Running on Vacation

Happy Thursday! Today we are getting packed and organized for our first official vacation of the summer! Tomorrow we leave for a 5 day camping trip to Marquette, Michigan. I have been to Marquette when I was much younger, maybe in middle school, and have a few memories of our trip there, but can’t wait to explore it as an adult.

With the start of marathon training this past Monday, I am finding myself already trying to rearrange runs and workouts to make sure I’ll be able to fit them all in while on vacation. We plan to do a lot of hiking this trip, which will be some great cross training; if I find myself in a bind, I may count those hiking miles as some of my easy mid week runs instead.

Grand Canyon Day 2 (29)

However, with that being said, I still absolutely plan to get in a few runs while on this trip! One of my favorite ways to explore new towns is by foot. I love the adventure that comes with discovering a new trail, and knowing you are the only one up before the crack of dawn. The feeling of accomplishment when you return after completing a run and your group is just waking up is something that always motivates me.

In preparation for our first trip tomorrow, I thought I’d share some of my favorite tips and ideas for running on vacation!

How to Get Your Workouts Done on Vacation

Use Footpath or another similar app to check and see if there are any trails within running access to where you’ll be staying

I always find where I’ll be staying on the map ahead of time, and use my Footpath app to see if there are sidewalks or trails close by. I map out my exact mileage ahead of time and try to make it as easy as possible – an out and back on a straightaway, or a loop with only right turns. That way I know I am much less likely to get lost!

Check out the sidewalks on your way into town, or the first night there

Seeing nicely groomed or extra wide sidewalks always makes me so excited. The day we arrive to a new place I like to take a walk or drive around the streets nearby to find out if there are sidewalks and shoulders that will be easy to run.

Plan to get up early to get the workout/run done

I have discovered that if I don’t purposefully wake up early to get my run done, it won’t happen. Even if I plan to run as soon as I wake up, I find that others are usually up already and planning to leave shortly so I don’t have time. Being proactive about getting up is the best way to ensure that your workout will happen.

Look ahead to rearrange your training plan so your shorter runs can be done on vacation

I am a big fan of rearranging my training plan to accommodate a trip. If I leave my plan as is I find myself stressing about needing to get long runs done and not having the time, or stressing because I am missing important workouts. When I make a point to look ahead at the beginning of the week and plan when I’ll get each workout done and what ones I will miss, I feel much more relaxed on my trip.


Bring cash with you in case you stumble upon some really cool shops or ice cream 😉

You never know when you will stumble upon the greatest, most unique shop in town! It may have a really cool trinket you could get your mom, or maybe a really tasty drink right when you are dying of thirst. It seems that I always find these places when I didn’t bring money with me, and always wish that I did!

MI Road Trip June 2016 (61)

Run without headphones or music so you can be extra alert and take in all your surroundings

You can never be too cautious. Running in a new place where you are unfamiliar with the surroundings can be more dangerous than your usual route. It is always good to find trails and sidewalks with high traffic, and very important to be aware of everything happening around you. If you are jamming out to music it is much easier for a car to turn out in front of you without you seeing, or someone to come up behind you by surprise.

Tell someone exactly where you are going and how far before you leave

Continuing with the previous tip, it’s always safest to make sure someone knows exactly where you are going and how long they should expect you to be gone. This way, if you fall and twist your ankle and don’t have cell service they’ll know where to look for you when you don’t return as expected.

Take your cell phone and snap some pictures along the way!

Always take your cell phone with you for safety, but also because you never know what cool shots you might come across. You might see a beautiful sunrise or the most colorful flower, and you definitely don’t want to miss that picture opportunity!

Get creative with your cross training

Many of my vacations involve a lot of different activities, and I find myself the least stressed when I know these will be counted for cross training. Hiking, walking around town, swimming, kayaking – if you’re moving, it definitely counts!

Check in with local running stores to get the scope on popular trails or paths in the area

If there is a running store in town I’ve always found that they have some great tips! There might be a trail worth driving to, or a sidewalk that runs right along the water. You probably would never find these great paths without talking to someone who lives there.

These ideas are the ones that I’ve personally found most successful, but there are so many ways to get those workouts in while on a trip! When all else fails, plan ahead of time and know that you will be taking a cutback from training while you are on vacation. You definitely want to get the most out of your trip, and stressing about runs is not the way to do it. If you end up missing a run, so what! Move on and enjoy your time off.

I’ve discovered some of the coolest trails and cities on vacation runs! I often don’t need to go far to find a fun local shop or diner that I can suggest to my family and friends when I return.

Happy running!

Tips for Working Out on Vacation

7 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I need to get over my fear of somewhat secluded running paths! It makes me anxious to think someone might be lurking and I’ll need help. Chances are, I’ll never be attacked….but a phone and pepper spray doesn’t make me feel safe enough. *sigh*

    1. I know EXACTLY what you mean! Whenever I get in the mind set that I need to be prepared for the worst it’s all I can think about and I wind up being paranoid my whole run. I’ve always found that when I bring pepper spray and just hold it in my hand I feel safer and can let go a little! Then I try to focus on where I am and how awesome it is and sometimes that takes away the paranoia… sometimes 😉

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