January 11 2018
A runner shares a personal essay documenting her years as "the runner" in rural South Dakota.
Not everyone has the luxury or desire to run during what should be downtime. We’ve listed our best tips for running on vacation and then weighed the pros and cons of each so you can decide what works best for you and your travel companions:
PRO: By planning your routes or a race ahead of time, you can better prepare yourself and your family for your training and/or racing while on your trip, before you leave. Setting expectations, especially if you plan on racing, is key.
CON: You already have a vacation to plan and pack for so you may not have the time or the desire to add to your already lengthy to-do list.
PRO: You can get your miles in before anyone else even wakes up and has time to miss you. Plus, you’re more likely to get your workout done if you do it first thing.
CON: If vacation is literally the only time you have to sleep in, this is obviously not very appealing. Also, if you have young children who wake up early, this may not even be an option, unless you also have someone willing to watch them.
PRO: There’s no pressure to run long so if you can only get in a few miles here and there, it’s all part of your training plan.
CON: You need to make the weeks leading up to the cut back/vacation week bigger, longer or more intense training efforts so you don’t lose fitness.
PRO: By scheduling a race right after you get back, your vacation becomes your taper week and you can do little or even no running at all.
CON: Sometimes vacation with your family or one that requires hours or days of travel may leave you exhausted upon your return and not in ideal mental or physical shape to race.
PRO: You can cross train without leaving the house or hotel. Plan ahead and bring some equipment with you or just search for bodyweight workouts on YouTube. If you have access to water, use it! Kayaking, canoeing or swimming with your family can be great cross training.
CON: It may be harder to focus or simply require more effort to get in more than 5 minutes of cross training in at a time if you’re vacationing with family, or other people and things that need your attention, unless it’s something everyone can do together.
Whatever you decide, remember that vacation should be a time to de-stress and enjoy running or racing in a new location. If just thinking of packing your running shoes and clothes makes you stressed, consider leaving them at home.