5 TIPS TO KEEP YOUR FITNESS ON A GUILT FREE HOLIDAY
I love going on holiday. Experiencing new places, a break from routine and most of all spending time with my amazing family is a highlight of the year. I am sure I am no different to most people. However, I spend so much time trying to get faster and fitter that I just can’t take a week off exercise. 16 week marathon prep for October means that the summer holiday falls in the middle of a training cycle. So here are my tips for a successful training holiday.
ACCEPTANCE – DON’T BE AFRAID TO RELAX
Priority number one is to enjoy spending time with the people you love and experiencing great places. Accept that you are going to do less exercise than normal in advance, plan for it to be a recovery week and it will be easier to reconcile with yourself when you are spending time on the sun lounger. Your body will thank you for a rest longer term.
This is is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, if long runs are an important part of your current routine, it may be difficult to find time on holiday, a good venue for LSD and the right conditions to do it. The heat, hills and rocky trails where I have been staying in Majorca would have made 20 miles very tough. So, bookend your holiday with the long stuff. Before you leave for distant shores, and immediately on your return, schedule your long runs. Seven days between long efforts is not a problem.
Secondly, if you know it is going to be hot or the terrain does not suit your training, book into a hotel with a gym so you can get your exercise fix. You might not be a lover of indoor training, but it can serve a purpose for a few days. Get on the treadmill and do some weights. Most runners neglect strength work so why not add it to your programme while you are away. It might also be a great opportunity to do some flexibility and mobility work.
Short of time? Why not ramp up the intensity of some of your sessions to get a great workout. Target the lactate threshold with difficult workouts lasting 20-40 minutes. Away for a week? Two to three of these types of workout should be doable depending on your current fitness level.
Check out these session these sessions for ideas you can do on a hotel treadmill…
Although we might not find it easy, rest is a good thing. Keep things ticking and you are unlikely to lose too much while you are away. Do more stretching, maybe do some of the rehab work your physio has recommended, and you will be fresh to go, possibly with some niggles having had time to recover when you get home.
Short of ideas try this YouTube clip from Yoga with Adrienne…
This has to be one if not the key factor. Your aerobic fitness isn’t likely to nose dive in one week, particularly if you mange to keep things ticking with a few runs. But put on a load of weight with overindulgence and you will find it harder to drag the extra pounds round a course at the speeds you were running pre-holiday. I love food. I will probably eat and drink a bit more than normal, but it won’t be significant. I don’t want to feel bloated. Make healthy choices, control portion size and avoid repeat visits to the all you can eat buffet. Try to avoid excessive carbs on the trip. Plenty of protein and salad is a reasonable place to start.