May 27, 2016

Vacation Running

Summertime is around the corner and many of us take vacations to the beach, the mountains and all sorts of places in between.  When traveling for a vacation and not specifically for a race, it is important to decide ahead of time where you will compromise.  Visiting my mother frequently and with access to a gym, it usually is not too difficult to get in the workouts from my training plan.  But other types of vacations might make it a little more difficult.  Here are some of the things I have tried, some working better than others.

1. Bring your workout schedule with you  Now that I have a coach that puts together a training plan for me, it is important for me to have my workouts written down and ready to be completed daily. 

2. Be flexible  While I always have my daily plans available, there are many circumstances when I have changed up days and workouts depending on the weather and gym accessibility. On my trip to Massachusetts in April, a freak spring snowstorm occurred as well as unseasonably low temperatures. (read freezing cold).  Since I only had lightweight running clothes, I used the treadmills at the gym in place of the hill running I had hoped to enjoy outside.  

3. Check out the area before setting out  The hotel staff should be able to point you in the right direction for an appropriate place to run.  In fact, some hotels now offer maps for runners with a course laid out in 3 plus mile increments. If you are concerned about running by yourself, find out if there are any areas to avoid and what precautions they recommend.  Also, most front desk staff can provide you with the hotel name and phone numbers on a small card which should fit nicely in your shorts pocket or running belt.

4.  Bring a buddy if possible  Tom does not run, but on our vacation in February, we spent time using the hotel bikes.  There is safety in numbers and knowing there was help if anything went wrong is important.  Alternatively, let your family members know your route and expected time of arrival back at your accommodations so they can be aware if you have had any unexpected problems.

5.  Find a local running group  While in Miami in February I found online a local group that was very happy for me to join them for a run one evening.  This never materialized because of other plans that we made, it was nice to know that was an option.  It never hurts to send an email ahead of time after doing a Google search to find potential running groups.  They will also know great places to run even if you can't join them for a specified workout.

Disclosure:  Periodically I receive information from Jeff Galloway as a Galloway blogger.  Some of it is shared on the blog, but no compensation is received and the opinions stated here are always my own.

I am sharing here my favorite tips from the list I received and hopefully they will be helpful to you too.  On a recent road trip from Boston to Washington, DC, I found the infrequent stops very difficult on my legs and back.  The below suggestions would have been great if we had been willing to spend a little more time outside the car. 

On a road trip, taking frequent “pit stops”.  Wear your running gear on the trip.  If it is safe to run or walk at your rest area, walk for 1-2 minutes as a warmup and then run for 5-10 minutes.  Repeat this pattern until the group is ready to load up.  If it is a food stop, get your meal “to go” and spend the time running.

On our hiking trip a few years ago, this information would have been so helpful. Check this out if you plan to visit some our beautiful national parks this summer.

When you’re camping and near a lake and/or mountains.  Drive around the campground area to find suitable running/trail areas.  Plan a group hike each day.  Appoint yourself the “lookout”.  Walk ahead of the group for a few minutes and then run ahead for a minute or two, and run back.  Repeat this routine throughout the hike.  Even short segments of running, during a 1-2 hour hike, will maintain your running adaptations very well.

We are linking up with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia, the DC Trifecta for the Friday Five.  Be sure to check out some of the other blogs by clicking on the links.


  1. That's cool that you found a running group to welcome you if you could have fit it in your plans. I would have never thought to look that up!

  2. It feels so good to get out of the car and move for ten minutes on a long car trip :) Good idea to wear comfy running gear!

  3. Those are some great tips!

    Our stops generally aren't very long, and often involve walking Lola -- although it's surprising how many steps I wracked up doing just that!

  4. These are all great tips! I'm not a big treadmill runner, but I always check out a hotel gym online before booking my room, just to make sure I have options in case I need them!

  5. Being flexible is key. Part of the joy of being on vacation is being able to relax and not worry about having to be stuck to a schedule all of the time. But its also fun to explore new areas when you're visiting new places.

  6. Being flexible is a must on this list. I try to work in runs but sometimes with family it is just not feasible! Also not knowing the area is always a concern for me too. There is no fun in trying to run if you are uncomfortable about your surroundings and always looking over your shoulder.
    I have experience in campground running with as much as we do. One downside to this early in the morning is all the wonderful breakfast foods cooking. However it does make you pick up your pace to get back so you too can participate! ;)

  7. I love vacation running. Best vacation running ever? Paris and London :D

  8. I usually map out a route before I even leave home. I really like running on vacation and I find it's a great way to explore new places.

  9. Great tips! I'm pretty sure each of my 9 marathon training cycles required running on vacation. I have wonderful memories of getting those long runs done in new-to-me places.

  10. Great tips! I usually go for a run before the rest of the family gets up. So, it doesn't interfere with other plans.

  11. Great tips! I especially like the idea about road trips and hiking...great way to keep active!

  12. Awesome tips! Even with being on the road and going for a short run. Such a smart idea. I always take compression socks with me on long drives.