So you are on a vacation – a summer vacation…..a great time to take a whole week off and just relax in the sun.   There are cruises, hot temperatures, drinks and food, friends and family to distract you from your goals.  No reason to have a full week of training, but make it a cut back or down week so that you can maintain and still have a chance to relax.

This summer I have trained runners that went to Greece, Colorado, Israel (3 of them!), Asia, the shore and on multiple cruises.  On each occasion, I still gave them a schedule for their vacation as well.  It wasn’t a full schedule, but it gave them flexibility to get in some training while relaxing and having fun.

Foreign destinations:  You never know what your hotel really is like.  They may say they have a gym, but it might be some old weights in a corner of the hotel basement.  The hotel may be at the top of a hill, so every run is a hill workout.   In any case, you most definitely have to improvise.  I generally use the “spoke system”.  I run out and back as far as a street can go so I won’t get lost.  In Switzerland and Holland, I followed tram lines out and back (like crumbs of bread).

Cruises:  Here you generally have 4 places to exercise.  You usually have a gym, but it might only have 2 treadmills and, with 3500 people on board, you might need to be strategic in their use.   Some ships have a “smokestack  track” – and these are usually very short, so you may need 6+ laps to a mile.  Other ships have an entire deck dedicated to running at a particular time of day.  These are the best, but if the deck is pitching it can be tough.  Also, the bulkheads/doors at the ends can be tricky.  Lastly, you can run at each destination.  Keep in mind that you may have a limited time to be on shore when you plan this.

US Land Vacation – You should be able to do it almost every day – just make sure that you put it into your schedule.  This requires discipline as it is too easy to back out and sleep in.

In the end, running and most exercise is portable.  All you need are your sneakers and your gear.  Try to make it work!

Happy running!


Running Vacation

Nickolas Joannidis
Nickolas Joannidis
I have been running for over 35 years, having done practically every possible racing event or distance from the 100 meters through the marathon. I competed in varsity high school cross country and track at Saddle Brook High School in the mid-1980's, varsity cross country and track at Division II Pace University and finished well over 200 road races since then, including 20 marathons with a lifetime best of 3:14:50. I was the president of the Hoffmann LaRoche corporate running team for 7 years, growing the team from 25 to over 90 during his tenure. I coached many of these runners to achieve their goals, whether they were beginners or advanced. In 2011 I was an assistant coach for the Fair Lawn Recreation track team, helping the 10 to 14 year old group. I am currently personally coaching dozens of runners, from beginner levels to advanced levels and getting them to be prepared to meet their goals.

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