Women running on a bridge

Vaca­tion means a break from the dai­ly grind, but there’s no rea­son it should also mean a break from run­ning. After all, don’t most run­ners enjoy run­ning? Aren’t vaca­tions about hav­ing a good time? There are actu­al­ly a lot of real­ly great rea­sons to pack your run­ning gear on the next vaca­tion; here’s just a few:

Ease tran­si­tions
Some­times, at the begin­ning of a vaca­tion, it’s hard to get your mind to real­ly let go of work or issues at home. You know the feel­ing, when your shoul­ders are stuck next to your ears because you’re so tense. Then, right about the time you real­ly start unwind­ing and are ready to soak in some vit­a­min D and cul­ture, you’re smacked with the real­i­ty that it’s already time to pack up and return to it all. The tran­si­tion back is usu­al­ly the hard­est, espe­cial­ly if you have guilt over spend­ing any part of your vaca­tion not ful­ly enjoy­ing it. Run­ning on vaca­tion pro­vides a famil­iar way to push ‘reset’ on your mind and ease that tran­si­tion into and out of vaca­tion mode.

Learn your way around
There’s no faster way to learn your way around a new area than to head out for a run in it. You’ll quick­ly mem­o­rize main streets so you can find your way back to wher­ev­er you’re stay­ing, but you’ll also have the unique advan­tage of mov­ing through side streets, cut­ting through areas, and per­haps even find­ing some new paths or trails to check out. If you’re vaca­tion­ing more in a city set­ting, you can try run­ning to some of the sites you want to check out lat­er, so you’ll be able to find them with much less has­sle when you have the whole fam­i­ly along. If you have mul­ti­ple days of vaca­tion, make a point to head in a new direc­tion each day to max­i­mize the area you explore.

awFend off vaca­tion pounds
Eggs Bene­dict? Ice cream sun­dae? Third mar­gari­ta? Bring it on. What’s a vaca­tion with­out a bit of glut­tony? Still, just imag­ine get­ting to enjoy those extra treats with­out hav­ing to deal with the extra ‘vaca­tion poundage’ when you return. Run­ning a few miles each morn­ing before the hoopla begins will help burn some of those extra calo­ries from the night before as well as rev up your metab­o­lism for the day ahead. No one is going to return from vaca­tion and think, “Dang it! Why did I go run­ning? I should have eat­en more!”

Meet the locals
It’s no secret that the locals know the best hang­outs, the best places to shop, and the best restau­rants that are off the beat­en tourist path. The trick, how­ev­er, is meet­ing a local. It doesn’t take a rock­et sci­en­tist to fig­ure out that the odds of meet­ing locals are a hell of a lot bet­ter if you’re on foot than if you’re trapped in a car. Depend­ing on where you’re vaca­tion­ing, there may even be a local run­ning group or club you can join up with one morning.

dftRemem­ber to relax
An unfor­tu­nate side effect of vaca­tion­ing for some peo­ple is that they are so busy try­ing to see and expe­ri­ence every­thing that they for­get to do the most impor­tant thing – relax. Run­ning will offer some­thing famil­iar, com­fort­able, and sooth­ing; a few miles alone with your own mind to reflect on the fun you’ve had and gear up for what’s com­ing next.

Vaca­tion should be a time of fun, relax­ation, and food vibes. In oth­er words, at the end of a vaca­tion, you should have that same feel­ing you get after a great run.