Altitude Training Camp with Brooks

Hey guys! I’m back in DC after a really fun weekend in New Mexico with Brooks Running and my fellow blog ambassadors!

brooks running blog ambassadorsFrom left: Janae, Jesica, Tina, me!, Emily, Ashley, Meghann, Kristen, Lora

This is my 5th year working with Brooks as one of their Run Happy blogger ambassadors, and I couldn’t be more proud and honored to be part of the team. It’s such an awesome group of ladies, and I always really look forward to our annual trip! They mix up the trip location/focus every year so it’s always fun to try to guess what we’re going to do. Previous trip recaps:

For this year’s trip, we got to experience what it’s like to train like the pros! We traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico to spend the weekend at the altitude training camp for Brooks elite athletes, the Brooks Beasts, who are a group of Seattle-based professional middle-distance track athletes. SO cool.


Unlike previous years, this year on the trip we were joined by some additional Brooks influencers/social media ambassadors, so we had a bigger group than usual. It was fun to see a couple other friends and to meet some new ones, too! You can see some of the others who were there by checking #CampBrooks hashtag on Instagram – lots of cool new inspiring runners to follow! :)


We packed a ton into a quick weekend, so I’m going to break this up into two posts. Stay tuned for a recap from the awesome post-event hike I did yesterday with a few of the other ambassadors! And for now, here are the biggest highlights from the Brooks portion of the trip. As always, a huge thank you to Brooks for covering our travel and hotel for this adventure!

1) Running the New Mexico trails!

Probably my favorite part of the trip was on Saturday morning, when all of the ambassadors, influencers, Brooks staff, and elite athletes met up for a trail run! The weather was phenomenal – in the high 40’s/low 50’s with the sun just rising when we arrived. Absolute perfection.



We hit up the Michael M. Emery Bear Canyon trail and split up into varying pace and distance groups. Since we were at over 6,000 feet of elevation, I kept things low key and ran with some of my buddies, chatting the whole time and stopping often with photos. We covered about 3 or so miles, and it was so awesome – no better way to start a day. I wanted to stay out there forever!


michael m. emery trail running

Brooks gifted everyone with some super cute “Run Happy” t-shirts, Greenlight running capris (OBSESSED with these and planning to buy them in every color because they are such a perfect fit!), and their brand new Caldera trail running shoes for the occasion!



We all really loved the trail shoes – comfortable and lightweight, but durable and stable, too. I’m going to get a LOT of use out of these – they would be great for hiking, too! They even have a tab in the back to hold down gaiters for those of you that do snowy hikes/mountaineering! :)

caldera trail running shoes review

2) A track workout with the Brooks Beasts!

When we arrived on Friday our first order of business was a track workout, elite-athlete style! Even cooler was that the pro athletes were our coaches for the workout, leading us in warm up drills and cheering us on. I was so impressed by how friendly and down to earth the Brooks Beasts were – they have lifetime fans in all of us now. :) (That’s Baylee Mires in the green puffy suit below!)


Here’s the warm up that the Beasts led us through – it’s a typical one that they do (this is a screenshot from their phone).


And here’s the track workout we did! Repeat 3 times:

  • 3 minutes @ 5k pace
  • 2 minutes recovery slow jog/walk
  • 200 @ 1 mile pace
  • 4 minutes recovery slow jog/walk


It was hard (hot out there since it was about 4 p.m., plus we were at over 5,000 feet altitude) but fun! Did you know that training at altitude increases red blood cells, thereby giving you an oxygen advantage if you compete at a lower altitude? Apparently the optimal amount of time to spend at altitude is 3 weeks, and then it’s best to race 10 to 17 days after you get back down to sea level. We obviously weren’t there very long, but maybe it will still give me an edge at the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in 2 weeks. ;)

Anyway! For the track workout, Brooks outfitted us in an “altitude camp” branded version of their Pick Up Tank and my absolute favorite 5” Chaser Shorts in a fun new print. I wore these shorts all last summer for Marine Corps Marathon training – they are the best!


