Posted by: Joe English | May 4, 2010

Commentary — Is vacation the best or worst of times for a runner?

Coach Joe English

Coach Joe English

Every time I go on vacation I have this feeling that goes something like this: “I can’t wait to have the time off so that I can run. I mean really run. I’ll run every day. I might even do some doubles.”

At the end of those vacations, something strange seems to have taken place. Not only have I not run more than normal or hit those doubles, but I seem to have done even less than I normally do. In fact, it feels like vacation is the worst of times for this runner, rather than the best. So what gives?

Vacation should mean plenty of time, lots of sleep, excellent nutrition and new places to run. But just the opposite seems to be the case. Vacation brings rich food, lots of alcohol, a very different schedule and vacation activities that take up lots of time and energy. Have you ever run AFTER going to Disneyland, just for example. I just recently took a weekend vacation where I ate twice as much as I normally would, slept twice as much, drank twice as much and didn’t managed to run at all.

Perhaps the most difficult thing about vacation for me as a runner is that I’m out of my routine. I can somehow manage business travel, but vacation travel is a whole different ball-game.Gone is the schedule in which my runs inhabit a fixed location. Gone are the places that I normally run. Gone is the track where I do my speed work. It’s all thrown up in the air and by the end of the weekend, or week, or however log, I’ve logged less miles and less quality than I normally would have.

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