You know the scenario. You have your training plan all mapped out for the next 18 weeks. You thrive on structure and a schedule. Then…you decide to go on vacation (or a work trip, or conference, or girls weekend, whatever). What’s a runner to do when she has a 14 mile training run on the schedule and she isn’t going to be home? She plans the vacation long run!
I won’t lie. Trying to fit in a double-digit run while on vacation is NOT an easy feat, but it is doable if you plan ahead. Here are some tips that I used to help get through my 14 miler while attending the FitBloggin’14 conference in Savannah, GA in June.
- Do your research. The beauty of FitBloggin’ was that I was attending a conference whose mission is “To bring together the community of health-conscious bloggers for education, networking and friendship.” Part of the weekend included a 1 mile walk, 5k run or 10k run. BOOM! 6.2 miles of my 14 were already going to be mapped out for me! If you aren’t going to a conference with a built-in run, there are two great websites which can help you plan out a run and see some of the city you are visiting in the process. Check out cityrunningtours.com and gorunningtours.com to see if there are runs in your area. Another option is to check at running and cycling stores where you are visiting as they can often recommend safe running routes. Worst case scenario, plot out a loop from your hotel using dailymile.com or mapmyrun.com. Then go drive it before you run to make sure it’s safe. Running is really one of the best ways to see the city you are visiting! I took a ton of pictures on my long run.
- Employ the aide of like-minded friends or family. I was lucky in that there were a lot of runners at my conference, including a friend who was willing to get up and run 4 miles before the group run with me. Running long is always a little easier with support, plus, there is safety in numbers when you are running in an area you don’t know.
- Be willing to step outside of your comfort zone. I live in an area that is flat as a pancake, so getting to run that giant bridge was a huge thrill for me. Maybe you live in hilly area? Rejoice in a run along the beach.
- Adjust your expectations and if need be…leave the watch at home. I really underestimated the effect Savannah’s heat and humidity would have on me. Luckily, I planned well and was able to refill my water bottles several times but my pace took a huge hit. Make sure you take changes in climate and terrain into account when you run in an area in which you are not acclimated and don’t beat yourself up if the run doesn’t quite live up to your expectations.
- If you really doubt your ability to get in a long run while you are traveling, you can switch up the schedule. Move your long run to before you leave or after you get back and do an easy run while you are traveling. You can also look into a hotel with a fitness center and use a treadmill. This is a very good idea if you are traveling alone or are not in an area conducive to safe running.
There you go, friends! 5 tips to help you plan the vacation long run. What is the most exotic or beautiful location you’ve ever run? Savannah was definitely in my top 10.
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