Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Vacation Travel - Should I Exercise?


Someone asked me the other day if I did any exercise while on vacation. Without a second of thought I replied YES……but then I had to think about it. I always want to say yes but it isn't always that easy. I started thinking about all of my travels, from vacations to marathon races to business trips……do I exercise on all of these? Really? Do I?

Well on trips where we do the marathons that would be the first area you could say of course not! You are about to run twenty six point freakin two miles. But actually I do. The day before I spend an inordinate amount of time stretching, short running, resting in thought and doing various exercises. I wouldn't say they are heavy exercises but they certainly are training tips.

After the race I'll repeat the same routine as the day before. Sometimes run even a little further…..certainly do more stretches.

So let's throw that scenario out.  How about a business trip? Absolutely yes! First of all I don't consider it any different than any other day at the office…..I've just added travel to my agenda. I have two typical kinds of travel for work. Long distance where I fly someplace. And then my normal overnight travels to my second office in Richmond.

For Richmond, this is like my normal routine. I travel there most often once a week. If I forego a workout, I'll really going to screw up my exercise routine. I can't have this. I am more of a runner than I am a gym rat. I don't like the treadmill especially not other cardio machines. It's just plain running for me. I always pack my running shoes, shorts and t-shirt when I go. My travel bag has all the "race goodies" that I might ever need so they are handy at all times. You know the stuff: gels, band aids, rubbing cream, etc. It's like a cosmetic bag for exercising or running.

Because I've been there so often, I know of a few running routes where I stay. I get up at the same time (regardless of my late night meetings) and do my coffee and plan for a run. It isn't as easy for the longer runs but I can do short work outs so I get my satisfying  need for cardio and complete my task of exercise so I don't get out of sync. Exercise in the morning starts everything off in the right frame of mind.

How about long distance travel? Whether it is a vacation or a business trip I treat them the same. Honestly I get up every morning at 5AM thanks to the Miracle Morning  routine established by Hal Elrod. I've modified mine a little different and call it the MARVELous Morning….after all I am a super hero!

Getting up at a regular time…..again, NO MATTER HOW OR WHAT YOU DID THE EVENING BEFORE keeps you on track and in sync with your physical and mental schedule you have established. Once I get up and run in a new town or a new country I've really energized my day…..all day!

If time restricts, I will head to the hotel gym and do a quick workout. Treadmill some and some free weights. But obviously the drug of choice is hitting the pavement. I set my Runkeeper and take off. Maybe the clerk at the front desk is a fitness guru too and will know of a trail or park close by…..if not…..I explore.

I have maps from all over where the Runkeeper logs my routes. Sometimes I have to go back and forth like in Milwaukee. There were canals that made me run some circles. Or Vegas when I had to do a bit of stopping at traffic lights. All of it is fun when you see different sites that you wouldn't typically if you walked or drove a car. Crabtree Falls required some steep hills and trail running. Vacation in Disney required some running in and around the resorts. Those things are huge, plenty of running room. Plus they probably have a gym if you really wanted to workout before traversing the day in the park with Mickey.









Best one ever was a trip to Punta Cana in Dominican Republic with a bunch of buddies. Yes, late nights made it difficult to get up early but I still did it. Nothing better than lacing up your shoes and heading out to the path right there on the beach. Try doing a sand run! I pretty much had the entire beach to myself with the exception of a few other ladies who apparently had the same running addiction that I did. Best way to make new friends!

The key here is not letting go of your scheduled workouts even during the travels of vacation or work. It's important for your body and for you. Treat it that way and as a reward rather than a torture.

I have a series of simple stretches/exercises I do in my hotel room that I'd be glad to share. Write us and we can even work up a simple plan fit specifically for you regarding a workout or running.

So here is the biggest thing you can do for exercising while on vacation....PLANNING!
We have spent all your time planning you flight, hotel and things you are going to do....don't forget to plan for your exercise. So as an example, I'm flying out with a bunch of buddies to Vegas......yes same set of buggies as Dominican Republic.....and yes I'm in trouble....LOL.

I will be preparing to rebound off of my Achilles fiasco and don't want to miss my training opportunities. Also, I don't want to miss the sites. Can we do both? Sure! Here are some of my ideas that I easily searched to figure out serval options during my trip. Not all of them will work but if time permits id surely like to get several of these bucket runs accomplished.

Here's what I found for VEGAS....given these have mostly incorporated running:
(click the link and find all the wonderful deals on Vegas.com)

Located about 20 miles west of the Strip, RED ROCK CANYON NATIONAL CONSERVATION AREA redrockcanyonlv.org offers more than 30 miles of trails, most of which are suitable for running including a semi-technical 12 mile loop through the interior of the park. The 200,000 acre park has stunning mountain vistas, an array of cacti (don't step on any!) and desert wild flowers....Oh and the wildlife! Bighorn sheep, coyotes to rattlesnake....(There's a snake in by boots....errrr running shoes!)

Another option is the 32 mile RIVER MOUNTAIN LOOP TRAIL southwest of Las Vegas, which includes the 7-mile HISTORIC RAILROAD TUNNEL TRAIL, a rail that snakes (no more snakes!) through 5 tunnels as it meanders from Lake Mead National Recreation Area entrance to Hoover Dam.




For a shorter urban run from a hotel, it's easy to create a 4-6 mile loop that incorporates the sights and sounds of Sin City, including the iconic WELCOME TO LAS VEGAS SIGN and the fountains at the BELLAGIO hotel-casino. You got to do this....and take a picture and send it to me!

 

 
Read more at Hidden Running in Vegas


Other options include a few of the following that I found interesting.

Sunset Park

Just south of McCarran airport is Sunset Park. Not easily accessible by foot from downtown Las Vegas or the Strip, but it’s the closest ‘green space’ to the city. There’s a small pond with a perimeter path and it’s easy to put together 2–3 miles on the trails within the park. Some paved, some not paved.
Mt. Charleston
35 miles northwest of Las Vegas. Numerous trail options
A significant mountain, rising from 3,000 to 12,000 feet. 52 miles of trails featuring trees like juniper, mountain mahogany, Aspen and Ponderosa pine. In summer, it is significantly cooler than Las Vegas. In winter, there can be snow…and skiing. Many of the hiking trails are run-able. For experienced, endurance trail runners, there are the North Loop and South Loop trails.


Valley of Fire State Park
6 miles from Lake Meade and 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas. 

This is another opportunity to access some desert/red rock trail running. It’s 6 miles from Lake Meade and 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas. A great destination if you’re near Lake Meade or on your way to Zion National Park. Note: bring water. No facilities whatsoever.

Please let me know of any other locations that YOU found interesting. Id love to try them out too!

RunEugeneRun.com

Eugene Thompson

Founder + Marathon Runner


 

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