This weeks topic: Running while on vacation.
I have often found ways to incorporate running into my vacation. However I stand by one golden rule: if it’s going to impede your primary goal of vacation (usually relaxation) it’s just.not.worth.it. Recently when I traveled to Miami with some friends we were go go go the entire time. Waking up early to run would have exhausted me and prevented me from enjoying the late nights. I packed my running shoes and clothes but no running happened, and I was completely, 100% okay with that.
When I am going on a vacation that I think I’ll be able to incorporate running into there are a few things I do.
1. Pack Appropriately – I think through how many times I will run during that vacation, realistically. I make sure to pack anything I would run with at home – Garmin, Road ID, etc – so that there is no reason (except for the golden rule above) to not do it.
2. Do the Research – Before leaving home I’ll look up running routes using mapmyrun.com, and also look at the hotel website to see if they have a gym with treadmill available. Once I’m at my location if I am staying at a hotel I will often ask the front desk for good, SAFE running routes. I ask questions like “are there many people running there?” “is it a safe place for me to be running by myself?”. It’s important to not only be informed on where you can run but how safe your environment is.
Quick story – I was in Phoenix, Arizona for a conference a few years ago and the hotel gave me a card with a running route on it (super impressive). Unfortunately the route led me into some areas I was VERY uncomfortable with, so listening to my intuition, I turned around. I later found out that there had been an outbreak of crime in the area I ran through – particularly violence against women. Lesson learned. Now I do as much research as I can before I leave. and of course, always listen to your intuition.
3. Run Early – I don’t want vacation to be primarily about my running so I try to fit it in in the early mornings before the hubby is even awake (if he is traveling with me). This works well for work trips too as there’s when there’s often long days followed by dinners and happy hours. Additional bonus: if you are at a gorgeous location you are treated to wonderful views of the sunrise that you wouldn’t get at home.
4. Race! While not every vacation can be a race-centric there are often opportunities to run in local races in the location you are visiting. This gives you the opportunity to see areas you may not have have had the opportunity to check out otherwise and meet some of the locals. Runningintheusa.com is a great resource to find local races within the United States.
5. If it doesn’t happen, move on. Don’t beat yourself up if you are unable to fit in your runs like you hoped. Remember the primary reason for why you are out of town. If it’s not a race-centric trip your runs will be there waiting for you when you get home.
I think that running is one of the best ways to explore new places and keeping these things in mind I have been able to successfully keep up my running through many vacations.