I managed to get a run in on 8 of the 13 days that we traveled and it definitely wasn't always easy (is anything on vacation ever easy?). I do have some tips/tricks that I found helpful to keep me accountable for my runs even when I wasn't on a 'structured' training plan yet.
- Plan before your vacation: I had a rough schedule of how many runs I wanted to get in/ mileage, but knew that listening to my body and meeting with family comes first. I kept my mileage goals pretty short (planning to only run 30 or 40 minutes) so it was easy to fit them in when I could.
- Have only one goal for your run per day: Typically my goals were to keep my runs at an easy pace, but other days it was simply to do a ladder on the treadmill (to prevent boredom) or hit a certain mileage. Having only one goal made it seem attainable and really helped get me out the door.
- Have a rough idea of what your next day plans look like. This one is REALLY important to fitting in a run. I only had one day where I wasn't sure when/if a run would fit into my schedule. Most days, I ended up not sleeping in so long and got my run in before 8am. While getting sleep is important, I always weigh the either hour or so of sleep that I could get if I didn't set my alarm or the feeling of accomplishment that I'll get when I wake up and get my run in. This also really helped keep me accountable during our road tripping days. I got up early and ran (half asleep sometimes..) either outside (and had a general plan of where I would run the night before/if it was safe) or booked a hotel that I knew would have a treadmill.
Use your runs as a way to get in your exercise/steps and 'zen-out': I felt SO good about my fitness on the days where we were in the car for over 12 hours and I still managed to hit my step goals (thanks to getting up early and getting my run/steps in). My runs also really helped keep me full of energy and awake during those evening driving hours when the sun is setting.
My runs were also the one time throughout the day where I could focus on myself and check-in. They gave me time to 'zen-out' and either process everything that we've done during the vacation or think of nothing at all.
- Utilize down-time as a reason to get out for your run: I did this trick twice and seriously felt ten-times better when I came back from my run. This is a great trick when you really want to sleep-in or enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee in the morning. When others were showering or had errands to do, I opted to head out for a quick 30 minute run. You're not missing anything in those 30 minutes and trust me, your mind and body (and maybe others around you will thank you too if you're a little cranky) will thank you for that run!
- Scout out a local gym or class to try: Take advantage of being in somewhere different! Find a gym that you can get a day pass to or an amazing yoga studio to try out. It's always fun to see what other gyms/classes do and you can always bring back a new experience/suggestion to your community! I'm determined to go to the Heartbreak Hill Studio in Boston one day and try out one of their running classes!
- Be OK with not getting your run in that day: Know that it's not a do-or-die situation during your vacation if your run doesn't happen. You're on vacation anyways! Relax and enjoy the unstructured life of running for a bit. When it doesn't happen, I like to think of the times when I'm training hard for a marathon and I have to do a run that I'm just not into it and be thankful that I can miss a run and my body may actually thank me for it.