My biggest challenge with training is managing it with vacation. If I took relaxing vacations and spent the day lounging and eating chocolates, training in the morning like I usually do wouldn’t be a problem. But my husband and I are very active vacationers. In 18 years of vacation, I think we’ve only spent one or two vacation days doing nothing! Usually we’re walking around exploring cities or hiking in the mountains. This year’s vacation will be no different. My main concern is how to continue my training while having enough energy for very active days and trying to stay awake longer than 8 p.m. so my poor husband doesn’t have to spend his vacation nights watching TV while I’m passed out on the couch.
This year I feel a little less nervous because Coach Melissa can work my training into my vacation schedule, and she’s already assured me that vacation won’t be a problem. I’ve also arranged logistics to make training easier. Here’s what I have planned so far.
We’ll be going on vacation at the end of August instead of our usual mid-September timeframe that coincides with our wedding anniversary because it worked out that way this year. I’ll be talking with Melissa closer to then so she can create a schedule that works best for me. But I know that she likes the idea of fartleks while on vacation (or running a route you’re not familiar with), so I expect my speedwork will be fartleks instead of distance intervals like the plan usually calls for. Last year Melissa thought it was fine that I decreased my weekly mileage since I was also going to be doing a lot of hiking and walking, so I expect that will be the same this year.
I’ll still do my runs in the early mornings, but I’m going to try to take naps after we get back from a day of exploring so that I can stay up a little longer at night.
I’ve also researched running routes in each place we’ll visit and found great options.
We’ll be flying into Portland, and the next day I’ll run a half marathon as my long run in nearby Canby. I love that I won’t have to worry about a running route or have to bring fuel for this long run.
We’ll be in Portland for a few days, and it looks like there are plenty of places to run in the city, from the short 2.5-mile waterfront loop to the extensive trail system in Forest Park right outside of downtown. I don’t think I’ll have a problem finding places to run. We also have friends in the city who can point me to the best routes.
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
We’ll be staying in this little town by a pretty lake just one night to break up our drive. The 23-mile North Idaho Centennial Trail goes from Coeur d’Alene to Spokane, so I’ll be able to run on that trail.
Glacier National Park, Montana
My husband and I are huge fans of national parks and usually spend our vacations exploring them. We’ve been to 16 national parks so far. While there are many beautiful trails in Glacier where I could run, it’s grizzly country, and I’ll be running by myself in the early morning. Just this summer a grizzly killed a bicyclist right by Glacier. We are renting a house near a large lake that has trails (14 miles on one shore and 18 miles on the other shore), so I think I’ll be running on that trail instead of on secluded, wooded trails in the park. I’ll be here on the weekend so can do my long run on the lake trail. I’ll just need to figure out fueling.
We’ll be spending a few days in Spokane before flying out of there. The Spokane River Centennial Trail is 37.5 miles and connects to the trail in Coeur d’Alene I mentioned. This trail is very close to the hotel where we’re staying, so that will work out great.
I’m happy I found good places to run. Last year I was staying in a very small town in Idaho just outside of Yellowstone National Park and was always scared to run on the random trails around our rental house because of bears in the areas. I did nearly run into a moose one day, but I backtracked quietly away without incident. I’m hoping that knowing good running routes will keep me on track during vacation and that my overall plan will help me enjoy vacation while still training.
How do you balance training and vacation? Any tips from other active vacationers?