Summer Vacations and Training

It’s that time of the year for summer vacations with the family.  For many, it’s time to visit the favorite beach destination.   Of course, the priorities may change to accustom the specific activities for the children, relatives, and friends.   How many times have you faced the frustration that builds when you have large groups sharing a home together at the beach?   Living together and coordinating activities, dinners, etc. can become quite frustrating at times.

So what happens with your training program during the family vacation when others are normally the priority and training might take a back seat?   If you are staying at a beach resort with limited time, consider tweaking your training to more intense workouts with specific interval sets.   You will be able to maintain your fitness level if you are disciplined and focus on intervals for many of the workouts.

Consider, deep sand running for a tough workout similar to hill running one day and switch to the roads the next day.   Switch up the shorter hard workouts between both surfaces.     A workout example: run for 45 minutes on the beach (barefoot or with shoes) and do a series of 10-15.  2-3 minute intervals at 5-10K paces with 1 ½ minute’s recovery between each.   These will be tough especially with the resistance of the sand when running hard.

In regards to swim workouts, you won’t have lane lines to guide you and it’s the perfect opportunity to practice open water swimming and sighting to remain in a straight line.   Also, consider picking out a specific target buoy if there is one at the particular beach and practice making strong efficient turns around the buoy to simulate race conditions.    I would suggest adding some transition training (ex: running up the beach and changing just like a race).   Sounds crazy but it’s an area we don’t seem to practice that often but can be perfected by repetition of just getting in and out of the transition quickly.    For the entire week consider adding 50-100 pushups every day for a basic strength building exercise that won’t take much time.

Summer vacations create lasting memories for sure.  Consider shorter but hard workouts to maintain (and possibly enhance) your fitness when you face time constraints.  Get up early and do all the workouts before everyone rises in the morning and the chaos begins!

By Wayne Kurtz

Wayne Kurtz is founder of and Endurance Racing Report,  he has a lifelong passion for racing in various endurance sport races throughout the world. He is also the author of: ‘Beyond the Iron, a training guide for ultra-distance triathlons.’