Hotel Bootcamp

I am en route to Mekkah, the holiest place on Earth.

No one goes to Mekkah with plans to run. On my way there with a marathon in 7 weeks, I do not plan to run either. Muslims come to Mekkah to make Hajj, the pilgrimage which fulfills one of the five pillars of Islam. Hajj occurs once a year during a few special days in the last month of the Islamic calendar, about a month and a half away from today. So I am not going to Mekkah for Hajj right now, and instead will inshaAllah perform Umrah, a “minor pilgrimage,” with similar rites as Hajj, except that it can be undertaken at any time of the year.

While walking the grounds of the holiest place on Earth, I doubt that I will think often of running. However, the Baltimore Marathon awaits 7 weeks away, and I need to return from my travels ready to run 26.2 miles. Usually, this point in my training schedule would call for long runs with double digit mileage, claiming my whole Saturday morning every weekend, and mid-distance runs throughout the week. Without the time, opportunity, or desire to run outside in Mekkah, I am adopting a training schedule to build endurance and strength to get ready for my marathon without running. I will have no equipment and only the space inside a hotel room, which will prove plenty enough for HOTEL BOOTCAMP:


Hotel Bootcamp consists of each of the exercises above for 40 seconds each with a 20 second break x 2 with a 5 minute break in between the two cycles. The whole routine takes 30 minutes, and based on last night’s practice session, leaves me more wiped out than I would feel with half an hour of running.

When I lifted myself out of bed this morning, feeling every limb heavy with a pain, I felt reassured that Hotel Bootcamp will work. Traditionally, traveling interferes with my running schedule, and if this training schedule works, it will prove that I can maintain fitness from anywhere, with only a few square feet of space and a will. Hotel Bootcamp could work for anyone from anywhere.

Recommendations from Coach Amy, and an article from the New York Times inspired Hotel Bootcamp. On my own accord, I never would have elected plyometrics or any sort of crossfit routine in place of running; however, given my special circumstances, I am excited about this opportunity to use techniques outside of running to train for my marathon and become a better runner.