Running and the Family Vacation

Hello! I am sadly home from Disney, but I am headed out today again for the weekend to speak at Refresh Summit in Tennessee! I will be back Sunday night and blogging will resume next week! In the meantime, please enjoy this guest post from Michelle.

A few times a year, when my school is on a break week, I pile my kids in the car and head from South Carolina to Florida so my parents and in-laws can see their grand-children. These trips are usually viewed as somewhat of a vacation for me, as we are out of the usual routine and structure that generally runs our life. I’ve discovered, though, that intentional planning must be done in order to maintain my running schedule while out of my routine. It’s actually much more difficult to be as disciplined as I need to be about my running with the eating out, impromptu outings with friends, chats with family and friends that run past my bedtime, etc. These things add up and can easily take a toll on my performance.

While I love that running is something that I can do anywhere, I can’t deny that it has added a wrinkle or two when I travel.

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Here a few tips that I have found to keep my training on track while I’m away:

-Enlist the help of a buddy, even in a different locale.

Since I’m returning to my hometown, I’m lucky that I have a couple of friends who are willing to lace up and go out with me. Was it a little strange to send a Facebook message to someone I haven’t physically seen or talked to in 20 years? Yes. Was it completely worth it to have this person run 8 miles with me and share childhood memories? You bet. I’m so glad I reached out.

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-Plan your running times, just as you would at home.

I try to run on the same schedule as I do at home. I’m very intentional about it. I can’t view it as something that I’ll do “if I have time”. I MAKE the time and plan other things around it.

-Get enough rest.

On my last trip, I nonchalantly believed that staying out late and getting only 3 hours of sleep wouldn’t be that big of a deal the night before a long run day. Boy, did my body have a different story for me the next morning. It was a painful 4 miles, instead of the nice 7 I had planned to do. Lesson learned.

-Stay hydrated.

This is good advice all the time, but I think it’s even harder when we’re out of our normal surroundings. In my case, my hometown’s water is AWFUL to drink. Because my parents usually eat most meals out when we visit, I find myself drinking more soda than I should, but the tap water just isn’t good. So I have to consciously remember to make up for it and drink lots of the bottled water that we keep at my folk’s house.

-Allow yourself an indulgence or two, but watch your eating.

There are several meals that I look forward to when I visit my folks. But I’m finding that my body performs better when it gets better food. So when we want a meal of fried shrimp, sweet potato fries coleslaw and hushpuppies (don’t judge!), I try to make sure we go on the same day that I’ve run, and then make sure that my other meals are more balanced. I run better and I feel better.

-Pack your gear. Whatever you use at home, plan to have with you.

It’s a little strange to me that my running gear now needs a bag all by itself. Hydration backpack, good socks, blister protection, Glide, KTape…..Do I really need to carry ALL of my gear across three states to have a good run? Well, it’s certainly easier if I do. Fortunately I’m driving, and I have a big trunk.

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That’s how I keep myself on track while I travel. What other tips do you have?

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  1. Running and the Family Vacation

    Hello! I am sadly home from Disney, but I am headed out today again for the weekend to speak at Refresh