You find yourself back in the office on Monday, with a groggy brain and an extra five pounds around your waistline. Your vacation might not have helped your training at all, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on your goal! I’ve had countless people drop out of programs after missing only two or three workouts because they feel like they are “too far behind” to catch up. Circumstances like this are less than ideal, but it’s definitely NOT the end of the world. People go on vacation. We like to get out, let loose, have a little fun and explore this beautiful world. So how can you use this time off to your advantage?
- “Down time” doesn’t mean you have to be lying down the whole time. It’s nice to take a little snooze in the afternoon, but reward yourself with some quick Z's after a long walk or short HIIT workout. Any movement is good movement, even if you’re not running. Your heart rate doesn’t have to be going through the roof in order to get in a good quality workout and make positive fitness adaptations.
- Spice it up! Get weird and use your imagination. Find a flight of stairs and do some sprints, or use the parking line demarcations in the hotel lot for some drill-based exercises. All you need is your body weight for exercises like push-ups and Burpees, so use your time away from your training group to do a workout that you wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to do.
- Remember to do some damage control. It’s easy to go 0-60, especially when you’re out of town and not thinking about your race. Out of sight, out of mind. In these moments it’s wise to listen to the voice in the back of your head. You know, the one that’s telling you to wrap things up and go to bed on time because you need to get in a quick 30 minute jog before the kids wake up in the morning.
- Reset and refocus. Taking a week-long vacation in the middle of a training cycle will undoubtedly set you back. Be comfortable with that! Taking care of your brain is just as important as taking care of your body, and time off is a good chance for self-care and self-reflection. You won’t want to let consecutive days slip by without exercising at all, but remember you’re still on vacation and it’s not the time to create additional unnecessary stress.
- Get back on track right away. If you take a week vacation, then take another week to catch up on work then it will become even easier to take a third week to get back into the exercise groove. Before you know it, you’ve lost almost a month! Put a timeline in place, and remember there is still a task at hand. It’s nice to step away from everything, but only when you come back re-energized, renewed and ready to take on the next challenge!