Balancing a Family Escape in the Mountains and Training for Boston Marathon

Boarding the plane on our way to the mountains… the children are over-excited and squabbling over the window seat…  They are still young and enthusiastic by the prospect of family adventures in the outdoors!

We are in for a treat as we’re being met at the ski resort by my Mum and Dad who are spending the holiday with us.  So it’s a three generation family escape on skis!

Even though quality time with my family and getting the Bears to have fun on skis was my priority, I have to admit I was worried about the impact on my training.  The ski break fell during a key phase of my training for Boston marathon, my next “A” race.  My plan this year is to start the season with a road marathon to get some speed in my legs.  I will then shift my focus to trails to prepare for the UTMB OCC race in the Alps in the summer.

I’ve been training well up until then so I didn’t want to compromise all the hard work of the previous months.  A similar ski break last year had resulted in me losing some speed in my legs before London marathon… so I was nervous…

Here is how I approached the holiday this time around, and how I managed to keep up with my training during the break away.


  1. Be Prepared and Plan ahead

My brilliant running coach Will did some research and found a facility in the ski resort which had a few treadmills and a 25m pool.  So we decided the plan would be for me to do some runs on the treadmill to keep the legs turning fast, instead of only running on icy and hilly terrain like last year.

In addition, Ali, my talented Strength & Conditioning coach had prepared a circuit training programme for me to follow whilst I was away.

So I had a plan before we left and I knew what training sessions I was supposed to complete on specific days.


  1. Be Flexible too!

Nonetheless, after a look around the facilities in the resort on our arrival, I quickly realized they might not be appropriate.  The gym was so crowded, it looked like the chances of having a free treadmill were slim.  Also it only opened at 10am whereas I was hoping to get up early to train whilst the house was still asleep and before hitting the slopes.

So I “had” no other alternative than to make the most of the beautiful surroundings and steep hills for every run 🙂  I had to change the plan, swapping speed on the treadmill for hill training on the snow and ice.


  1. Make the most of your environment

So I got up at dawn every day and went for runs in the mountains.  Such magnificent views and joy to be running in the cold and fresh air with no other awakened soul around!

I ended up completing hill sessions every day as I couldn’t find a stretch of flat ground to run on!  Good for my strength and quads I kept thinking as I plodded slowly up the hills struggling to breathe at altitude!

Morning runs at dawn

  1. Use the precious hours when the children are asleep

In addition to my early morning runs, every evening after skiing, I would either follow my Strength & Conditioning circuit training when the Bears were in bed, or I’d go for a swim at the pool back down in the village.


  1. Surround yourself by your support network

I’m very grateful for the support of my ever so helpful husband and my Mum & Dad, who all helped looking after the children whilst I “sneaked” out at dawn or dusk to train!!  Without the people who want me to succeed, lift me and have my best interest at heart, none of this would be possible!


  1. It’s OK to take a break too!

Overall, even though I tried my best to prioritise skiing with the family and to fit in some training around, the volume and intensity of my training was significantly reduced compared to a “normal” week back at home (at home I am currently managing 15 training sessions per week – all sports).

I made sure I also enjoyed my time skiing on the slopes too 🙂

Amazing views of the Mt Blanc from the slopes!

Hitting harder slopes when the Bears are at ski school…

The bonus is I now feel physically rested from a break away, even a skiing break haha!  And at the same time I don’t feel that I have lost too much fitness…  Let’s see what happens during the next training sessions…


  1. Remember your priorities

And the most rewarding bonus of all:  The little Bears were so happy spending time together as a family, playing in the fresh air and in the snow. They embraced the adventure and they have made tremendous progress on their skis (a very proud Mummy 🙂 ).  Best of all, they didn’t want to stop skiing at the end of the day and they didn’t want to leave at the end of the holiday…  “Success” I thought!


The card Jamie made during the holiday

This makes me smile so much 🙂 Educate and Inspire the next generation about the environment…

#followyourpassion #shareyourpassion #cimalp #teamcimalp #trainingforBostonMarathon #totallywonderfuel #deltanutritionandfitness


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