As I said my goodbyes before heading off on my Florida trip at the beginning of last month, I found myself rather confused by the number of people who kept telling me not to run too much while I was away. I really couldn’t understand why they were telling me that. I mean, I know for some people a holiday is a chance to take a break from working out, but for me it’s a key part of my day to day life and it would feel really strange not to take advantage of the nice weather to enjoy training in different surroundings. The idea of not running just didn’t make sense! So today I thought I would share a bit about how I train when I’m in my “second home”, as well as some of the other fun things I did when I was away.
The first thing to say is that I know my summer break is a chance to relax and recharge, so I’m certainly not getting on the plane with any intention of training as much as I would at home. I also don’t really plan it in the same amount of detail as I would at home. My runs are shorter and are fitted in around any other things we might have planned in the week (the only fixed things are the two races we did, which you can read about here and here). And given the heat, I know my pace will suffer so I prefer to just relax and enjoy the early morning run, perhaps listening to a podcast or perhaps enjoying listening to the world waking up. Similarly, I’m not going to have access to the same facilities for my other workouts, but Steve and I work with the resources we have, maybe doing some drills or using playground equipment to create a workout. This year, I took a mat with me and did a bit of poolside yoga as well to help stretch my body out.
My favourite Florida workouts are the days we get up early and head out for a run with my dad. None of us run at the same pace, but we cover the same route and have a few sections where we will pass each other going the opposite way, so it’s not always just me trundling along at the back (yes, my dad is still pretty speedy, although I did manage to pass him one morning!). When we get back home, Steve and I head into the pool to cool off then do a bit of stretching or yoga. I really enjoyed those poolside yoga sessions. They made me feel relaxed yet focused and were a great start to the day. After that, we dry off and enjoy breakfast outside under the lanai with my parents – usually watermelon, toast and coffee. By the time we’ve eaten, the sun is hitting the sun deck and we can slather on the sun cream and get settled with a book. Bliss!
The key thing to remember, is that the trip is fun so any workouts we do should be fun as well. There’s plenty of time throughout the rest of the year for really serious training, so it’s nice to be a bit more relaxed about workouts. One morning Steve and I did some yoga poses in the playground; another time we laughed at the number of playground rules we seemed to be flaunting! The playground is around a mile from my parents’ house, so we jog there and back, sometimes taking the scenic route home just to extend the time we’re out. It also gives us a chance to run together, something we never do since our paces are so different.
Another habit we developed this year was going for a walk later in the day. We’ve both been wearing activity trackers, and were determined to meet our step goal every day – fairly straightforward on days we ran or were out and about, not so easy on lazy pool days! Sometimes we used this as an opportunity to walk down to the nearby supermarket for some snacks, but other times we simply took a walk around the neighbourhood and had a chat. We even met some local wildlife!
The main focus of the trip was to relax, read and recharge whilst enjoying the weather, but we did have a few fun days out too…
I had a fabulously relaxing spa pedicure and gel manicure:
We went shopping, mainly at outlets and my favourite, Disney Springs:
We had the most amazing afternoon tea at the Grand Floridian resort, followed by a walk around the grounds:
We enjoyed beautiful Florida sunsets (and a couple of spectacular storms!):
We were spoiled with a fortnight of my mum’s delicious home cooking!
And we rounded the trip off with a day at Epcot. Dad usually gives us some money towards a theme park day as early birthday presents, and this year I really fancied a day spent enjoying the food and drink in World Showcase, as well as some of the usual Disney delights!
(Yes, I did buy mouse ears. As far as I’m concerned, it’s compulsory!)
After all that I was sad to come home, but did so feeling much more myself after a really stressful year. Besides, I was starting to miss my cat (who apparently missed me too!).
Roll on next summer!
Where have you been this summer?
What (if any) training do you do when you travel?