It’s crucial to maintain momentum when training for a race, whether you’re preparing for your first 10K or fifth marathon. However, maintaining a consistent regimen can become difficult if you deviate from the normal routine for any reason—such as taking a vacation.
Travel arrangements alone can present a challenge to runners gearing up for their next endurance event, not to mention diet and schedule. Luckily, with some improvising and creativity, it’s possible to stay committed to your training, while savoring your getaway in the process.
Use the following tips to strike a balance between training and indulging.
Plan Your Routes Before Leaving
Make a game plan ahead of time to maximize your running time. Otherwise you risk spending too much time finding a route you like when you could already be running, or better yet, enjoying vacation. Chart the course with a tool like MapMyRun where you can find routes other runners have taken and made public.
Plan for Cross-Training
On occasions where a run isn’t conducive to your schedule, find creative outlets for cross-training instead. Register for a yoga, pilates or barre class at a nearby studio, or take advantage of the hotel’s onsite fitness equipment.
Explore your vacation spot while staying active with a hiking or biking tour, combining both sightseeing and training into one activity. If there’s access to a pool or ocean within walking distance, swim laps for a half-hour.
Schedule Your Workouts in the Morning
Do your workout first thing in the morning to avoid skipping planned excursions or even a much-needed poolside respite. While this often means waking up early and logging miles when the rest of your group is asleep, you’ll be glad once it’s done. It also allows you to remain present and engaged with everyone else—not agonizing over a missed or postponed workout. From this mindset, sacrificing an extra hour of sleep is worth the payoff.
Travel with Your Preferred Fuel
The all-you-can-eat buffet and cocktail menu won’t provide adequate nutrition for your training requirements, so bring nonperishable alternatives for yourself. Store them in the hotel room and grab and go as needed.
Protein bars, raw almonds, peanut butter, raisins or additional on-the-go food choices are healthier and easy to take on the go. As you head out the door for the day, take a few snacks with you to keep fueled as you sightsee and explore.
Find Local Running Groups
Many popular tourist destinations are also home to small stores and groups that offer weekly training runs for the general public to participate in. For example, in Orlando, the boutique fitness store, Fit2Run offers weekly training runs—check out their schedule here.
Other popular destinations with similar opportunities include:
· New York City: Jack Rabbit
· Chicago: Fleet Feet
· Phoenix: Sole Sports
· San Francisco: A Runner’s Mind
Do a quick search of the area you plan to visit and check the website for a running schedule.
Staying on track for your upcoming race is possible, even when enjoying vacation. When you plan ahead, log your miles early, and connect with local running groups, it’s easy to stick with your training schedule and get the rest and relaxation you need.
Bio: Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer is a long-time health and fitness writer. As the managing editor of Natural Awakenings, she gets to explore and research a wide variety of health and wellness topics. She’s a regular contributor for MindBodyGreen and is frequently writing new posts for her personal blog Health Be a Hippie. Follow her healthy musings and adventures on Instagram.
Your workout is only one part of a successful fitness routine. Aspects such as good nutrition and rest are also key to reaching your goals. To ensure the time you spend working out is getting maximum results, make sure your incorporating each aspect below into your pre and post workout routine.
Catch Your zzzz’s
When you workout, it’s tearing down your muscles. This makes a good night of sleep very important because this is when your muscles recover. Also, being well-rested gives you the energy needed to go for a run and push through a tough session at the gym. Sleep also keeps our hunger hormones in check, which prevents us from overeating.
When you work out, you should be consuming more water than usual. After those great sweat sessions, your body needs you to replace the water it’s losing. Also, being hydrated gives you more energy, which benefits your workouts.
The amount of water you should be consuming varies from person to person. It’s widely been suggested, to drink half your body weight in ounces per day. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, try to drink 80 ounces a day.
You shouldn’t force food down, but if you’re nearing a workout and your body feels like it’s going to need fuel, make sure to listen. If you’re running on empty, you’re going to lack energy and thus hurt your results. Go for something small such as a single piece of whole wheat bread with peanut butter. You don’t want to be starving, but you also don’t want to be feeling too full either.
