Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Working Out on Vacation

The weather is finally changing and that means it's time for racing, and time for family vacations. There are a lot of us who are starting on training cycles for races. There are way more races this time of year to choose from and the weather is much nicer to train in. But it's also the time of year that we all like to take off once in a while and go play or vacation with families which means planning around schedules. Whether it's your first race or you have been doing this forever there one of the questions most of us wonder about is "what happens if I miss a run?"

Well, when you're in a training cycle it is ideal to get all of your runs in. Sometimes that's just not possible, and that's ok! If you know that you'll be missing some of your runs do these things first:

1. Look through your schedule and see if you will be able to get any of your workouts in while gone. If you have 30 minutes to spare one of the days, make that your speed workout. If you don't know that you'll skip that one.

2.  Plan ahead so you know which workouts you need to get in before you go.  If you're for sure going to be missing some workouts, make sure to get your most important runs for the week in before you go.  If you're doing a distance race, your endurance run is probably your most important run. If you're close to your race day and your endurance is already there, do your speed workout before you go. Figure out what workout is the most important for your training right now and do that one before you go.

3. Decide if your vacation is one that you're able to workout on at all.  Below are some good ideas for workouts you can use while you're on vacation.

So for starters, you have to take into consideration the type of vacation you're on.  Are you camping? Cruising? In the city? What type or surroundings do you have to use for a workout?


When my family goes camping, we almost always go to the same campground. Because of this, it makes it really easy to go on a short trail run.  Because we go to the same place, I know the distances and I know where to go.  Trail running is a fun way to mix things up. It also is a great way to use your muscles a little differently.  So that is a great option when it comes to camping and running. But what about other ways to workout while camping?

My family likes to take hikes, so when we camp, we hike at least twice in the week.  Hikes are great to count as a workout.  If you're counting miles for running, you can count half the distance of a hike for a run.

Camping gives you a great opportunity to try a work out like MovNat or to get creative with the way you workout. Climbing trees, throwing rocks (make sure you won't hit anything/anyone), jumping over a stream, there are so many ways you can use your body and surroundings to workout. (This is the lake I run to whenever I'm camping. Isn't it beautiful? This is only part of it too). 


When you go on a cruise, there is always an on board gym available.  My suggestion with this is to either wake up early and go before your daily activities or to go between your excursion and dinner. You can run, lift, or go to any of the classes, just like any other gym you go to. This picture was from our cruise a few years ago. Not the best view but not the worst one from the treadmill either :).

The view from the treadmill while we were on our cruise. It wasn't the prettiest view of the whole cruise but it was a great change from the norm. 

But there are other ways to workout on a cruise.  For example, cruise ships have lots and lots of stairs. This was my main way to workout while we were on the boat. We only took the elevator twice the whole time. Once to beat the crowd to dinner, and once to carry our luggage down off the boat. Everything else we used the stairs for. We had to go up or down several levels to eat or to go to any of the shows.  The other great thing about cruise ships is that they have an outside track around the boat that you can walk or run at certain times of the day. So you don't have to do it all on the treadmill.
The other way to workout on a cruise is to pick excursions that require moving. I'll talk more about our excursions soon, but just, for example, you can do snorkeling, Segway-ing, walking tours, swimming and several other excursions that require you to do more than sit on a tour bus. Look through your options and pick some that will also double as a workout

In General 

When you're staying in a city or town that you know well enough, you can take the opportunity to run outside and get to know it even better.  It's always fun to run in a new place and take in all the new surroundings. Just be sure to stick to the roads that you know so you can find your way back easily.
Instead of going on a long run, try switching things up and going on a walk or taking your kids to a local park. When we visit family in Idaho, we like to take the kids to a close by park. It lets them get some energy out and it gives us a chance to get a little bit of a work out in with our kids.

If you're staying in a hotel, most have some kind of gym available to you.  Check to see what equipment they have and plan to wake up a little early to get your run in!

There are many other ways you can squeeze in a workout while on vacation. And sometimes it's ok to just take the vacation time to relax and not worry about working out at all. If you don't have a specific race you're training for, it won't make a huge difference to skip the week. Sometimes after taking a little break from working out will actually help improve your performance when you get back.

What are your favorite ways to workout while on vacation? 


  1. I just got back from vacation and I'm getting ready to write up how I managed my workouts. It's a balancing act for sure.

  2. You are a great fellow. Most waiting for the vacation in order to just get drunk and have sex with someone on the fast. You, even on weekends, continue to think about your future and work.