If you’re training for a marathon, chances are there will come a time during those grueling four months where life will get in the way of your best laid running plans. In fact, training for a fall or winter race can mean your annual family vacation to the lake or hectic holiday travel plans happens to coincide with just that moment when your weekly mileage starts to seem unmanageable. Luckily, a little extra planning can set yourself up for success, no matter how many planes, trains, and automobiles are in your future. Here’s how to plan ahead, so running on vacation is possible while still having a good time.
Do your research:
Know ahead of time, before you go what will the weather be like, and what running gear do you need to bring in order to be comfortable? What running routes are popular around your destination? Pack your running essentials and search online for locals favorite running routes at your destination; smartphone apps can also point you in the right direction. Be sure to ask a knowledgable local for advice on the safest routes as well as take along your phone so you’re not stuck in an unfamiliar spot with no idea how to get back home.
Seek the amenities:
A growing number of hotels now offer free fitness amenities for their guests, such as in-room workout equipment, 24-hour gyms, workout clothing, or even running route recommendations. Be sure and ask about what sort of fitness-related perks are offered at your hotel; you may be able to squeeze in an early morning tempo treadmill run or fit in a cross-training session in the comfort of your own room, all without having to lug along extra workout gear in your luggage.
Plan a sightseeing run:
As a runner, you probably know that there’s hardly a better way to get to know a city than by covering it by foot. Running gives you a vantage point that no tour bus or car can, you get a better understanding of a neighborhood when you explore it by putting foot to pavement. Take advantage of the unique perspective running gives you by planning a few casual, non-timed runs around your destination, mapping out where you can pass by must-see sites. Be sure and give yourself enough time to enjoy exploring the roads and landmarks so you don’t feel like you need to rush through an important aspect of your vacation.
Don’t overdo it:
Traveling takes a toll on your health, so listen to your body and don’t push yourself to do too much. If you feel jetlagged, fatigued, dehydrated, or otherwise sick, it can be better to rest than to push yourself to stick to every run in your program. If you need to skip a run in your training plan, know that it’s not a huge setback & in fact, many times giving your body time off to recuperate can help you become a stronger, better runner.
Before going on vacation, shop from a wide selection of running gear: