Racing While on Vacation

In the spring, Daniel and I have planned to go on a European vacation for our seventh anniversary. While our destination isn’t set in stone, we’re currently on the fence between Lisbon/Madrid, and Berlin/Budapest. Our plan was to spend five days in each city, so our total vacation time would be 10 days, (approximately). I’m so excited! The farthest I’ve gone from Toronto is the Mayan Riviera in Mexico for my mom’s wedding.

Daniel and I usually go to Florida at least once a year to visit his mom, so I’m used to running there. The climate in South Florida is much different than it is in Toronto, so it was a huge adjustment, however you can’t beat running Oceanside! While I’ve gone on plenty of runs in West Palm, I haven’t done any races there. I like the idea of doing a race while on vacation, but there are a few things that I’m slightly concerned about:

-We’re leaving a few days after my half. Is that enough time to recover?

-Is there a recommendable distance I should run?

-Race Kit pick-up in a country that has a native language other than English…this is most frightening to me (weird, right?). If I were to race in Madrid I could get by since my Spanish is passible, but that’s pretty much it.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever raced on vacation (excluding racecations)? What were your experiences?


-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

14 thoughts on “Racing While on Vacation

  1. I’ve never been to Europe but I think you should be OK. I mean how much to you really say besides your name? As far as recovery, it depends on how hard you run and how long it normally takes you to recover. Compression sleeves or socks are supposed to help with recovery and air travel. Which half are you doing? And I want to hear about which ever cities you go to since I want to go to all of them.

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    • I guess that’s true, there’s not much to kit pick up. I normally don’t use compression sleeves/socks, but I was considering it since we’d have a layover which would add up to 11 hours in air time. I’m doing the Mississauga Half in early May! And I’ll be sure to keep you posted about our destinations!

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  2. Well, if you race on vacation then it’s a racecation, right? I did a half in Montreal, does that count, LOL? I mean, very few people at the race actually did speak English and I only have a few words of French.

    I can tell you that a few days after your race should be plenty of time to recover. I usually like to have at least one rest day before heading home. It used to be I was worried about doing too much before my race, but the more you race, the more you CAN do before the race. So now usually I like to tack on the vacation portion prior to the race so that I can get acclimated to a different climate.

    I have a friend who did a race in Italy. All I can tell you is really research all the logistics of what you’ll need (usually a dr’s certificate) and how to get there — if you can.

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  3. It sounds like your vacationing with some running on the side, which is why you differentiate from a “raceaction.” Are you going to race, they race, or run it more for fun and completion? Considering you are racing a half shortly before, I would keep you distance shorter or run the race easy and more for the adventure. The general rule of thumb is 1 day of recovery for each mile of race. This is, of course, dependent on your individual ability to recover. For me personally, I could race a half marathon and next week enjoy and easy paced 13.1. If you are wanting to push the race harder, go for a shorter distance. I would also consider scheduling the race earlier in your travel over later. Travel can sometimes mess with sleep and eating patterns leaving you feeling flat during your race. Plus, who wants to have to watch what they eat too closely on vacation? As far as packet pick up, google translator was a huge help for me getting around. I have no idea what the volunteers were telling me, though. I just walked up and told them my name and went to where ever they pointed. That’s just my opinion, probably a million reasons to do it differently. Have fun!

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