When on vacation, it's natural for runners to get lazy outside of their routine: cocktail hours, pressure from family to "just relax" and a packed itinerary can make running your scheduled workouts quite difficult.
So how can you train normally when you're going on vacation? The simple answer is that you can't—it's too hard. Trying to force workouts when you want to enjoy yourself can lead to injury or overtraining.
The good news is you don't have to run the same workouts, weekly mileage or long runs to stay fit. You can maintain your fitness by slightly modifying your training without reducing it dramatically. This will ultimately help you enjoy your vacation by spending time with family and friends instead of training too hard.
More: 5 Signs of Overtraining
Follow these three principles so that when you return from your trip you can easily transition back into normal running.
Run in the Morning
Regardless of the time of day you prefer to run, when you're on vacation the morning might be the easiest time to squeeze in a run. It's best to get your workout out of the way while you're fresh and likely caffeinated.
You'll have more obligations and distractions in the afternoon, like happy hour, tired legs, less motivation and little adventures that you didn't plan on earlier in the day.
Staying energized and motivated to run a short workout is half the battle to staying in shape away from home. By training in the morning, even if you're normally an afternoon runner, you greatly reduce the risk of skipping your planned workout.
This strategy is even more valuable for those who might be doing a lot of walking (like if you're at an amusement park with your kids) or hiking. Both take a lot of effort and can leave your legs feeling like rubber. Running after a tiring day is not recommended—your form might be impacted by fatigue that can put you at a higher risk for injuries.
More: What is Overtraining?