I was very fortunate to be able to take an overseas holiday recently and it was a good reminder to myself that it is OK to take time off your training to relax and recover.

We often think of training as being mostly physical – but we should also remember that alongside our work, families and social lives – following a training plan every day/week/month can take its toll too.

As a Coach I am here to tell you it is OK to pause your training so you can fully enjoy what a holiday is meant to be – a break away and change from your normal routines.

I can honestly say that I did not look at my own training programme once while I was away – and I also left my Garmin behind so that I wasn’t tempted to see how many steps I had completed each day either.  Even a Coach needs a break from training!

If you are following a training programme (or working with a Coach) there should be some weeks during your training that are lighter load weeks – either less overall distance run, a shorter long run, or a week of ‘Easy’ paced runs.

These lighter weeks (also known as ‘Down’ ‘Download’ or ‘Deload’ weeks) are actually an incredibly important part of your training programme as it allows your body to adapt to the previous weeks of training and to prepare for the next block.

Free Silhouette of Boy Running in Body of Water during Sunset Stock Photo

Ideally you would want to plan your Download week(s) around your holidays so that you complete a few harder weeks of training (higher mileage, harder intensity runs, longest training run so far etc) then take your holiday afterwards.  This is where working with a Coach can really make the difference to your training over the summer holidays.

And while you are on holiday – try to stay active – walking, swimming, getting outdoors in the fresh air (don’t forget your sunscreen if its sunny).  If you get a chance to run – see it as a bonus, rather than a necessity.

It’s common for people to feel like they are taking backward steps during holiday times – training was going so well and you were diligently following a plan and then suddenly training stops all together.   Holiday are not a ‘blip’ in your training they are a pause in your training.  And remember all the hard work you have put in so far to get to this point and of course there will be many, many more weeks of training to come when you get back in the lead up to race day.

A word of warning – do not try to make up for any lost training runs by cramming in the ones you missed when you get back –  and do not be tempted to add the missed runs the week before you go on holiday either!

Embrace your holiday – your body will thank you for it when you get back.

Remember – Rest, Recharge, Recover and Return Ready to Run again

Angela MacAusland

Run Coach Angela

[email protected]