How to Enjoy a Relaxing Vacation as a “Runner”

2015-05-27“Runners” loathe relaxation. Ok, while not completely accurate, there is an element of that statement which rings true. Some running enthusiasts will thwart doctor’s recommendations to rest, while others constantly question how closely they can schedule back to back marathons. Runners often proclaim that without their daily fix, they might just lose their cool. So, how is it that runners can actually enjoy vacation? Vacation can be rough on your training ritual. With all the relaxing, visiting, eating, drinking and being merry, how do you fit in “being fit”? Here’s how I vacationed without compromising my race times.

Exercise in the morning – No matter how you choose to workout, the earlier you fit it in the more likely you are to make it out. So just wake up, get out and make it happen. If you leave it until later in the day you could be faced with scheduling conflicts, such as meals, shopping, tourist activities or Chardonnay.

SAM_3155Be prepared to cross train – running is one of the simplest activities there is, but sometimes you just can’t find the space. For a few days on our latest trip we were somewhat confined by the large predatory animals roaming free outside our room. Bound to our small space, I decided to run laps of our small private plunge pool, and resorted to doing cheesy workout videos (my favorite is 10 minute trainer). Although I would have preferred a run, I felt good getting my heart rate up and working on other muscles. Like I said, vacation is tough..

Schedule accordingly – Resist temptation and don’t bother checking for races at your destination, this is not a race-cation. If you are weak, keep the race short and non-intrusive, your partner, family, or non-running friends will thank you for being normal and relaxing. Also consider not scheduling any races within 2 weeks of returning, vacations are no time to fret about your training progress for an impending race. VIRB Picture

Run to discover – Speaking of training progress, there’s nothing worse than doing chores on vacation, so don’t. Run for the pleasure of experiencing a city or area, keep it fun, and consider ditching your running watch or putting it in your running belt instead of on your wrist. Revel in your jetlag and get up with the sun, enjoying the morning air as the ground passes beneath your feet, these are usually my most memorable traveling experiences.

Plan running routes in advance – Find a local Facebook running group and ask about their favorite place to run in the city, check out mapmyrun to see what you can find and get excited about the landmarks you might pass along the way. IMG_20150517_090522

(Selectively) Indulge – If you are looking for an opportunity to ditch the diet, this might be it, but don’t go overboard. As Runner’s world suggests try the 80-20 rule, 80 percent of intake should be the same as your normal, healthy diet, while within the remaining 20 percent you can be more adventurous. Remember, diet affects your energy levels, so maintaining a fairly healthy diet will ensure you have the energy to enjoy your vacation. Be selective on how you stray, I went for the brie and smoked salmon but stayed away from the milk and meat. Choose the things you like best and leave the rest behind.

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