Have you ever dreamed of travelling to another part of the world and running across extraordinary landscapes? If you love to run and travel, then consider going on a running holiday. Racing past olive groves in Southern Italy or mountainous valleys in Scotland is a completely different experience from hitting the treadmill at your local gym. If you’re tempted, here are a few tips to get you started.
Tour, Buddy or Alone?
One of the biggest decisions you’ve got make when arranging a running holiday is choosing who to go with. If you’re looking for challenging, long distance runs with lots of company and spectacular locations, there are many guided tours and packages you can join. Most will map out your routes, carry your luggage for you and will give you a tour of the best beauty spots, so you can cover much more ground with all the support you need.
However, if you prefer greater flexibility, going on holiday with a running buddy who shares your enthusiasm is a great option too. After all, you get all the benefits of running and challenging each other while being able to relax and have fun afterwards. If you want to go it alone, make sure your routes are planned carefully in advance and take all necessary safety precautions so nothing ruins your good time.
If you plan on going on long distance runs every day, make sure you train several weeks in advance. Climate conditions are likely to be more challenging and varied on a trip through the rural wilderness.
When going on your usual daily or weekly runs, vary the location and try to make the run as challenging as possible. For example, you might choose to run in a particularly hilly area in your local park or vary your routes to include narrow muddy tracks and dense woodland.
If you don’t have much experience running, read a how to start running guide for beginners and get your trainers on!
City or Country
The great thing about running on holiday is that you can do it anywhere, and choose how long or short you want your runs to be. From Barcelona to Melbourne, there are organised group running tours that will take you through highlights of the city, or you can just follow your own route.
If you prefer to explore nature’s wilderness, there are many established routes around Europe. The Scottish Highlands offer a particularly rich array of rewarding running trails full of beauty and variety.
Long distance runs can be challenging, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the terrain. If you’re going to a hot climate, run during the early hours or sunset. If you are usually dependent on your smartphone to get you around, pre-download your maps so you don’t get lost. Similarly if you can’t run without music powering you on, download your favourite playlist before you start your journey and get going.
If you’re not an experienced runner, and all the above sounds like too much work, simply bring your trainers along with you wherever you are and go for a short run instead.