There used to be a time when we’d go on vacation and I’d come back a few pounds heavier. We’d go out for every meal and I hadn’t yet learned to choose smaller, lighter meals for the majority of my meals. It was VACATION and I was going to eat what I wanted. Yeah.
As you know, I just got back from two weeks in Ireland. Guess what? Not only do my pants still fit, I actually lost a couple of pounds. So, it seems pretty fitting that April, Patty, and I decide that the Tuesdays on the Run topic this week would be fitting in running on vacation.
Spoiler: I only ran 19 miles while I was in Ireland. And 13.1 of those were my race. Why? Because we spent most of our time staying out in the country and the roads in Ireland are hella scary!
Hmm… So, I’m coming at this from a different angle: how to stay fit on vacation when regular running is not an option.
1. Register for a race. – This is my favorite option. I love running races away from home. You often get to meet people and see things that you would not otherwise see. And I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time fitting in a 3-5 mile run in a strange place, so a supported half marathon? Yes, please!
2. Find active sightseeing options. – In Ireland, we hiked up to a waterfall and walked up 600+ steps to the top of Skellig Michael (more on that on Thursday). In past vacations, we’ve gone biking and ziplining.
3. Use Google maps street view or other people’s routes on MapMyRun to find running routes. – Sometimes you just need to run. And you need to find a safe place. When we were at our second house in Ireland, we were in a small town. I was able to patch together a 3 mile route that kept me on sidewalks and off the main roads. (Did I mention that Irish roads are scary?)
4. Walk. Walk. And Walk some more. When all else fails, you can put on some serious mileage just sightseeing. We walked around castles and ruins and lots of historical sites in Ireland. We walked a few small towns from one end to the other. We went for a stroll around the grounds of the house we were staying at. Nearly every.single.day we found a place to walk. And while it didn’t give me my endorphins (see #3), it did keep me fit. Oh, and play with your kids. We hit every playground we found!
5. Accept that you can’t always fit in as much as you would like. There were days where I barely moved at all. Flights + drives made some days major “sit” days. Sometimes weather doesn’t cooperate or other plans get in the way. It’s ok. One or even two weeks of taking it easy is not going to be the end of the world. And maybe your body will actually appreciate a bit of a break before you head back into the real world and pick up your usual level of activity!
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27 thoughts on “Tips for staying fit on vacation”
I try to sneak in a short run before the rest of my family wakes up, but mostly I stay fit on vacation by walking a lot.
I’m so not a morning person, but thankfully, neither are my children, so I can sleep in some and still run before they wake up.
I wake up before everyone get in some core work, push-ups, squats and jump squats, hit the road for some miles or schedule a race, and I keep it simple when I go out to eat by sharing an appetizer or desert, sticking to salads, and grilled chicken or fish.
I meant to do some body weight work outs, but umm, I didn’t. ;o)
Helpful tips! I sometimes struggle with finding safe routes to run in unknown cities but I try to at least stay in a hotel with a gym so if nothing else I can use that.
We often rent houses, so I can usually run near where we stay. I’ve got pretty good street sense after living near and working in DC for so many years.
Definitely #4! I love walking places, even when the majority of the local population would probably be driving the same route (guess it was my couple years of downtown living that got me out of suburbian car mode). If I know I can fit in runs, I always try to pre-map so I know where I’m going…or should be going!
I was totally missing being able to use my gps on my phone – usually I use that so I don’t get completely lost LOL.
Yes #1 and #5 for sure! I’m currently in Aspen and I found a race do this weekend-such a great way to see a town and workout. I am working on #5 and hope that I too come back without gaining any weight.
Hope your vacation was fabulous! Can’t wait to hear about it.
I love this! #1 for sure is how most of my vacations are planned in general but even just quick weekends away I try to incorporate a run or active workout somehow.
We always used to walk a ton on vacations and now that the boys are getting bigger, we are finally getting back to hiking.
I’ve run at times on a vacation (It has been a while since I went on vacation! yikes!!), but I’ve never blogged about it. Hmm…
I will admit that I’m not too comfortable running in places I don’t know unless the place is a running destination. I’ve run in NYC while on a work trip. And in Disney on vacation. Oh – and the beach. I love running on the beach!
I’ve run all over. Ireland was the most difficult place for running, but that’s because we were in rural areas with scary skinny roads!
Great post! I’m leaving for vacation on Saturday and trying to think how I’m going to keep up with my workouts. These are some great tips!
Hope you are having a great vacation and getting some workouts in!
I always try to get a few runs in during vacations but I love the idea of adding a race to a trip!
I just love reading your blog so I nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger award. Here’s the link: http://www.itsamessylife.com/blog/2014/7/22/very-inspiring-blogger-award
Ooh, thanks for the nomination. I think you are my second one, so perhaps I should do something about it LOL.
#2 is my favorite! I find that I actually eat better while on vacation. I don’t eat as much because I never want to take time out of my day to do it. I visited Ireland a few years ago and it was very easy to not over eat while on vacation there because their meals were so much different than what I would eat at home.
I like to try everything, but honestly most of the Irish food was not that exciting…
Racecations are my guaranteed way to not only make sure I run at least once on vacation, but it also keeps me/gets me in shape before going on said vacation 🙂
Last summer we went to Kentucky for vacation and that was the first time in ages that I’d gone on vacation and not raced! It’s pretty much a given these days…
I have always wanted to a race in Europe! Great advice for staying active overseas especially when the running isn’t an option!
It was pretty awesome, even though I was one of the slowest runners LOL.
Walk, walk, walk! I love planning active site seeing activities! I don’t plan a vacation to sit in the room and watch tv! We just came back from Key West and the dry Tortugas was my favorite outing- walking and snorkeling!
Loved the Dry Tortugas! Dramamine was my best friend that day LOL.
Great advice! Map My Run is a site I’ve never used but have heard great things! Hope you had a great time in Ireland!