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!