Tuesday, March 21, 2017

7 Tips to Keep Running Without Ruining Your Family Vacation

It's vacation time and Mom's got her running shoes packed because she can't go a day or 2, much less a week without a run. I don't know about your family, but when we vacationed, mine always acted as if my runs were such a hardship. As if they couldn't be without me for an hour or so. As if I was going to ruin the whole vacation by going for a run.

Little did they know, I needed my runs to keep me sane. Over time, my husband and I figured out how to make it work for everyone. Our solution was I got my run time in while he and the boys went out for breakfast.

Since so many runners have to or want to train while away from home, I wanted to share some tips how you can make running on vacation a win-win for everyone.

Because as we all know, if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy...




1. Pack your gear. Chances are that if you actually bring your running shoes and clothes, you'll use them. Don't forget fuel, your Garmin, and all your other essentials.

Anna Maria Island, FL
2. Research your route. I personally find it really fun to explore a new place on foot. Most importantly, you want to make sure you are safe. You also want to make sure you know where you are going.

 Charleston, SC
3. Get up early and run while everyone is still asleep. This is one way to make sure your runs don't cut into family time. When you get back, you can all go out for breakfast. Unless they've already eaten without you.

Anna Maria Island, FL
4. Be flexible with your training. You may have to shift your runs around or forego your speedwork for the week. You may miss a few runs too--remember every training plan has plenty of miles, so missing a few runs isn't going to ruin your training.

I did my marathon long run 2 days before I left for a weekend sister trip.
5. Bring your phone on the run. What if you get lost? What if you run out of gas and need a ride home? You may also want to take pictures of the interesting things you see along the way.

Seattle, Washington
6. Be open to the idea of cross training. It is a vacation after all! Kayaking, SUP, cycling, and hiking all count as cross training. Even more fun is to include your family in these activities.

Door County, Wisconsin
7. If all else fails, you can always use the treadmill, if one is available where you are staying. This would be a last resort, in my opinion, and one I've never had to opt for, which is why there is no photo.

Since you will be stoking the calorie burning furnace, you can splurge on treats without a worry. Have a drink, have ice cream, and have fun!

Do you pack your running shoes when you go on vacation? Where is the best place you've ever run? Any funny stories you want to share?

I'm linking this post up with Marcia, Erika, and Patty for the Tuesdays on the Run link up! Also with Susie, Debbie, Lora, and Rachel for Coaches' Corner!



77 comments :

  1. Luckily it's just me & my husband (unless we drive somewhere with dogs), and I'm a morning person & he's not, so it usually works out just fine.

    I will admit I almost never research a route. Maybe a little. Usually I just head on out (and often do get lost).

    There was the time in Williamsburg I got totally lost coming out of William & Mar College . . . the time I got lost in Miami & had to ask a cop for directions (and he didn't really know, either, despite the fact I had the address!) . . .

    I do think it's the best way to explore. And Kauia is hands down my favorite place to run. :) So far!

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    1. I haven't been to Hawaii, but I'm pretty sure I'd enjoy running there!

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  2. Running while on vacation is a must for me! But, I think my kids are so used to me working out in the morning that they don't make much of it. And I also add open water swimming as a cross-training option while on vacation.

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    1. No open water swimming for me! I'm scared of stuff that I can't see.

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  3. I got to run the downtown streets of San Fran last year.....I hills through China Town were amazing. I would never have seen any of those sights from the confines of the hotel gym. Oh, and the Golden Gate bridge was pretty legit on foot ;-)

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    1. I didn't even attempt to run in SF--those hills intimidated me!

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  4. Always!!!!!!!!!!

    I love running in NYC.

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    1. That is the one place I didn't run--huge regrets!

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  5. I love running in new cities! Before my baby was born this year, it was something my husband would do with me when we're on trips so I wouldn't go insane (like you :)). Now he knows I need my runs - even if it's just 1-2 on a trip, he watches the baby and I get out and get in a few miles in a new place or at a hotel gym.

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  6. I love exploring new places on foot! I'm going to Minneapolis next week for a business conference and I'm looking forward to exploring the area!

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  7. I always keep up my running routine on vacation, however, I hurt my back on our trip to Mexico last year and had to stop. But before I stopped, I'd get up before everyone else and hit the treadmill in the air conditioned gym. Then I'd sip a coffee on the empty beach and watch the waves come in. It was GLORIOUS.

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  8. Some of the training for every single one of my 10 marathons has been done in another state or country. Those "exotic" training runs alone make for great memories. Totally agree with you that earlier is best.

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    1. It's all part of the journey, I think!

