How to Pack Successfully for Vacation Running

I absolutely love this time of year. The kids are out of school, the days are longer and the sunshine just beckons me to come out and play!  It also means trying to fit my running training schedule around family fun and vacation.

For our family, vacation is synonymous with the beach. We live in a beautiful desert landscape in Southern Arizona, so when we travel, we love to surround ourselves with the sound of waves, misty air, and the salty scent of the sea. The best thing one can do when trying to work their running schedule into a family vacation is prepare! So here are some of my tips and tricks on how to pack successfully for a little running fun while traveling!


1. Reuse and Recycle




Do you have a pair of running shoes that have seen better days?  Save them for your vacation!  They can get sandy or muddy and you don’t have to worry about packing them up to bring them home. Find a place to donate or recycle them wherever you are visiting and leave them behind for good. I also do this with running shorts, sports bras, and old race shirts or hats that are just about done.  Save them for your trip, use them, donate them and then you don’t have to pack up stinky running attire and bring it back home.


2. Dress to Say Yes


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Pack your favorite running clothes that make you want to run!  Whether they are fashionable or more functional, make sure they are what you need. If you’re traveling somewhere warm, make sure your running attire is made of breathable material that may offer sun protection.  I love Uvida Sportswear with UPF50+!  Or perhaps, you need coverage to protect you from insects.  Whatever the conditions may be, make sure you are prepared.


3. Protect Yourself



I always try to protect my skin as best I can from the sun. So two things I never leave on a run without are a hat and sunscreen.  Again, make sure you’ve tested them out before packing them. I have some hats that breathe and fit better than others and I also prefer certain sunscreens for runs. Sunscreen sprays or sunscreens that are labeled “sport” allow my skin to breathe better than most lotions.

Be sure to know about the environment you’re heading into and pack the right type of insect repellent.  It’s important to read the directions on the best way to apply it and use it properly.  Especially if you are using one that contains DEET and you are wearing sunscreen.  Apply the DEET product at least 30 minutes after the sunscreen to avoid the absorption of DEET into your skin. There are also many alternatives to DEET products that you may want consider as well but just be careful with “natural” ingredients. Some may not last as long or should not be used on infants or toddlers.


4. Stay Hydrated


I can’t tell you how many times I’ve headed out for a run and not exactly found my way back as quickly as I would have guessed. This is why I always bring a hydration pack to carry water in. By carrying a pack you can bring also along some fuel, money and your phone. I use a waist pack that I love by Nathan Sports. I also find that when I travel, I am more likely to get dehydrated.  From long flights, delays, changes in elevation, and just not drinking enough I need more than just water. I always carry Nuun electrolyte enhanced drink tablets. They come in a variety of flavors and you just drop them into your sports bottle with water.  It’s super easy, made with clean ingredients, and not overloaded with calories or sugar!


5. Don’t Get Lost


Running in a new location can be so invigorating.  New sights, sounds and smells make vacation running the best.  You see more on foot that one could ever see by driving around or taking a tour.  Of course, you do have to be careful in not taking a wrong turn and not being able to find your way back. Consider downloading an app on your phone or watch that can help with that. I love using the app RunGo which gives me turn by turn directions with voice navigation!  I can run a route that someone has created near my location or create my own. It works offline too so cheers to no more getting lost on runs!


6. Seek Adventure


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Last, but not least, be sure to bring along your love of the run! Seek out the adventure and opportunity to see new places. Be glad to be spending more time with loved ones and be grateful for every run, for every run is truly a gift.

So here’s to making the summer of 2017 the best one yet.  Be safe and create a multitude of amazing memories while running your heart out. I’m confident that good summer training runs will lead to successful fall racing!!


Author: Laura Swenson

Laura Swenson has been in the fitness and running industry for over 20 years. She is an ACE certified personal trainer, EBFA Barefoot Training Specialist, and a certified Running Coach. She also teaches Spinning and Les Mills Body Pump classes. She’s run 35 marathons, five “double crossings” of the Grand Canyon, and nine ultra marathons. In her spare time she loves spending time with her husband and three kids at the beach surfing!

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