Readers Roundtable: Do I Have to Run on Vacation?

When you have friends like these, who needs long runs?

I’m getting ready to head out on an epic Disney family vacation! I went to Disneyland a couple of years ago —my first ever Disney park experience! — with my two eldest kids, but now we’re heading to that other park with the entire family including Aunt Cinnamon! You might not have pegged me as a Disney fanatic, but like with running, I’m an adult-onset dark ride and Dole Whip lover.

Anyway, I’m grateful that I’m not deep in a training plan right now, because I know between bad hotel sleep, taking care of my children, and walking a gazillion miles in the muggy weather, running might not exactly be what I want to do when I find some time to myself. Nevertheless, I’m packing my running shoes. You never know when you can squeeze in a few miles!

How about you?

How do you handle running on a vacation that is not centered around running?

💥And don’t miss #SaltyChat tonight (Monday) at 8:00 p.m. on Twitter! It ain’t that boring guy from your running club’s Twitter chat, if you know what I mean. *wink* *wink* 💥

Salty Running boss and mother of 3 little ones with PRs of 3:10:15 (26.2), 1:25:59 (13.1) and 18:15 (5k). I love to write about running culture, mental training, and fitting in a serious running habit with the rest of a busy life.

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  1. I love running on vacation. Going back to the sleep post from last week, I’m an early riser and sleep even worse on vacation, so I’m up way before everyone else anyways. If we’re staying at an airBNB – which we ‘ve been doing more of lately – one of the first questions I ask is how easy it is to run from their place 🙂

    1. I’m thinking that maybe if I go to bed with the kids I could get up early, but if I don’t won’t be happening! Usually on vacation, I like to sleep in and if I run it’s usually during the kids down time in the late afternoon. But Orlando at 2:00 p.m. is probably not the best for enjoyable running 🙂

  2. Some people say that the way they explore on vacation is through running. Well, unless you have a guide or can find a nice trail or park, running in a new city is stressful for me! I’ve only gone on vacation once and it was during a hurricane to a Veg Fest…to Washington DC…so I was not going to get out there, it’s dangerous! I did not schedule any training during this time and actually took advantage of the pool. I didn’t do a swim workout (lols) but just getting in there felt great for my body. Such a new way to move.
    I’m also a history nerd, so the walking history tours are always fun. I have to get back to Gettysburg and do that again. 🙂

  3. Depends on the vacation and where I am in training, but I’m not run-or-die about it, as long as I’m getting some kind of physical activity. When I went to the Grand Canyon a couple years ago, I only got in a couple runs, but they were strategically planned for non-long hike days.

    I also think it depends on how many people you’re with. I’ve done early runs when I’m with a group of girlfriends, and it’s no big deal to be the one who meets up later. My husband and I just got back from a trip to Mexico, and I didn’t run once despite packing 4 sets of running clothes. That was more about wanting to be in the moment and enjoy things as they came, instead of having to get up super early or making him wait while I ran.

    1. I’m just not gonna be psycho about MAKING SURE I GET IN RUNS EVERY DAY! At some point, it defeats the purpose of vacation 🙂

  4. I LOVE running on vacations! I usually will plan my runs well in advance of going on the trip by plotting out running routes from wherever we are staying. In January I went to a conference in Austin, TX and I had my running routes figured out almost immediately after booking our hotel. There is something so exciting about running in a new city- I LOVE IT! I even ran that last minute impromptu half marathon when I was in Austin, because what better way to see a city than to run 13.1 miles of it 🙂

    Next up is our Idaho vacation in which we will make a quick detour to Utah so I can run the Utah Valley Half Marathon!

    1. I love it too! Except last year when we stayed in an Air BnB on a country road in BFE near a state park and it felt like running through the set of Deliverance. Terrifying!

  5. Sound like a bring-your-shoes-and-see-what-happens vacation. You might be too zonked at the end of a hot day dragging your family through the Magic Kingdom, or it might be the only way you get a little break and not scream at everyone at the end of the day. Have a blast, whatever you do!

  6. I love running a race while on vacation, although I don’t think I would do this at Disney. I never make them goal races so besides race morning it doesn’t hinder the vacation. It’s given me the chance to see amazing places (Muir woods) to oddities, 30 minute aerobics class before the run (London). I typically cut my weekly mileage in half splitting it between less runs and shorter distances. When home I never take my cell phone, but it’s a must while travelling. Drop a pin in the phone map before you go and get lost for a while.

    1. I love that idea! I ran a half while visiting Cinnamon in New Orleans way back when and it was a super way to see the city. But yeah, not at Disney. I think because my kids are little and we’ll be walking so much and want to get the most out of the experience, running is definitely not a high priority. It’s going to be a pretty physically exhausting vacation as it it!

  7. I love running on vacation! I always get to see more sights that way, and I often discover additional activities to add to our itinerary while I’m out. I generally do all easy running, but I can’t think of a vacation I haven’t run every single morning of — usually 6-12 miles/morning before anyone else wakes up. I feel like I get extra special sight-seeing that no one else in my family or group gets. I always return home the most sleep-deprived, but it’s worth it.

  8. I love running on vacation. Mostly. As long as the weather is good, I love getting up and running a few miles before anyone else is up and about. That being said, if I’d rather sleep in, sip coffee and visit with my people, then I do that instead. I guess what I love about vacation running is that I never make it a requirement, it’s something I do if the mood strikes. No matter the length of my vacation, I will always pack running shoes and a sports bra.

  9. I just got back from Disney! I ran 4 miles on our first morning there. And none after that. I didn’t sweat it! Disney trips are exhausting. When we went to the beach last year I was able to get a lot more miles in. Fore me, more relaxing vacations = more running.