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  9. I for sure run on vacation! That's one of the best parts about vacation, I think! I have run on some GORGEOUS trails in CA and CO. I always research first because I don't want to get murdered or attacked by a mountain lion. In fact, one time I had to ditch a run on a trail I planned to go on because when I got there it said run at your own risk because there are mountain lions. LOL, um, no thank you!

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    1. If nothing else, you'd run faster, right?

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  10. Sadly most of my best vacations were taken before I really got into running so I missed out on some gorgeous runs!
    For ones I take now, I for sure take my phone for pics of things I might run into!

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    1. That's the best part of running on vacation!

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  11. The first thing I pack when going on any trip is running gear. I think outside of the US, the place I've enjoyed running most was Hyde Park in London... perfect running weather... I once got completely lost for over an hour running in Venice, and had to make a very expensive phone call to my husband who was sleeping at the air b n b and have him stay on the phone and navigate me back turn by turn... Venice was a maze !

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    1. I can't even imagine navigating the streets in a foreign country!

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  12. Get your vacation partners to run with you.
    And explain to them what would happen if you don't run :D

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    1. Haha. My husband couldn't run to save his life!

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  13. You know I've run all over Hawaii, but that's not really a vacation spot for us anymore. A favorite was running part of 17 mile drive in Monterey. Really anywhere near the ocean is perfect for me!

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    1. Oh, that run from Big Sur to Carmel....

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  14. I absolutely pack my running shoes when I go out of town! I remember right after I became a "real runner" you know when you realize you NEED your runs. Greg and I vacationed at the beach, I was so excited to run and explore along the beach boulevard and couldn't wait to get up early the next day. Greg even said baby your on vacation... and my answer was "exactly, that means I can do whatever I want and I WANT to go for a run" He just didn't get it then.
    I will offer another tip as far as routes go. Safety is important and I've contacted a local running store or even a club in the area asking for safe routes. They are usually very helpful in giving you suggestions for routes in the area. :)

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    1. That's a great idea--when my sister and I went to Seattle, I found running routes on the local running store's web site. Helped a ton.

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  15. These are all great tips! Like you, I am miserable if I go a week without a run. I like to get up early in the morning before everyone is awake and go for a run then. :)

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  16. Great tips for sure. I hope to get back in to running here soon, and I'll make sure to take my shoes with me on my next vaca to give these tips a shot.

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    1. I thought you getting ready to start training for Chicago?

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    2. I NEED to really start...I've been struggling with time management and motivation!!

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  17. There are vacations I pack running clothes, and other vacations I don't. If it's a relaxing vacation, I make sure to recharge everything so I'm ready to tackle running again when I return. The mental breaks are important.

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    1. I agree but running helps me relax and acclimate to my new surroundings.

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  18. I always pack my shoes!! Sadly my husband gets grumpy if I get worried about how/when Im going to run. I just go so crazy if I don't !

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  19. 100% on doing it when it won't interfere with family time and being flexible. I need to run for my sanity (and to be honest when on vacation with others, I need my alone time and a run satisfies that).
    My favorite runs were exploring Rome last summer. I would go run in the morning to see new places - I got twice the amount of site seeing in! I plan on doing the same with Paris when I go in May. Running is such a great way to explore.

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    1. I agree with you on all counts. This morning when I ran here in Florida, I couldn't help but think about the runs I missed last year when I was injured.

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  20. All really great tips. I always run on vacation, and I go first thing before anyone else is up. I can usually run outside (and sometimes I will run with Rob when we are away) but its always good to have the treadmill as an option.

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    1. I haven't had to resort to the mill on vacation ever. I hope I don't have to!

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  21. The only vacation we've gone on where I didn't run regularly was Ireland. We were staying out in the country and the roads were way too scary to run on. Thankfully we did a lot of walking and hiking and I did get a couple of runs in. But, yeah, the trick for us is definitely get the workouts in while the teens sleep.

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    1. I didn't run last year when we were in California, after I ran Big Sur. The timing was perfect--I took the week off to recover. But we did a ton of walking and hiking. It could not have been better.

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  22. I always pack the shoes and clothes, and hardly run. It's awful! But when I do, I tend to get up early and get out before everyone else gets up. Clears the brain a bit!

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    1. I'm the opposite--I never miss a run on vacation. How sad is that?

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  23. When my kids were younger I always felt guilty about going off and running on vacation. Now that they are older they pretty much beg me to go!

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    1. Haha! Mine haven't gotten that far, but my husband will suggest a run when things get tense.

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  24. #3 works for me, although I sometimes I have to resort to #7 because my husband doesn't like me running outside in strange areas. I always pack my running gear first1

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    1. Mine knows better than to suggest the 'mill!

