Dawn runs across long sandy beaches. Twilight runs through lush green forests. Five laps of the caravan park in a howling gale.
Wherever you’re going this summer, holiday running can be just the ticket. Here you’ll find our hints and tips on getting the most from your break. Let’s kick off with the big question...
How much running would you like to do?
This is your holiday, so it’s completely up to you. Maybe you fancy just doing a couple of runs a week. Or perhaps you want to put in a big block of training. Whatever your holiday running goals, be flexible and see how it goes at first. Often you find it takes a few days to unwind properly. So just relax and go with the flow.
The path to glory
Have a look online for potential running routes before you go away. You can also often pick up great trail maps from Tourist Offices for next to nothing.
Do you use any running apps to record and share your runs? Then check them out too. There might be at least a few routes logged wherever you’re heading.
Running kit is perfect for travelling light. You can double up your shorts and tops for day wear, and they’re quick and easy to handwash if you can’t access a machine. Recently I did a month’s training in the Pyrenees with just one big holdall. Two pairs of trainers, running kit, foam roller. Throw in some toiletries and it’s job done.
Up and at ‘em!
Time and energy are precious things for us runners, even when we’re on holiday. So be clever. Get your miles in before you do anything else - and before everyone else is up.
Morning runs are much easier if you don’t have a day’s work looming at the end of them. Even if you’re not a natural early riser, set the alarm and get on out there.
Be even smarter than your phone
Running somewhere new on holiday? Then let someone know where you’re going. Taking your phone is a smart move, especially if you can’t speak the local language. Check out the weather too, so you don’t have any nasty surprises. Mountain weather can change quickly, for example, and getting caught in a storm is no fun at all.
Beat the heat
Holiday treats are fine, but don’t undo all your hard work by eating and drinking really badly. At the risk of sounding like your mum, please drink lots of water when it’s hot.
And always remember your sunscreen. As a ginger, I have the genetic potential to burn indoors. Even if you’re darker-skinned than me, do be sensible in the sunshine.
When you get back
Travelling can be tiring. Don’t worry if takes a few days to readjust to your normal training. Your legs will thank you for the extra rest, and you’ll soon be flying again.
See you on the start line.