On paper, going on vacation is a glorious thing.
Having a chance to get out of your normal routine and away from the hustle and bustle of life means you can just focus on doing the things you want to do, right?
- Run all the miles.
- Drink all the gin.
- Read all the books.
A guy can dream, can’t he?
In reality, at times vacation feels like a giant pain in the ass.
The week before vacation is a blur of doing laundry, packing, and trying to get everything done at work and around the house that you won’t be able to get to while you’re out of town.
Then when you get home, it takes a few days to get caught up with everything that happened (or didn’t happen) while you were away.
Yeah. That’s the part of vacation that is less than ideal.
But at least we can run on vacation, right?
The Runner’s Vacation Dilemma: To Run or To Rest?
Next week, my girls and I are jumping on a plane and heading to Michigan to visit some family and try to escape the Florida heat and humidity for a week.
My luck, it’ll be 90 all next week and we will be at my parent’s house without air conditioning.
When you go on vacation, what do you do in relation to your running?
Do you run extra because you don’t have all of the normal responsibilities of daily life? Do you stick to he normal routine? Or do you dial back your running and only run a few miles, if you even run at all?
In actuality, all three are valid courses of action.
How do you choose?
Run All the Miles
It’s rare that I would say it’s ok to significantly increase your mileage from one week to next.
But for certain runners, especially those that are more experienced, you can get away with it.
If you think you’ll have the opportunity to run a lot on your next vacation, all of the miles need to be easy.
If you’re bumping your miles up considerably, you don’t also need to try and get some speed work or tempo runs in. Doing hard workouts in addition to adding a bunch of miles is a good way to wind up injured.
Keep the pace easy.
If you can do that, then enjoy sight-seeing on foot in the place that you’re visiting.
Stick to the Script
If you can’t handle the idea of only doing easy runs on your next vacation, then stick to your normal running routine.
Get some easy miles, get a workout or two, and get a long run while on vacation.
If you’re training for a race, don’t run the risk of screwing up your progression by adding a bunch of miles in while you’re on vacation. Instead, stick to what you’re doing and keep building toward race day.
Likewise, if you’re a relatively newer runner, you may not have the base of fitness in place that can withstand a surge in weekly mileage.
Dial It Way Back
I want to make one thing clear: there is nothing wrong with going on vacation and leaving your running shoes at home.
I know that may sound blasphemous to some, and there’s no way I’m leaving my shoes at home next week, but you don’t need to feel the need to run when you’re on vacation.
In fact, having that week to rest and recharge the batteries may do more for you than logging miles will.
There is absolutely something to be said for maintaining consistency as a runner.
Logging your miles, week in and week out, is the key to growing and improving in our sport.
And yet, taking a step back and giving your body a little break can lead to a big breakthrough for your performance.
Ultimately Every Vacation is Different
You know what the real deciding factor is when it comes to running on vacation?
If you’re going on a family vacation with lots of activities planned, then there may not be a lot of time for running.
If it’s you and your partner heading to a quite BnB for a chance to get away and reconnect, you can probably plan to log some extra miles.
Just make sure you have enough energy for the other type of “reconnecting” that you’ll be doing.
Do You Run When You’re On Vacation?
Or Do You Plan Your Entire Vacation Around Being Able to Run?
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