For some people, a holiday is the chance to really get away from it all. Work, emails, social media… even training. But for others, a holiday just wouldn’t feel right without exercise.
If you’re the type of endurance athlete who really wants to train on holiday, you might be wondering how to do it without alienating the rest of your party. After all, it’s rare to go on holiday with an entire group of like-minded people (or to have a spouse and kids who are as up for training as you are!)
Here’s how to manage the logistics and mindset of training on holiday, without causing a problem for your nearest and dearest.
For The Hardcore Elite
If your sport is your income, then you’re unlikely to be on a family-style holiday during key parts of your season. If you do go away during training, your coach will help you plan training sessions around your location and temporary environment. You are more likely to go on “holiday” to a training camp or a dedicated sport facility like La Santa. Save your family holidays for after your final race of the season so you can really enjoy it!
For The Athlete With A Upcoming Race
If you’re an amateur athlete but have an important race coming up, you will need to train. Identify key training sessions, and which ones you could miss. Recovery sessions, for example, could be swapped out for walking (always a great way to explore on holiday). Make your remaining training sessions as efficient as possible, so they don’t take too much away from family time. You may need to get up earlier than everyone else, so you are back before anyone has a chance to miss you!
For The Guys Who Want To Stay Fit
If you enjoy endurance sport but use it mainly as a means to get and stay fit, you can afford to be more flexible on holiday. You don’t have to stick to a training plan or be regimented with your mileage. You might like to go for a run to explore your new surroundings, but there’s no need to pack your bike or seek out the local pool.
For People Who Simply Like To Be Active
Maybe you love to be active on holiday, but don’t care what form that activity takes. You can maintain your fitness levels (or even boost them!) by doing activities that the rest of the family can enjoy. Have a look at what’s on offer near your accommodation: hiking, bike hire, water sports, or some good old fashioned ball games on the sand!
5 Ways To Train On Holiday (Without Causing WW3!)
1 Pack light
If you really need to run (or bike, or swim) on holiday then make it easier for the rest of your party. Pack as light as possible, so your kit doesn’t take up too much space (or cost too much as excess baggage). See if you can hire kit out there, rather than taking it with you. And take responsibility for packing your own sports kit - this will go a long way towards smoothing things over!
2 Get up earlier
One of the easiest ways to get your training sessions in without impacting other people is to get up earlier. Just like at home! Most people are happy to have a slow, lazy start to their day on holiday. So you can head off for a decent run or bike and be back home to eat breakfast with the family. Just make sure it’s not every day of the holiday.
3 Explore by foot (or bike)
You can turn a training session into an exploring session which could involve the whole family (or give you the opportunity to return home with valuable info about the local area!) Run, hike, or bike instead of hiring a car.
4 Activity, not sport
Unless you are in the middle of a key training block, be flexible with your choice of exercise. If you don’t absolutely need to run or bike, swap it out for long walks, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, climbing, or anything else that can involve you friends and family.
5 Involve others
One of the best ways to integrate training with holidays is to be thoughtful and involve other people. Don’t remove yourself from the holiday, make it inclusive and turn your training sessions into a fun activity. Plus you might inspire others by setting a healthy example!
How To Cope If You Can’t Train
Would you cope on a two-week holiday if you couldn’t train at all? If the answer is no, it might be time to rethink your relationship with your sport. We’re as passionate about endurance sport at you are! But we know that family relationships are part of the bigger picture. If you can’t train on holiday (due to logistics, or an agreement with your partner), don’t sulk. Deal with it and turn it into a positive thing. Two weeks off training will not send your fitness back to square one. In fact, you might benefit from the de-load and come back fresher and stronger. Use the time to relax, give back to your supportive family, think about your goals, and enjoy some time away from 24/7 training. Sport is important, but it’s just one part of your big life!