We also had the opportunity to try on racing spikes – they felt so weird but cool!

brooks racing spikes

3) Cookout at the Beasts’ house!

On our final night, Saturday, we all headed to the Beasts’ place (nestled in the mountains at even higher altitude) for a fun cookout. It was cool to get to chat more with them – everyone was so friendly! They will be here for nearly 2 months – pretty sweet digs!


On the menu: Mexican-themed burgers (toppings included green chilies and guac)!


We also did a fun energy bar/ball creation competition in teams, judged/taste tested by the pros! My team came in 3rd place, so we were excited to get on the podium. ;) Our balls were 1 cup almond butter + 2 cups oats + 1/2 cup honey + 1/4 cup sliced almonds + 1 teaspoon cinnamon + 1/2 teaspoon salt. They came out delicious!


The rest of the night was relaxing and socializing! Fun to see Brian from Pavement Runner again – it had been years! Also, his selfie skills were on point. Tip: stand a foot or so in front of the others if you’re the one taking the selfie – way easier to get everyone in the frame with no selfie stick required! Genius!

pavement runner selfie

I also had fun chatting with Brooks Beast Katie Mackey – she was so nice! She even let us try out her awesome compression recovery boots – how cool are these?! They felt like a blood pressure cuff!

compression boots

Finale = enjoying the sunset from the patio.



Great end to a fun night!

I will leave you with one of the things that I loved that we did on the trip. After our trail run everyone wrote down how running (either running in general or that particular trail run) makes them feel, and we posted all the notes on a board back at the hotel. It was cool to see what everyone wrote. Here’s mine! :)


So tell me – why do you run? How does running make you feel?

Stay tuned for my second recap, coming at ya tomorrow!

Please note there are affiliate links in this post.


  1. 1

    What an amazing weekend! I’m so glad we got to spend it together. Your sunset pictures are amazing. Already looking forward to our next get together! xoxo

  2. 3
    Roadrunner says

    Looks like an awesome weekend. Very impressive? And agree with your reasons to run, plus opportunity to catch up with friends and to think while running solo!

  3. 4

    Running makes me feel:
    Makes me at peace with myself & surroundings
    Fresher (if that makes sense!)

  4. 6

    What an amazing trip! Those energy balls sound delicious and I love the top you’re wearing in that photo!

  5. 8

    They planned such an awesome experience for you guys! Well done, Brooks!

    They really are my favorite shoes though (and I am not a runner!), I just wish it hadn’t taken me so long to discover them!

  6. 10

    I want to get into those recovery boots right now- hah! They look so fun!! So jealous of your guys’ weekend together and with SUCH beautiful views!

  7. 12

    That sounds like so much fun! I would love to try out high altitude training some day. :) I’ve spent most of my life at sea level, so I am sure I would notice a difference straight away!

  8. 14

    Oh man I wish I had those recovery boots right about now! I have a feeling that during the third trimester I may book a session just to use them to relieve exhaustion and tightness in my legs! :) It was so fun catching up and hope I get to see you again soon!

  9. 16

    Wow, did I miss how you got involved with this group? That is so awesome, what a great way to travel and meet new people!

    • 17

      I was invited to become a Brooks running blogger ambassador back in 2013, and they have invited me back each year. I’m so honored to be a part of the program!

  10. 18

    All the feels seeing these NM photos! Love that you had such a great weekend there, and glad the desert sun treated you to those classic NM views. :)

  11. 20

    Looks like an unbelievable trip! I”m running a marathon in Utah in a few months, and your tip about altitude scares me – haha I won’t be there long enough to properly adjust but I’ll just make the best of it!

    • 21

      Unless you can go a couple weeks pre-race, the coach said it was best to just pop in, do the race right away, and leave! You’ll be a little more out of breath but it shouldn’t be too bad. :) Good luck!!

  12. 22

    What a cool trip!!


  1. […] we were planning out our travel for the Brooks Altitude Camp trip (<—check out that post first if you missed it), a few of us decided that rather than flying […]

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