How to run while travelling (and keep peace in the family)

Last weekend Shauna and I had a meet up in Amsterdam to discuss some very very important Up & Running business. 😉 We try and see each other in person at least once (ideally twice) a year, and Amsterdam is one of our magic cities. The positive vibes are strong, new ideas flow. and our energy gets recharged.

Amsterdam

I’m a light packer. For a long weekend I’ll usually wear the same shoes, jeans and will maybe change my top once or twice. Alongside that outfit I have my running gear. It doesn’t take up much space – just a pair of running shoes, Lycra pants and top, a sports bra and sleeveless jacket. If I workout more than once I wash and rinse. Looking at the weather report I also threw in gloves and a hat. And for variation I packed my skipping rope.

Skipping rope

Shauna knows I run and I know she loves her morning walks, so there’s never any discussion. We schedule our exercise and know it will happen.

It’s the same when I travel with my family. It’s taken for granted that I’ll need running time at some point.

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I talk to a lot of novice runners who have a hard time fitting running in their vacations, especially if it’s a vacation with family or a spouse. They talk about inconveniencing others and taking up time that should be dedicated to family activities. I believe that when there’s a will there’s a way. You can still have your run and keep your family, spouse or friends happy.

1. Pack your running gear.

Maybe you won’t end up with time to run but if you don’t have it with you, there’s no chance it will happen. Bring items that can double as everyday apparel like shoes, bra and jacket.

2. Map out your running route.

I choose hotels based on whether they are near a park I can run in. Amsterdam has the gorgeous Vondelpark. On my morning run there I encountered at least two hundred runners. It was only a kilometre from our hotel so I used that as a warmup and cool down.

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3. Plan your run and share it with your travel mates.

Just as you plan out your weekly runs at home, plan when you’ll be running on vacation. For me it’s easiest to go first thing in the morning. I wake up before the rest of my family and then get back in time to have breakfast with them. I always invite them to come with me. They don’t always run but sometimes they’ll come for a walk on the beach or park.

4. Don’t be afraid to change your workout plan.

I know a lot of runners that are… um, obsessive about following their training plan. When you’re traveling follow the rule: something is always better than nothing. If your training plan calls for a one hour tempo run but you only have forty minutes to spare, run for forty minutes. Anything is good and before you know it you’ll be back home and into your regular running routine. In the meantime, enjoy your vacation!

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