Seasonal and holiday breaks may tempt travel buffs, as families and friends jet off to amusement sights, cruises, sightseeing tours, and other faraway spots. Runners tend to be a different sort sometimes, focusing instead on spending their off-work and off-school days preparing for future races. Sure, lots of running enthusiasts dash off to destination races, but plenty stay home to save money and use these less hectic days in training and running-related pursuits.
Here are 10 ways to take a running staycation, making the most of vacation time without busting the bank.
1. Map out running plans ahead of time.
Vacation days can slip away quickly, especially without intentional organization. By drafting a written exercise schedule, a runner can be sure to use the time productively and to keep distractions (and “Honey-Do Lists”) from steering one too far afield. Also, it’s best to start a running staycation in the best possible physical condition, rather than plunging into high-performance plans without proper preparation.
2. Change up the schedule.
A running staycation offers a prime opportunity for testing out various distances and times of day for training. Longer jaunts need not wait for weekends. Early morning or evening runs become options. Even double-up run days may work out.
3. Go longer on training runs.
A runner who normally logs three to five miles on a daily (or nearly daily) basis might crank these totals up a few notches during a running staycation. The office isn’t calling. Term papers aren’t coming due. Why not spend more time in the sneakers?
4. Do test runs on upcoming race courses.
Running staycation days are super times for sampling mapped-out courses for future races. Showing up with firsthand knowledge of the route can be a definite advantage.
5. Make use of teen sitters on school breaks.
If schools are out, that means teenagers may be looking for ways to earn extra cash. College and high school kids may be handy for watching youngsters while parents go running.
6. Plan runs with friends or race partners.
During a running staycation, more than a few folks set up training runs with fellow running club members, running friends, or those who may need some extra encouragement to take up or return to running.
7. Grow the geography.
It’s easy to become bored with running the same old routes, day after day. The extra time offered by a running staycation allows one to expand the borders a bit. Has an intriguing neighborhood been beckoning for a run-through? How’s the new running track at the cross-town high school? Here’s a chance to find out.
8. Trek a new trail.
What’s it like to run the forest preserve in the next county? Is the beach path a good workout? Give it a test run during a staycation.
9. Try out a new gym.
Lots of fitness centers and gyms offer free short-term trial memberships. Some may last a week or even a month. A running staycation is a super time to take advantage of such an offer.
10. Sign up for a local race.
Seasonal races abound. Fun runs, holiday theme races, and training events dot the calendar all year. Why not pick a race or two during the vacation week?
A running staycation makes smart financial and fitness sense. Runners can have fun, improve personal fitness, and save vacation cash to spend on new running gear or race fees. Because runners are generally active, motivated, get-up-and-go folks, a staycation hardly means staying hunkered at home.