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May 22, 2014

Do Vacations and Running Mix?

Written by Dena Evans

woman-running-beach-light-vacation-excercise-jogging-walking-runThe summer holidays are almost here. With a break in school for families and enticing weather for all, a vacation or two may well be in your future.  For many regular runners, the remove from the daily schedule also may mean a disruption in the comforting running schedule they have come to enjoy the rest of the year.  However, with a little forethought and good humor, the trepidation of a runner going on holiday need not win the day.

 

One worthwhile tradeoff is the commitment to rise early and run before the rest of the family gets up or is done with breakfast.  Although that might mean a bit less sleeping in for you, it is also a time when there are less people on what may be unfamiliar roads.  Temperatures are cooler in the morning, and during the summer, the sun is up much more early than during the year.  Game, set, match.

 

Running need not be a tradeoff.  It can be a value-add to a family vacation if leveraged correctly.  Can you pick up some take out on your way back while everyone unpacks after a long drive?  Can you bring your partner coffee after your morning run?  Better yet, can you have a moment of peace and quiet with a spouse or son/ daughter on a short (or long) run that would not have occurred during other, more busy times of the year?  Running can be a great conduit for a no cost, simple and special connection, even in the midst of the most frantically over the top vacation.

 

Every family and couple plans their breaks differently, but if you are able to get in on the planning on the ground level, any 50/50 choices can be made in a way to tilt the playing field toward more successful running.  The hotel next door has a better gym (read: treadmill), the 10am flight vs the 7am flight means you can get in a run before departure (and means you will be happy and relaxed the rest of the day – win for all).  Even leaving and departing on certain days vs others can mean that you only have to plan for one long run rather than two away or that you don’t miss a key group or scheduled workout.  Certainly, the running schedule can’t be the top priority when taking a trip for the specific purpose of family or couples time, but if running is important to one or more members of the family and can be accommodated when flexibility is there, go for it!

 

Running while on vacation does not always equal awesome training.  There may be modifications to your schedule and changes that you would prefer not to make. This is completely normal, and probably good, lest you rely too much on the routine vs enjoying the present run.  Keep expectations realistic. Just like a planned day off feels better than one you are forced into because of a sore body part or injury, a vacation that has incorporated a thoughtful plan for how you will train has the greatest chance of success. Look ahead at your training schedule and try to prioritize the long runs and pace runs. Be creative with planning for these most of all. If you do need to make adjustments, remember that your runcoach schedule is dynamic. Just log what you did get in on vacation and your schedule will adjust accordingly moving forward.  With a little effort and foresight, your vacation will hopefully leave you refreshed for the rest of your life, and set on the right road for your running goals.