QT: Running on Vacation When You’re Not Runcationing (Best Of-ish)
This post was originally part of Episode 289 released in July of 2016 and is more or less copy and pasted from that post. The audio, however, is a new take on the topic.
Today I’m boarding an airplane with junior and flying to Michigan to see some family and attempt to escape the endless annual heatwave in Florida known as May thru October.
One of the things I’m looking forward to most, especially if I can get a break from the weather, is getting in a few runs in my old stomping grounds.
I really am looking forward to logging some miles in Manistee over the next 8 days, but running on vacation poses some unique challenges that have to be dealt with.
Obstacles to Successfully Running on Vacation
As much as a change of scenery can freshen up your running routine, there are some obstacles/roadblocks you are definitely going to have to navigate when it comes to running while you’re on vacation.
- No “Home Field” Advantage: When you’re traveling, things are just a little off. You’re sleeping in a strange bed. You hear every random noise in the middle of the night. You can’t sleepwalk to the bathroom in the middle of the night like you can in your own house. The coffee is never as good as the coffee at home. None of these things are deal-breakers, but they definitely increase the possibility of you being “off” when you’re trying to run during vacation.
- Routine, What Routine? Whether you want to admit it or not, humans are creatures of habits and we crave routine. When you’re on vacation, your routine goes right out the window! You’re eating at different times of the day. You are staying up later than usual. You’re sightseeing or lounging on the beach. Always do your long runs on Saturdays? Well, vacation plans may dictate otherwise, and that can definitely throw some runners off.
- What to Eat: Eating on vacation is tough. If you don’t have access to a kitchen for a week, forget about it! You can try to eat healthy at restaurants all you want, be we all know that’s next to impossible. Add in a few trips to the ice cream parlor and a few extra cocktails and you’re bound to feel a little sluggish during your training.
- Where Am I? Tell me how many miles you want to run in Lakeland and I can give you a pretty darn accurate route off of the top of my head that includes plenty of water fountains and bathroom stops. That is some useful information right there. But when you’re somewhere new, even if it’s a place you’re pretty familiar with, and it starts to get a bit tricky. Will the bathrooms be open if I have a “situation”? Where can I refill my water? What about stashing a bottle of Gatorade or a banana somewhere to pick up mid-run?
- Safety is the Priority: A lot of vacation runs have to take place early or late so you can spend time with your family doing “vacation things”. What happens if you’re out for a long run and wind up someplace you probably shouldn’t be running alone during the day, let alone in the pre-dawn hours? What about street lights? Do you need to take a light with you, or will you be able to see where you’re going without a headlamp?
You Have to Go with the Flow
At the end of the day, there is one rule you must follow when it comes to running on vacation: go with the flow.
You may have to shorten a workout. You may have to skip one altogether.
It’s going to be ok.
Do your best, go with the flow, and remember one week of training isn’t do or die.
Relax. Enjoy a margarita and the second piece of the pie.
You are on vacation after all.
There are obstacles you must deal with if you plan to continue running on your next vacation. #runchat Click To Tweet
Are You a Vacation Runner? Or is Vacation a Time to Take a Break from Running for You as Well?
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Thanks for the perspective. I had these tips in my mind over our past trip and it made my vacation experience exceptional. I had intention of getting at least 10 miles in on our trip. We stayed at a cabin in very hilly near mountainous terrain. Every road in our area had zero shoulder and blind turns every 50-100 feet. I told my wife it wasn’t worth it and I’d be alright if I missed my runs. Low and behold after I said that we found a visitor center. They directed me to a paved bike trail along railroad tracks about 20 min from where we were staying. So I got up and did my runs and returned while everyone was just getting up. I was able to get in two 8 mile runs along the path and it didn’t interfere with our canoeing , zip lining , or hiking adventures. By not making it a priority it worked itself out with no risk and no interruption. BTW I set a PR for heart rate pace for a single mile.