Marathon training on a vacation

View from our swim out pool

View from our swim out pool

Greetings from sunny Sint Maarten! Well its not sunny anymore, it’s night-time, but regardless, it is quite sunny and warm during the days. We planned a last-minute getaway for the long weekend less than two weeks ago and I’m so glad we did because boy does it sound cold at home (sorry everyone!).

In my type-A fashion, I can’t imagine not being able to keep up with some sort of training routine while away. With that said, I spent a bit of time preparing in advance for the trip so that way my mileage and training wouldn’t suffer. Here are some pointers that worked and are working well for me.

Friday was 100 days till London!

Friday was 100 days till London!

Get a solid speed workout in – I knew that I would feel so much better if I was able to get a solid speed workout in before we left. I made every effort to leave work on time and make it to the DWRT speed run on Tuesday night in the frigid cold. I believe the forecast said that with windchill it felt like 6 degrees. We ran a speedy 5-miles at marathon goal pace, actually for me it was 15 seconds faster than goal pace. With the warm-up and cool down, I got 7 miles in.

Run long in advance of the trip – I knew that sneaking away for a 14-mile run would be difficult for many reasons. Chances are on an island, 14 miles would be hard to find and the weather would be very warm. And I didn’t want to leave Josh on our vacation for that many hours. A treadmill could work, but that wouldn’t be very fun either. Luckily my schedule this week worked out where I was able to get my long run in on Thursday evening. I got an early start before the sunset in Central Park and was later joined by James and Julio. Their company made the run so much more bearable in the dark, cold, and through my dinner hunger pains.

Research your vacation spot – We had done a bit of research when we decided on St. Maarten for running routes. Unfortunately, there didn’t seem to be many options. The roads are narrow and with the heat, it’s not necessarily ideal running conditions. The hotel Josh originally picked didn’t have a gym, and unfortunately I had to veto that. On Garmin, MapMyRun, and RunKeeper, you can find routes that other people posted.

Find a hotel that has a gym – If running outside is not an option, then a treadmill is the next best option. That is how we ended up at the hotel we’re at now. I wanted to make sure that if I really couldn’t run outside that there was an option to fall back on.

Understand that your schedule will not be perfect – I’m not one that handles changes in scheduling well but I know I need to learn to enjoy vacations and not fret as much about running. Hence, the long run and planning in advance. While here, I have no plans of much more than easy runs and some core work.

Core work on the beach – Hands down the best place to plank! Josh has pictures of me planking all over the world on all sorts of terrain. The beach is one of the best spots. What else are you going to do besides lie there anyway? Also, the sand allows for good traction that makes it easier (in my opinion at least) than on land. Forearm planks, side planks, push ups, downward dog, leg lifts, and double leg raises were on my agenda today. But keep in mind you might get strange looks from others around you. There are many other great workouts that you can do on a beach – see here.

Fiji bottled water in a glass (I've never had this much Fiji water in my life)!

Fiji bottled water in a glass (I’ve never had this much Fiji water in my life)!

Workouts in your hotel room – There are so many apps and websites that have workouts that you can follow from your phone or tablet. Also, if you know there is a DVD player, you can bring something from home – P90X is a pretty good option since there is a big variety. I have the Nike Training Club app that has some good workouts that you can do without equipment. Here are some other good resources – Greatist’s list of 50 bodyweight exercises you can do anywhere and Women’s Health no equipment workout guide.

Stay hydrated – Especially when in the sun all day, I am a stickler about how much water I drink. I need to always have a bottle with me. I know a lot of people recommend bringing a water bottle but I also get picky about not being able to properly clean it, so I do prefer bottled water. If the hotel provides free bottles, awesome! If not, then you will find us at a local market picking up bottles and then me refilling them at the gym. And I especially love hotels that offer fruit infused water!

Anyway, time to enjoy the evening more. I will recap Sint Maarten when we’re back. Enjoy the weekend everyone!

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