Running holidays: Ibiza, Balearic Islands

Photo by 38 Degrees North

The original party island is probably not the first destination that springs to runners’ minds when they’re looking for somewhere to improve their fitness, but Ibiza is currently going through something of a regeneration and many who used to come to raise their heart rates on the nightclub dance floors are now returning for healthy, holistic holiday experiences.

I went on a three-day training package with 38 Degrees North, staying at the rather grand Aguas de Ibiza Hotel. Each day started with yoga and a hike along the beautiful coast; we sampled Ibiza’s more serene side and some truly fantastic and notably healthy food, but 38 Degrees North’s unique selling point is that it provides something beyond the standard training/fitness holiday.

For me, that something was the DNA Fitness package, an intriguing approach to training that begins at a molecular level. I received my swab kit from DNA FIT a few weeks prior to the trip, sent off a saliva sample and waited. Fast-forward a few weeks and I was talking to Olympic 400m runner and DNA FIT ambassador Andrew Steele about the composition of my genotype and how this affects my performance potential. I was given training advice and a complete breakdown of my dietary requirements and possible allergies, which was all used to tailor my training and diet for the duration of my stay on the island.

I then spent the next 72 hours not only running (Ibiza has some great trails and it’s a challenging, rugged place to run off-road), but also doing plenty of the conditioning work that I often neglect, focusing first on my flexibility with Pilates and yoga and then sweating profusely through intense but enjoyable circuits and kickboxing sessions.

If a running-only holiday experience is what you’re after, the DNA Fitness package isn’t perhaps the option for you, but if you want to improve your running with new training techniques and get a healthy dose of science, you won’t be disappointed. Oh, and the sunshine helps, too.

By the numbers

  • 4 yoga sessions
  • 20 hill repeats
  • 1 battle rope workout
  • 8 hours’ sleep per night
  • 5 slightly mysterious but tasty green drinks
  • 1 delicious pizza (and most deserved it was, too)
  • 3 saunas
  • 1 very dramatic thunderstorm

The details

When: April–October

Price: From £2,500 (for 6 nights), including 5* accommodation and activities (excludes flights)

Get there: Flights from most major UK airports

Contact: thirtyeightdegreesnorth.com