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.