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  25. I almost always take my running shoes with me. The only time I didn't run on vacation was while in Italy, but we walked soooo much while there. I love taking the opportunity to cross train (like SUP'ing) when on vacation. Great post!

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    1. I've got SUP yoga on the plan for tomorrow!

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  26. Yep - this is my life on vacation and my husband used to act like it was a major hardship for me to get my workouts in. I kind of hate getting up at the crack of dawn on vacation but I do it so I can be happy the rest of the day with the family :-) It's gotten better as the kids have gotten older but now I need to bike and swim in addition to my runs...:-)

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    1. That swim/bike thing might be a deal breaker for my hubs!

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  27. Yup! We're going to Co in may and hubby says... do you rreeallly have to run that race while we're there? ;) lol! Yup! Why yes I do!!

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  28. I like running on vacation sometimes... it really depends on where I am, how safe it would be and how many other physical activities there will be. If it's going to be impossible or really impact the experience of the trip, I just plan my training around skipping it. Most of the tim it's possible though and I usually plan it in advance though and absolutely pack the gear. Some of my best memories traveling are running in new places.

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    1. It's all about being flexible, isn't it?

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  29. For me, a vacation isn't official unless I'm going for a run! So it's usually the first thing I pack HAHA. Before the Philly marathon I had a trip to Colorado...I was supposed to have some speedwork that week but instead took it easy on a very challenging trail and I had no regrets! I hope you have a great vacay!

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    1. Usually my running gear is the easiest thing to pack. I always bring the wrong clothes for everything else.

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  30. I can definitely relate to this!! First thing in the morning usually works for me, but it does interfere a bit with breakfast plans and is key to talk it out beforehand. I also find I focus on all easy runs and extra cross training rather than sticking to a training plan. I have a few trips coming up where I'm going to need to figure this out!

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    1. This week is all about easy runs for me--I dive into marathon training next week.

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  31. My running shoes always go with me while we're on vacation. And my best solution has been waking up before the rest of the family does. When we were in Seattle for spring break, I ran past that head sculpture! I love exploring a new city out on a run.

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    1. Isn't that sculpture garden interesting? I convinced my sister to run there with me.

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  32. I love running on vacation - but only in beach paths and safe downtowns or trails! I'm done before the family even wakes up - even on Disney days with early entry.

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  33. Great suggestions!! I pack my running stuff anywhere I go! I need to remember to run before everybody wakes up!

    Does your family often eat breakfast without you? that's a shame! I feel breakfast with family are the best part of holidays!

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    1. I'm ok with that--I"m not a big breakfast person anyways!

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  34. Running on vaca is a MUST for sanity purposes, as you mentioned. But I must say, I'm already a paranoid runner so sometimes running outside really freaks me out. Maybe if I were in a super populated place it wouldn't make me so nervous.

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    1. I don't get nervous much when I run--I put on my tunes and just go. False sense of security much?

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  35. I used to pack my running gear and shoes for every trip we went on together as a family. I didn't pack them for our Disney trip though lol. We got plenty of walking in that week. I know what you mean about running being a "hardship" on other family members wink wink. After 4 years I think they are finally good with it!

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    1. Mine are good with it now but there was a lot of growing pains...

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  36. I'm so lucky that my hubby is a runner too. We make our training plans together and I don't have to worry about messing with anybody else's vacation. I think running on vacation is such a great way to explore a new city. I'm not quite as dedicated about strength training though. :-)

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  37. Great tips! I usually get up earlier to get my run in while on vacation. My husband and I take turns wash day. It's nice that we are both runners and want to keep running while on vacation.

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  38. Great tips! It's a given I am gonna run on family vacations, thankfully my husband runs too so he sort of understands my need.

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  39. You are so right! If Mama ain't happy well, there goes the vacation! The first thing I love to do when I am checking into a hotel/resort is to grab the activities list and see what they offer. That is a great way to get something out that resort fee they are jabbing you with and to try something new on your "I want to do" list. My tennies are always packed and I love me some nice slow miles in a new town!

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  40. These are all great tips! I absolutely love running on vacation, some of the best sights can be seen on the run!! :-)

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  41. these a great tips Wendy. We've struggled a lot with this. The kids get mad that we still want to run and train whilst on holiday, so arguments ensue and it's just not fun. but we ALWAYS go when they are still sleeping - so that's how the argument goes round and round... we adjust and switch out for cross training too. no way can a training plan be perfectly executed whilst on holiday. they don't quite understand that we need the run to clear the mind and be pleasant to be around. my daughter I think finally "gets" it - she's 19, but my son is not quite there yet (and he's 16 and doesn't want to do anything anyway because... teenagers.)

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