A vacation away from home can offer a few running and/or cross-training challenges. These hurdles are easily surmounted by using these five tips. There is no need to sacrifice your training while you get some rest and relaxation away from home.
Schedule Your Runs Ahead of Time
This tip can mean scheduling your workouts before you leave, shortly after arriving or just a few days in advance, as you map out your sightseeing plans. The idea is to have a plan for how your training works into your vacation schedule. If you're training for a half or full marathon, you may want to plan your training so that your vacation corresponds with a step-back week. Trying to squeeze in an 18 mile run is not always the easiest while away from home.
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Map Out Your Routes Before You Leave Home
The Internet is an amazing invention that can help you map out a route or two for pretty much every vacation place in the world. Check out MapMyRun.com or RunThePlanet.com to help you pick some running routes before you even leave home. Make sure to pick out a few just in case one doesn't pan out as you'd hoped. A back-up plan is always good. If you get to your destination and find that all the routes you mapped aren't suitable for whatever reason, don't despair. MapMyRun has a mobile app for iPhone, Android and Windows phones so you should still be able to find yourself a good route.
Take Your Safety Seriously
Since you are probably running in an unfamiliar place, pay special attention to your safety. Don't run in neighborhoods that seem less than safe, avoid narrow and busy roads, and always take your smartphone with you in case of emergency. You may also want to check out your planned route with some locals to make sure you are running through a safe area. The hotel concierge, restaurant wait staff, or even people working in the local stores will often be more than willing to let you know if your running route is generally safe. Don't be shy about asking. Most people are more than willing to help others.
Find a Local Gym to Use
Most larger hotels now have a gym on site. If you're at all in doubt about the safety of your environment, avail yourself to their treadmills. If there is no hotel gym to use, look into a nearby local gym. The gym may offer day passes or an inexpensive 30-day membership that will allow you to keep your training on track.
Get Creative With Your Cross-Training
If you wish to continue your cross-training while on vacation, think about combining it with your vacation schedule. Is there a great hike you can take? Can you go kayaking, surfing or canoeing? Maybe while your family suns themselves on the beach, you can get in 20 to 30 minutes of swimming in the—hopefully calm—ocean or bay. There might even be a great bike ride designed to see the outdoor sights. And of course don't forget that walking several miles while sightseeing just might be enough to keep your cross-training moving along. If none of these ideas work for you, then look into a gym or perhaps some yoga classes at a local yoga studio.
There are lots of options for maintaining your training schedule while you travel. You may need to use some pre-planning and creativity, but there is no reason why you can't enjoy your vacation while keeping your training on track. Give it a try!race.