By the time you read this I will be sitting on the wairarapa coast of New Zealand looking out over the sea wondering if I will be having shellfish or fish for dinner. Yep, summer is a great time the world over and New Zealand summers can be some of the best in the world. Those idyllic days where the sky seems bigger than the whole world and time ticks by at 80 seconds to a minute, nowhere to go and nothing to do other than bait hooks, move the umbrella so you’re out of the direct sun and swim to cool off whenever necessary.
Which is fantastic, but how the hell do you fit some running into that mix and not get it in the way of spending quality family time which is actually the real purpose of going on a beach holiday in my opinion. You know the kind where you just hang out together, no plans other than probably meeting for meals, perhaps a walk in the evening enjoying the last rays of the sun and then some games together before bed. Yeah, running doesn’t really fit into that picture, but if I’m going to keep progressing with my training I will have to go for six runs in the two weeks we are away.
I have been thinking about this and I think I have a few options that will make this not only possible but potentially enjoyable not only for me but also the rest of the family! I’ve outlined them below, have a read and let me know what you think in the comments.
- Run Early – I know that early mornings and holidays are a bit of an oxymoron, but I am finding that I am waking earlier in the morning even when my alarm isn’t set. Throwing on my running kit and going for a run before everyone else gets up is a great idea to get my run in without taking away from family time. Best case scenario, I get back everyone is still in bed and I can take Jane a cup of tea. Worst case scenario is that Jane and the kids get up while I’m out and I come back to find breakfast is being cooked and a coffee waiting for me. (or is that the best case??)
- Introduce some cross training, we’re taking bikes with us this holiday so there is always the option to switch out a run for a bike with the whole family. This is a good option as I’m probably the slowest in the family on the bike so I’d get a good workout and hopefully prove to the kids that old age and treachery can overcome youth and skill.
- Make the run part of a larger adventure. We’ve always loved coastal walks where we all clamber over the rocks and look in rock pools for life and interesting stuff and gently make our way around the coast. I reckon that there is no reason why I can’t start out with the family on my normal starting walk, then when its time to kick it up a gear go for my run in the same direction that they will be walking and have them follow me. As long as I turn round about 20 mins into my 30 min run I should get back to them about the time I finish. Then we can walk on together. There are a few problems with this – mainly running on the beach or rocks will be difficult but the C2C run is pretty brutal off road so this will be good practice.
So there you go, three as yet untried techniques for fitting runs in around a family holiday. I’m hoping that at least one of these has some legs and I do actually get my runs in. I am of course taking a kayak (well two actually) so there will be plenty of paddling and some biking, so the chances of getting no exercise are pretty much nil. I’ll let you know how I get on when we get back, in the meantime if you have any thoughts about the suggestions above or any of your own please leave a comment.