Up until a few years ago I thought running or working out on vacation was stupid. A vacation is supposed to be fun and relaxing and a break from all of the crap you do every other day of the week – so why ruin it by exerting yourself? Then I grew up realized some things:
- If you run on vacation, you can eat and drink more
- If you run on vacation, you get to see and smell more (in the case of San Francisco, this included smelling everything from urine to puke to the fresh sea air)
- If you run on vacation, you can actually kind of keep up with your training and not feel like a loser
- If you run on vacation, you can feel like a stud compared to all those other people who are sleeping in (and they, in turn, can view you as an over-achieving crazy person, but who cares?)
- If you run on vacation, you may be less likely to kill your family
However, it’s not always easy.
- You have to schlep all your workout gear to your destination. Wah, wah wah.
- You have to get up early (because we all know once the day starts and you are either sight seeing or drinking at lunch or laying on the beach or all of the above, your ass is definitely not going to take an evening run)
- You have to figure out where the hell you are going so you don’t get lost or mugged
I have become the queen of training while traveling. I am not bragging, I am just telling you. So, here are some tried and true ways to stop your whining and excuses and run on vacation:
1. Don’t Worry About Smelling. If you are like me, no matter where you go or for how long, you will NOT pay a baggage fee (unless it is Southwest where bags fly free). This means very limited space for clothes, Depends, shoes, tampons and curling irons.
My solution is to bring only one or two pieces of workout stuff. This means that unless you have access to laundry or can rinse stuff out, you will smell a lot by the end of your trip. I wore the same socks for 7 days on this past vacation and I don’t have a fungus (that I know of).
Don't complicate things. Running was meant to be simple. Throw some stuff in your bag and make it happen.
You are lucky this is not a scratch ‘n sniff picture (they are actually stiff):
2. Plan a Route You Can Get a Boner About. Confucius say: “If you excited about run, you will go on run.”
One of the best things about running when you travel is it’s a new way to explore. Run the hills in San Francisco. Go up and down the Strip in Vegas. Hit the trails outside of Boulder. The absolute three best ways to find your routes are to 1) use Map My Run (here you can search by the distance you want to run and see where some of the most popular routes are) 2) ask your blog friends 3) ask the locals. When I travel I talk to everyone and ask if they run because then they can tell me where to go. The cashier at Trader Joes in Monterey set me up for this amazing run to Pebble Beach.
Just remember to always bring a phone, some money and your hotel key.
3. Get Creative and Be Flexible, Dammit. This is probably the best piece of advice I have. Running and training while traveling will be different and you have to improvise on your routes and sometimes the quality of your workouts.
While in Vegas, there wasn’t a lap pool at the Palazzo (there were only fancy, weird shaped, little pools). I got there right when it opened, put on my goggles and cap and made the best of it. This did mean looking like a freak and swimming around all kinds of tourists, drunkards and screaming children, but I made it happen.
4. Include People If You Must. If you don’t want to always be abandoning family and friends to work out, bring them with you. You might not keep the same paces or go the same distance, but it becomes an inclusive activity.
Our family rented bikes in San Francisco and did a fabulous 16 mile ride over the Golden Gate Bridge and into Sausalito. It was actually pretty challenging with the wind and hills and we all thought it was one of the highlights of the trip.
5. For God’s Sake, Don’t Over Think It. It’s so easy to sabotage yourself. Just make it happen and don’t let your brain talk you out of it. Plan your route, set your alarm, lay out your clothes and don’t puss out.
What’s your best tip for running while on vacation?
Do you make it a personal rule to always run while traveling?
What’s the best run you’ve ever had away from home? (not including a race) The 15 mile run from Monterey and Pebble Beach and back was amazing.