elevation gain per day, hilly terrain
Adventure: 10-20 km and 500-1000 m of elevation gain per day, mountainous terrain
Endurance: 20+ km and 1000+ m of elevation gain per day, mountainous terrain up to subalpine and alpine zones
Do I have to run the entire distance without stopping?
No. In trail running, this is rarely the case, and walking may be more efficient on technical terrain. But most importantly, our tours are an excuse to go on an adventure. Get into your holiday mind-set and make the most of your experience in the field. During our excursions, our guides will plan for breaks so that you can take pictures, eat, drink, or just enjoy the moment!
Do I have to carry my luggage?
When running from point A to point B, all you need is your daypack; your main luggage is transferred by our local transportation supplier.
What kind of daypack should I use?
The ideal daypack is a hydration vest with storage of about 15 litres. Designed for running, these vests have wide shoulder straps and waistband that prevent bouncing when you’re in motion. They come with a hydration system and space for flasks at the front. Flasks are useful for distributing the weight of water on your body and for keeping an eye on your water consumption. Pockets at the front and sides allow you to have snacks at your fingertips. It is best to buy your vest at a running specialty store, as opposed to online. Take advantage of professional advice and learn how to properly use this important piece of gear that will be part of your running journey.
What items are required in my daypack?
– 2 litres of water
– Waterproof-breathable shell
– Depending on the climate: insulating top (fleece or thin down jacket), buff, tuque, gloves, etc.
– Small first aid kit
– Small amount of sunscreen
– Personal medication, if applicable (e.g., Epipen)
– Food: a lunch will be provided when required by our itinerary. We always plan for nutritious food that is easy to eat with your hands.
– Your favorite energy bars and gels
Looks like the perfect opportunity to test my new gear...
We strongly recommend bringing gear that you’ve already worn and tested. New shoes can cause blisters, and poorly fitting bags can cause chafing. Day after day, light discomfort can develop into pain that is difficult to manage. Avoid losing your smile while on vacation by using gear that you know is a safe bet.
What will the food be like?
We know that meals are an important factor for enjoyment and recovery. Meals included in your package will be an opportunity to discover the local cuisine. Download our guide for your destination to find out more about local dishes that you’ll have the chance to try out. Whenever we offer a packed lunch for our running outings, we plan for food with high energy content that is easy to eat with your hands.
What will the accommodation be like?
The accommodation varies from one destination to another, but our most important criteria is comfort. For example, our cottages in England have a complete kitchen, living room, bathroom with shower, washing machine, Wi-Fi, and rooms with one or two beds. In Croatia and Portugal, we stay in 3-star and 4-star hotels. In Mexico and around Mont Blanc, we stay in hotels in urban areas and in huts with dormitories when spending the night up in the mountains.
Which services are included in the price?
The price includes: professional guides, luggage and passenger transportation, accommodation, guided trail running outings, some meals, complementary activities, an assortment of Xact Nutrition snacks (1 bar/day), telecommunications and first aid equipment transported by our guides, preparatory meeting, taxes, and service charges. The number of meals included varies from one destination to another. Download our guide for your destination to get a complete list of what is included.
What isn't included in the price?
Airfare, tips, drinks, a certain number of meals (varies with the destination), contribution to FICAV (compensation fund for customers of travel agents: $1 per $1,000), insurance, and vaccines.
Are your holidays for runners only?
Yes. Our “stroll” holidays are for runners who want an introduction to trail running, while our “adventure” and “endurance” holidays are aimed at those who have experience in trail running. These categories encourage group cohesion in the field so that we can optimize group management, as well as everyone’s safety and satisfaction.
Do I need to train for my trail running holiday?
Yes. Physical preparation is essential for injury prevention. Because we run for several consecutive days, our muscles, bones, and joints need to be prepared for a higher level of stress. The secret is in a progressive training program. An increase of 10% per week in running volume (distance or time) is considered safe. For example, when training for a first 10 km, there’s no need to run 10 km every time you train. The same principle applies to preparing for a trail running holiday. The goal is to gradually increase your weekly running volume until you get close to the volume that you will run during your holiday.
What type of training do I need for a trail running holiday?
There is no secret recipe. The best way to prepare for a trail running holiday is to run … on trails! Running frequently, on various types of terrain, will help improve your agility and concentration, as well as your ability to run uphill and downhill. When you have to run on concrete or asphalt, add climbs and descents to your session to simulate the variations found in trails. Strengthening exercises are also beneficial to coordination, posture, and (as a bonus!) performance. Finally, there’s nothing like testing yourself in conditions that are similar to those you will encounter during your adventure. Run two or three days in a row, plan for long walk-runs in the mountains, get used to running with a daypack, etc. You will know what to expect and your body will thank you.
Are your guides facilitators or coaches?
Our guides from the headquarters team are adventure travel professionals. They’re experts in travel logistics and outdoor activities, certified in wilderness first aid, and dedicated trail runners. They supervise groups from arrival to departure, assist the local guide on running excursions, help you have an unforgettable sporting and cultural experience, and coordinate the various services. Although they are competent to advise you on gear, safety, hydration, and injury prevention, they are not coaches or sports medicine professionals.
Our local guides are experts of the trails we will explore: they know them like the back of their hands. They’re also athletes, coaches, or trail running event managers (some of them are all three!). We work closely with them to design our holidays and their expertise is invaluable. They lead our trail running excursions, ensure the smooth running of our programs, and bring you closer to the local culture and history. We carefully select our local partners and service quality is our number one priority.
What happens if I get hurt on an excursion?
Our guides are trained in wilderness first aid and know what to do in these situations. They carry equipment for emergency situations and are provided with an emergency plan adapted to your destination. If you need to be evacuated by emergency services (helicopter, mountain rescue service, etc.), please note that you are responsible for these costs, which are often substantial. Make sure your insurance covers these fees and repatriation fees in case you are unable to continue your trip with the group.
How many runners and guides are there in a group?
Our groups are comprised of 6 to 14 runners, always supervised by two guides. There is one exception: our holiday in Mexico is open for up to 20 runners because we are able to add local guides to our team if needed.
Can I travel at a different time than the advertised dates?
We offer two destinations as a customized holiday: the Fisherman’s Trail (Portugal) and Lake District (England). In both cases, you can choose when you travel, as long as you are two or more. Our other destinations are offered as a group experience at the dates announced online.
Are there aid stations along the way?
No. Each runner must carry a daypack and be self-sufficient in water and food. Our philosophy is to use trail running as an excuse to go on an adventure. Our holidays are not training camps or timed events. We have plenty of time to take breaks, drink, and eat along the way.
My spouse does not run. Can he or she join the tour anyway?
Some of our holidays may be suitable for a person who does not run. Contact us for more information.
How do I sign up for a holiday?
Call us at 514 377-7660 or email us at email@example.com.