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Posted: July 13, 2009
Vacation. It’s a time to get away from home, away from work, away from email bombardment and faaarrrr away from any sort of schedule. It isn’t, however, a time to get away from running. It’s easy (and very rewarding) to maintain your fitness away from home – just pack your shoes and an open mind!
Many people think that they should be familiar with an area before they run it, but they are forgetting one of the great joys of travel: exploration! What better way to learn your way around a new place than by heading outside and getting right into the middle of it? You are bound to get oriented (even if it means getting lost first), find other runners to wave at and will discover things that you never would’ve seen from the confinement of a car (or the hotel treadmill).
Go for time.
Don’t worry about miles and paces – this is vacation! If you must have some sort of measurement, take a watch and run until you’ve run long enough. This is also an effective way to run an out-and-back (say…on a beach?).
If you are the type who thrives on new sights and discovering what no other tourist has, then use running to your advantage. Get up as early as you can and hit the road – you’ll get an inside look at local life, crowd-free streets and the start of a brand new day in a brand new place. Sure beats the breakfast buffet.
On the other hand, if you regard vacation as a time for long, lazy mornings, then indulge yourself in an alarm-free start to the day and the ability to run whenever you darn well please – your body (and mind) will thank you.
Enjoy your food.
Eating is often a big part of vacation – along with drinking – but it doesn’t have to be about gorging. Take advantage of new dishes and certainly treat yourself, but don’t regard a holiday as an excuse for unrestrained excess. Continuing to run during your vacation will help keep you on track, as one healthy habit generally leads to another, but it will also help offset the temptations that you do give in to.
Vacation is not the time to train hard or to log your highest mileage week ever. Use it as a time to just enjoy the act of running and the feeling of movement. You can easily maintain your fitness on a reduced schedule, and trips that involve a lot of activity – walking, hiking, swimming – will make it even easier. The mental break will work wonders.
If you have an upcoming vacation, talk with your coach. They can make the best recommendations for you personally and help you rearrange your training schedule so that you don’t miss anything important, but are still able to use vacation for its real purpose: relaxation!