Balancing fun and fitness
If running is a fundamental part of your weekly routine, going on holiday can throw you off balance. Here’s some tips to help you strike the right balance between maintaining your fitness (if you so desire) and taking time off to relax and recharge…
Run sight see
Run sight seeing is one of the most exciting parts of a holiday for me. I’ve run everywhere from India (dodging speeding buses and stray dogs while battling the humidity was interesting) to Lanzarote, and I love that feeling of waking up somewhere new, putting on my shoes and exploring. It’s a great way to plan family activities and walks for later in the day. I even enjoy getting lost and setting myself the challenge of getting back as quickly as possible! Go at an easy pace, absorb all your surroundings, stop and start as often as you like and take plenty of photos. Find great routes on Strava local: strava.com/local or join local runners at your destination through sites like cityrunningtours.com or globalrunningtours.com – these are guided runs, similar to a sightseeing bus tour, but on foot.
Hotel room HIIT
If you fancy a total break from running and have opted for pool or beach holiday, short, sharp high-intensity workouts will burn fat fast, which means you can spend more time relaxing on your sun-lounger and sipping cocktails, post sweat-fest. Those huge water bottles you buy on holiday make very handy weights or kettlebell replacements.
Take 15 minutes in the morning – get it out of the way. Emily Skye, Joe Wicks and Boho Beautiful all have excellent, short YouTube workout videos, or you could download one of the many 7-minute workout apps.
Squeeze in a swim
Hit the pool for a low-impact cardio-building and calorie burning sesh. If you’re feeling adventurous, take to the sea and swim against the waves for resistance. Trying something new while you’re away can give you a real physical and mental boost.
Forget mile munching – beach volleyball, tag rugby and a game of keepy-uppy in the sea often prove more of a workout than a run! These games get competitive and go on for hours. They’re also a great way to get the whole family or group involved. You could even set up a mini beach bootcamp, or make it fun for the kids with a Ninja Warrior-style obstacle course!
Walk it out
A daily walk may be the only leg-stretcher you need. If you’re on a city break, the likelihood is you’ll destroy your average daily step count without blinking, between the cathedrals, museum and parks. So don’t feel guilty about relaxing with your feet up for the rest of the time.
And if you are sticking with your usual running routine…
Make the most of beach running. Running on sand is a great workout, so get ‘Chariots of Fire’ playing and go for it.
The alternative is of course is… Do nothing and don’t care!
- If you choose to run or exercise on holiday, it should be a treat and not a chore!
- Don’t be scared to leave your running kit at home and enjoy some well-earned rest.
- If you’re training regularly, you won’t suddenly lose your running fitness within 1-2 weeks. Proper rest can actually work wonders, allowing your body and muscles need to recoup and revitalise, giving you a new lease of life when you return home!
One final tip…
To save on baggage weight and give you room for a few souvenirs, wear your oldest running shoes on holiday and leave them there.