After you’ve completed a workout, make sure to cool-down. Don’t go straight into a seated position in your car or desk chair. Spending some time doing isometric stretches is a great way to cool-down. Ideally, you want to hold each stretch for 15 seconds. This will help increase your range of motion, decrease soreness and help you recover quicker. Also, muscles are best stretched when they are warm.
While a pre-workout snack is optional, you should fuel your body after working out. Right after working out, there something called the anabolic window, which lasts 30-45 minutes. During this period of time, our bodies want carbohydrates and protein, which helps rebuild muscles. What you fuel your body with after a workout should be a snack such as a smoothie. This will also help curb unhealthy cravings later in the day and not leave you too full.
Tone your legs and glutes with this great lower body workout! Warm up with 15-20 minutes of cardio, followed by repeating this circuit three times.
Hold for 1 minute
Consuming large portions leads to overeating, which can be dangerous to your diet and your health. The average person overeats in 100 to 200-calorie increments, and adds up overtime to equal weight gain. Portion control can be a breeze if you follow these simple rules.
Don’t skip meals- Eat a minimum of three meals a day, avoiding going longer than five hours without eating.
Measure and weigh food- Measuring food is great if you are a fan of meal prepping. Often, we overestimate how big a cup is and end up eating more than we should. To be spot on, measure or weigh your food!
Know the difference between serving size and portion size- Serving sizes are listed on the nutrition label, and let you know how many servings a package contains. A bag of popcorn may contain two serving sizes, so if you eat the whole bag you need to double that information on the label, calories included.
Use the “Half Plate Rule”- Aim to fill half of your plate with vegetables, or a mix of fruits and vegetables. Fill the rest of your plate with equal parts whole grains and lean protein.
Drink more water- Although you should be drinking plenty of water throughout the day, make sure to also drink a glass before each meal. This will fill you up and curb your appetite, allowing you to feel fuller.
Get enough protein- Protein keeps you feeling fuller longer, allowing you to consume less calories throughout the day. Try to have protein in each meal, whether it be lean meats, nuts, or plain Greek yogurt.
Incorporate these rules into your diet to have a better control of the portions you consume.
2 cans cannellini beans
2 cups chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
14 ounces canned diced tomatoes
7 ounces canned diced green chilies
4 cups chicken broth
6 frozen boneless skinless chicken thighs
1) Place chicken breasts in the bottom of a slow cooker. Pour all ingredients on top of chicken. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for about 6 hours.
2) Remove chicken from slow cooker and use a fork to shred. Add shredded chicken to slow cooker and stir until combined. Top with shredded cheese and avocado slices if desired. Serve warm with tortilla chips.
Do you want to start working out in the morning, but have trouble avoiding the snoozing button and popping out of bed ready to start your day? Try these tips to make working out part of your morning routine. Need a little more motivation? Research has shown morning exercise can leave a longer impact on your body than working in the afternoon or evening, meaning you’ll burn more calories.
Get Ready the Night Before
Having your workout clothes and gear laid out the night before has several benefits. You can even wear some of it to sleep so you can get up and go! You won’t waste time searching for shorts or a certain shirt and this begins the process of getting mentally prepared to workout.
Also, if you listen to music while working out, make sure whatever device you use is fully charged. If you’re going to a yoga class, put your mat next to the door. Do you need to bring weights to a workout? Leave those by the door as well.
Fuel Up and Eat Right
Working out in an empty stomach will lead to having less energy and your metabolism will slow down because it doesn’t have enough fuel to burn. Instead of running around the kitchen when you should be walking out the door, prepare healthy snacks that you can grab and go. You can do this before the start of the work week or night before. Some healthy options include a half a slice of whole-wheat toast with peanut butter and ingredients for a small smoothie.
Get a good night of sleep
Sleep is critical to helping us reach our fitness goals because it’s when our body recovers. Also, for morning workouts, we want to be well rested and feeling energized. To avoid hitting the snooze button, wake up to your favorite workout song or try other tricks like moving your alarm clock across the room.
These three simple tips will help you get that morning workout in. There’s one more key to success- Find workouts you enjoy. This might entail trying a few classes. Maybe your club has a Zumba class that looks fun, you want to give yoga try or maybe you want to join a running group. Whatever it is, figure out what motivates you.