Look, we all know how impossible it can be to keep your fitness goals while traveling. You can’t have this vague sense that you are going to train and just sort of look for moments to get it done. It is not going to happen like that. However, if you plan ahead, it will make a huge difference. Here are some tips and tricks from Candace!
#1 Find moments to get in something, even something small
Long road trips can be really hard on your legs and back, so you need to be proactive to prevent issues. I learned a runner’s lunge matrix a long time ago, and so these exercises are something I do all the time. It only takes a few minutes, and anyone can do it! In fact, I have the whole family doing these exercises every few hours as we stop. Don’t just roll out of the car and into a restaurant during stops. Stretch, warm your legs, get moving, even if it is just five minutes. If you do this little workout, two or three times on those long road days, then you are really getting in some training and also keeping your body feeling fresh as you cover the miles. Here is the video I used to learn the lunge matrix!
#2 Plan Ahead
Decide exactly what you are going to accomplish (be reasonable!). If I know that I am going to run, then I call the state/national park in advance and ask about the trails near where we are staying. I learned this the hard way… ohhhhh, 1173 feet of elevation in 3 miles… ok, so not running that one. Sorry, I am a flat lands girl. That would be a gorgeous hike, not a run. HA! Also, you have to consider safety. You are in a new place. You don’t know the terrain. You don’t know the wildlife. You don’t know the trail. I don’t recommend just going for it. Some people might, but I wouldn’t! I find a one mile trail that I feel confident about, and then I loop it for as long as I need. When I first discovered my one mile loop trick, it made the commitment so much easier. Finding a perfect 5 miles is going to be really challenging. Don’t spend a ton of time trying to find something like that. One mile loop repeats FTW! I won’t run more than a few miles while traveling because for me it is about maintenance on the road – not serious training. Also, I am willing to shift from a run to a family hike here and there. After all, it is vacation!
#3 Pack the right gear
Part of planning is about packing the right gear! If you bring your favorite running kit, then you are more likely to get it done, even if it is laps around the parking lot – yep, I have done it. These are a few of my favorite running items that I must have on the road!
I just bought these ear pods! No, they are not the Apple ones, too $$. I bought the cheap ones, and I am perfectly happy to report that they are awesome! No complaints here.
Then, I am currently using this very easy and beginner friendly coach on Audible! I had never even considered using an audiobook for running, but it has been amazing. I simply have not missed even one run. Yes, it is definitely more for beginners, but I am not worried. That is fine for me right now. The coach is awesome, and I love hearing her little pieces of advice along the way. There is music in the background that is not distracting, and each run has intervals, tempo, long run or recovery workouts. I LOVE it. It is called Half Marathon Training by Katie Barrett.
#4 Set reasonable expectations
If you are in the height of marathon, triathlon, etc. training, your trip is going to have to at least somewhat revolve around getting in the mileage or the hours you need. You will have to really plan in order to get it done. Everyone on the trip has to be on board with this commitment and willing to support it, or you might actually ruin the vacation! It can be done, but it must be with dedicated planning. I have done this before, but I didn’t love it. So, now, I plan my races and trips separately. I can certainly be in a lower training phase or maintenance phase and travel with no issues at all. But, no, I am not running 18 miles on vacation. I highly value the feeling that it is ok to miss an occasional session when on the road. I recently did a December Running Streak with my local running club. We committed to running at least one mile per day for the month of December. It was hard to keep this up while driving from Texas to NYC, but we got it down. From Target parking lots to laps around an RV park, we made it happen. The kids joined me occasionally. It worked because everyone knew about my commitment before we ever left home. They were cheering me on, and we finished that last mile together with a long walk in Central Park!