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6 reasons to go on a running holiday in the Dolomites

Written by Fiona

April 19 2018

The Dolomites form a mountain range in north-eastern Italy. They are very beautiful, especially thanks to the limestone that creates the high and jagged mountains. I was bowled over by the scenery on a cycling holiday to the Dolomites last summer and now I have discovered there are many reasons for runners to holiday in this landscape.

6 reasons for runners to holiday in the Dolomites

Altitude benefits

It takes the body a bit of time to adjust to being at altitude (you will feel out of breath for the first few days) but the benefits for runners are well documented. Training at height helps to boost oxygen-carrying red blood cells. In turn, your levels of EPO, a hormone that stimulates the production of red blood cells, spike – usually within 40 hours – to give you a fitness boost.

It’s no wonder some of the world’s best marathon runners regularly train in the Dolomites.

Unique views

It’s hard to describe the stunning beauty of the white limestone outcrops and high peaked mountains of the Dolomites, so I recommend you go there to see for yourself. These mountains are very different from the Alpine landscape of, for example, France and in my opinion the Dolomites are the most breath-taking.

Running along trails and high up on narrow mountain passes is not easy, but the rewards of the scenery will surely take your mind off the effort.

ADLER Spa Resort Balance.

Beat the niggles

You can enjoy a stay at a spa and health retreat in the Val Gardena valley, the ADLER Spa Resort Balance , and take advantage of a specialist ADLER MED Sports Performance package, developed for runners.

Medical check.

The ADLER MED Sports Performance package is overseen by in-house doctors and aims to alleviate the various niggles and minor injuries often associated with long-distance running.

  • Following a preliminary consultation with the in-house medical team (€180), runners can then sign up to the ADLER MED’s Sports Performance programme (€217), which includes:
    Basic blood tests (analysed on site in the hotel’s own lab)
    An hour-long private coaching session, focusing on running technique
    A kinesiology consultation, involving a manual muscle test that investigates the functional relationship linking muscle activity, the body’s meridians and reflex zones, so that the appropriate therapeutic approach, be it manual treatments, a personalised exercise programme or naturopathic therapy, can be recommended.

At the end of the Sports Performance programme, guests can expect to be running better than before.

Room rates at ADLER Spa Resort Balance in the first half of June start from €1160 for a full week, per person sharing a Junior Suite, on a half-board basis.

To run a higher race

The Dolomites are hosting two half-marathon events this summer,  the Dolomites Saslong Half Marathon on June 9 and the Alpe di Siusi Half Marathon on July 1.

The Dolomites Saslong Half Marathon is new for 2018 and is open to both amateur and professional runners at a cost of €35 (prior to May 31). It is a challenging trail run that winds through the breath-taking scenery of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Dolomites, with wonderful views of the Sella massiv, the Sasso Lungo and Sasso Piatto mountains. It takes place on a combination of hiking trails and gravel/stone roads at altitudes of between 1624m and 2363m above sea level.

The 6th Alpe di Siusi Half Marathon takes in 601m of elevation over the 21km course. It is also set in the UNESCO World Heritage siteof the Dolomites and starts and finishes at Compaccio. There is a limit on runner numbers of 700.

Train like a pro

A sister property, ADLER Mountain Lodge, is offering runners the chance to take part in a training week with professional trainers, from June 25 to July 1, which culminates in participation in the Alpe di Siusi Half Marathon.

The ADLER Mountain Lodge is located in the middle of the Alpe di Siusi, close to the training camp. The Alpe di Siusi Running Park features 20 running trails totalling 180km of varying lengths and difficulty.

The park is at an altitude of 1,800m to 2,300m and provides the perfect conditions for endurance training.,

View from ADLER Mountain Lodge.

Guests can book the week-long training camp (€170 including all activities and entry into the half marathon or €150 for all activities excluding the half-marathon) or choose to participate in certain elements.

Activities include orthopaedic foot analysis and running shoe consultation (€10), a moonlit run with traditional dinner in a mountain hut (€30), function fitness (€10), training runs (€10) and trail runs combined with analysis (€10). Entry into the Alpe di Siusi Half Marathon costs €40 (prior to June 17).

Room rates at ADLER Mountain Lodge during the training camp start from €1771 for a full week, per person sharing a Junior Suite, on a full-board basis.

ADLER Spa Resort Balance.

Return home fitter

Most holidaymarkers end up returning home a little heavier and not so fit. That’s because the traditional holiday includes a lot of lying on the beach or next to the pool and over-indulging on hotel food or local cuisine. So imagine how great you will feel to come back from a running holiday in the Dolomites feeling fitter, slimmer and healthier.

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