4 Tips for Running on Vacation • How to Stay Fit and Have fun

läufer am strand

​​Summer is in full swing and your vacation is just around the corner. For many people, running is an active way to relax and recharge: therefore, many runners can’t imagine not running while on holiday. That being said, here are 4 tips for running on vacation so you can stay fit and enjoy your time off: 

1. Mix up your routine with cross-training

Runners who have a race scheduled after their vacation might want to use the time to take their training up a notch. However, you shouldn’t forget that your break is supposed to provide you with some much-needed recovery time from your normal busy life. Be careful that your running doesn’t add additional stress. You should decide before you leave if you want to do a training camp or focus on rest and relaxation.

Of course, it’s a good idea to use running as an active way to relax and relieve daily stress. But on vacation, just try not to focus on distance, pace, and intensity. Take a short break from your training plan and do some cross-training like swimming or cycling. Try some bodyweight training workouts for runners when you wake up in the morning. The change can actually help improve your performance in the long run.

man cycling

Sometimes, less is more:

Vacation means rest. Don’t force yourself to work out if your body needs a break.

2. Don’t forget about your travel companions

If you want to run on vacation, you need to balance this with the needs of your significant other, family or friends. There is nothing more annoying for your fellow travelers than constantly having to organize their day around your training plan.
Timing: The best times to go running are early in the morning or late in the evening. Plus, it is a good idea to let your loved ones participate in your running experience: have your significant other, children or friends run along with you –
together we are stronger!

3. Embrace the new opportunities

Running on vacation shouldn’t be goal-oriented. Your mind would also benefit from some variety from your usual running routine. Aim to discover new things: marvel at the scenery, discover new routes, and use the time to explore your surroundings. Why not try trail running for a change? This knowledge of the area can come in handy later on day trips and you get to see places off the normal tourist track.

woman running on a trail

Tip:

Before setting out, make sure your GPS is functioning and that you have a map of the area downloaded to your phone. That way you don’t have to worry about finding your way back.

4. Get used to the new conditions

Pay attention to the new conditions of your vacation location and don’t underestimate the effort needed to adjust: differences in climate, time zone, or running surface (sand or rock) can have a big impact on your body. Also, the intensity of the sun should not be underestimated during the summer months. A light wind or a cool breeze might make it difficult to tell the temperature or how much UV radiation your body is being exposed to. Plus, many runners are not accustomed to the extra effort of running in mountain air.

Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to avoid dehydration. You should also give your body ample opportunities to recover from the extra stress of the new conditions. 

Remember, staying fit on vacation is not only about exercise. Rest and relaxation is a big part of staying healthy; a holistic approach will give you better results in the long run.

man recovering at beach

Takeaway

There are lots of benefits to running on vacation: you add to your holiday experience and can work off some of the stress of your normal busy life. Vacation is a perfect time to recharge your batteries and a great opportunity to try a digital detox.

These tips for running on vacation should help keep you on track with your fitness, but more importantly – help you prioritize during this well-earned break. Try to free your mind of any thoughts about races and training plans.

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Sascha Wingenfeld Sascha, health trainer & active triathlete, has been coaching runners from beginners to professionals for over 10 years. "I love my job and I love running." View all posts by Sascha Wingenfeld »