Friday Five – Tips for Training While on Vacation

Today’s Friday Five theme is working out while on vacation.  While many people look forward to relaxing while on vacation, this does not mean that you have to keep yourself from being active.  In fact, being on vacation is a great opportunity to switch up your routine in order explore new activities that you might not be able to do at home.

My husband and I will be spending a week in Antigua in August to celebrate our wedding anniversary.  In August I will be at the height of marathon training, which means that I cannot just take the week off from training, or any physical activity for that matter.  As part of planning for our trip, I’m also exploring options for not only keeping up with my running while we’re away but also other cross and strength training opportunities.  What are some of the things that I have done so far and/or plan to do that you can also do, depending on where you are headed for vacation?

1.  Determine whether or not the place that you will be staying at has a fitness center, and whether or not the equipment is well maintained.  I have explored multiple websites and looked into the resort’s fitness center, including on the resort’s website, Trip Advisor, and Oyster.  I have also joined a “Fans of the HOTEL” Facebook group.  After posting a question in the group about running at the resort, as well as looking through photos on various websites, it looks like the fitness center will be a great option for keeping up with my training while away.

2.  Set realistic expectations for yourself.  I know that it is unrealistic to expect that I complete a high mileage long run while we’re away.  Not only do I not want to spend hours on the treadmill, but I will be on vacation and will want to be spending time relaxing with my husband.  While putting my training calendar together, I made adjustments to my long run mileage for while we’re away so that I don’t set myself up for failure and/or disappointment with not keeping up with my training plan.

3.  Explore alternative options for cross training and/or strength training.  Are there activities and/or sports that are available where you’re staying that you wouldn’t normally do at home?  Being on vacation is a great time to try something new while also offering the opportunity to still stay active.  There is daily pool aerobics at the resort that we’re staying at, and I’m looking forward to being active in the pool while also enjoying the beautiful weather and scenery.  A number of water sports are also available at the resort where we’re staying, including snorkeling, so not only will I be able to be active but I’ll also get to explore some of what’s underwater.

Snorkeling in Hawaii during our honeymoon in 2011

4.  Enjoy the drinks and food while you’re away, but don’t overindulge.  The last thing that you want to do is feel sick from eating and/or drinking too much while away.  If you feel sick, then you won’t want to be active.

5.  Allow yourself to back off with the frequency and intensity of your workouts.  After all, being on vacation is usually an opportunity for people to relax and destress.  There is a difference between being completely inactive and reducing the amount of intense workouts that you do while away.  One week of less activity, or less intensity, that you’re used to won’t have a negative impact on your overall fitness and training, even if you are training for a major race.

QOTD: What tips do you have for keeping up with training while on vacation?

I’m linking up for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup.  Many thanks to the wonderful ladies at Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for hosting!

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32 Responses to Friday Five – Tips for Training While on Vacation

  1. This is great, def agree with resetting your expectations as to not set yourself up for failure–that totally puts a downer on what’s supposed to be fun and relaxing. Spent 3 weeks in Europe last year in four different cities. When we stayed in airbnbs I researched gyms near by. It was actually so much fun because it introduced us to a whole different side of the culture we were exploring. The gym we went to in Vienna was really small and very curated and was owned by this huge muscly guy who ended up being the sweetest and most interesting guy. We talked to him every day we went and we learned so much about the people there and how they like to stay active. It was cool. Anyway, great post. Enjoy your vacation, and happy anniversary!

    • What a cool experience you had last year in Europe. I can only imagine how different the gyms were in Europe compared to here in the U.S.

      • There was a gym in Prague where they would not let you in the gym in the same shoes you were out on the street in. They literally had to see you change your shoes, lol. I hadn’t had to do that since the 4th grade–catholic school!

  2. kookyrunner says:

    These are all great tips! I always try to stay at a hotel with a fitness center. Luckily most hotels do have gym, even if they are tiny. I always try to get in my workout early in the morning so that I can have the rest of the day to explore and have fun!

  3. Ooh Antigua sounds great! I do check out local fitness centers and running routes before traveling as well. Sometimes my best efforts get derailed when I get there so you have to be flexible right?!

  4. Chaitali says:

    Great tips! I feel like a bit of advance research before leaving for vacation really pays off with being able to continue workouts while there. The less thinking I have to do while on vacation, the better 🙂

  5. These are good tips! I usually adjust my mileage while I’m on vacation because I know I won’t want to run *as* frequently as I do at home. And I can always move around my long run because the plan I use has me at two weeks long and one week scale back. So I can just substitute the scale back week for the week I’ll be on vacation and then resume regular training when I return. 🙂

  6. Elle says:

    I agree. You have to be flexible and be able to have a sense of humor if things are not as you expect. I find most hotel and resort gyms are less than advertised. Being able to adjust and adapt while on the lookout for opportunites for fun and adventure is key for me.

  7. Lesley says:

    When I went to Hawaii, I took surfing lessons. Snorkling was a failure, but I did surfing lessons, and then ran along the road overlooking the beach. We also hiked Diamond Head, so there’s plenty to do on vacation.

  8. I had to do this when we went to Punta Cana in February because I was in the thick of Boston Marathon training. I was able to make it work by working with my coach to schedule a lighter week and heavily using the fitness center and pool at the resort. I also did some beach running. You will have such a blast in Antigua and will get it done!

  9. You said it perfectly…have realistic expectations. It would be a challenge to follow a plan exactly as written while in a non-familiar place.

  10. Great tips. I agree with adjusting your expectations. It is a vacation after all. Enjoy it, moderate the exercise, and have fun!

  11. Rachel says:

    These are great tips and I use every single one of them when I’m traveling! 🙂

  12. Wendy says:

    I always like to run, even on vacation! I agree that it will be tough to complete a long run. I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Do what you can but have fun!

  13. Janelle @ Run With No Regrets says:

    Last year I was on vacation in Colorado while training for the Philly Marathon. I did my best to make it work and did plenty of running and hiking. I think it’s important to not stress too much about getting those workouts in, do your best to be flexible. I hope you have a wonderful anniversary trip in August!

  14. Great tips! I tend to overindulge on vacation and then run it off, probably not the best strategy.

  15. Clarinda says:

    Great tips! I tend to walk a lot while on vacation, so even if I’m not running or doing actual workouts at least I’m still moving quite a bit.

  16. Staying fit while on vacation and travelling can be quite challenging! Your tips are just awesome!

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