Running & Fitness • 19.06.2017 • Sascha Wingenfeld

Running on Vacation:
4 Things to Keep
in Mind

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, there are four things you should keep in mind about running on vacation:

Woman is running in Paris

1. Vacation is not training camp

Many runners preparing for a race use their vacation as an opportunity 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. The change can actually help improve your performance in the long run.

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.
My tip: 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. This knowledge of the area can come in handy later on day trips and you get to see places off the normal tourist track.

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.

Man stretching after his run

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.

Takeaway: Enjoy your running experience on vacation

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. Holiday is a perfect time to recharge your batteries and get a well-earned break from work.

But don’t forget that vacation is the best time of the year 🙂 Try to free your mind of any thoughts about races and training plans. It’s a time to relax, and so it’s okay if your running shoes sit unused in the corner for a few days.

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Sascha Wingenfeld

This health trainer and active triathlete from Fulda, Germany, offers holistic health promotion & sports prevention assistance with his company, proVita Coaching and has been coaching runners, from beginners to athletes, for over 10 years. “I love my job and I love running. Helping my athletes tap into their full potential through well-timed training makes me feel great.”
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