Vacation is rightly viewed as a time to kick back, relax, and experience the world anew, far from commitments, responsibilities, schedules, and duties. For the runner, such an occasion can trigger a flurry of conflicting feelings: Is vacation a great time to run or a terrible time to run? On the one hand, you’ll have more time, but on the other shouldn’t you give yourself a much needed break?
Regardless of the mixed emotional bag you may experience, running while on vacation can restore your love of the activity and give you a different experience of the exotic locale you’ve chosen as your vacation spot.
Additionally, it can also provide plenty of benefits that will help make your vacation more successful. From keeping your appetite up to helping you sleep better, running can be a vacationer’s best friend. That being said, there are some tricks to successfully tackling your runs while you’re on vacation, and you’ll want to employ them from day one.
It doesn’t have to be at the crack of dawn, but running earlier in the day will help ensure you actually fit a run into your vacation’s daily activities. Also, because you’ve already accomplished something physical and challenging, you’ll feel better about hanging out on the beach with a novel and a cocktail.
Running early will keep your day on schedule, and you won’t have to wear any travel companions’ patience thin by asking if you have time to run back to the hotel before dinner, so you can stay on track with your exercise goals.
Schedule Your Runs Into Your Itinerary
That being said, on those days when you’ll be rising early to take in the sights, sounds, and sensations of your vacation, an early run may be out of the question. If that trend looks like it will be a common occurrence on your getaway, simply schedule in some runs throughout your itinerary.
Whether they take place at noon or in the evening, blocking out some official time on your vacation’s schedule will help ensure you fit in a run or two.
Research the Weather, Terrain, Altitude, Etc.
Before you pack, spend some time researching the places you’re planning to visit so you can include appropriate running gear and clothing. From the weather to the terrain and altitude, you may need a range of options to stay safe and comfortable.
For instance, if you’ll be headed into much hotter weather, you may want to consider looking into one of the many heart rate watches available online to ensure you keep your heart rate within a range that won’t lead to unnecessary fatigue.
Go Ahead and Cross Train
Another great option for runners on vacation is to skip a day or two and choose to cross train. From bike tours that travel charming countryside and cityscapes to challenging hikes with breathtaking views, getting your blood pumping doesn’t have to use the same old muscles you rely on back home.
Not only do these options allow you to experience the places you’re visiting in a different way, they also allow the muscles and tendons you routinely rely on during your runs to rest and recover, while simultaneously strengthening and stretching those that don’t usually see as much action.
Don’t Push Too Hard
Travel can be taxing, and people often get sick, lose sleep, or otherwise feel less than stellar when they’ve put in some miles and changed their routines. Because your immune system is probably a bit weakened, don’t try and set any personal bests while you’re on vacation.
A vacation is still a time to rejuvenate, and while continuing your running and training regimen can keep you in shape, you still need to listen to your body’s needs. The last thing you want to accomplish while you’re away is an injury or a sickness that’s hard to shake.
Regardless of where you’re headed, it’s important to keep in mind some basic safety precautions. Whether you’re in a new city, new country, or all-inclusive resort, keep in mind these tips for safer running while you’re on vacation:
- Always wear reflective gear.
- Research your route and leave it with your companions.
- Carry local currency in case you need to get a cab or bus.
- Don’t run in areas that are known to be dangerous.
- Be attentive to changing weather, lightning, and the like.
Running on vacation can add a wonderful dimension to your trip, provided you do it right. From running early to practicing safety, by following these tips you can have the time of your life and keep running while you’re at it.