Last week I took a break from hard training. While on a 7-day family cruise to the Mexican Carribean, I managed 25 miles of easy running. This Royal Carribean ship had a running track that was a fifth of a mile long as well as a gym stocked with plenty of treadmills. So all of my miles came while at sea. This was a needed break after last Sunday's 20 miler and prior weekly totals of 47, 50, 51, 57 and 57 miles.
Many of my runner friends, particularly the marathoners, are obsessive about their training. I put myself in that same boat. We have a hard time backing off the mileage, even when we know it's GOOD for the training to RECOVER!
In fact, I take a look at my weekly totals above and my brain still murmurs..."hey, you were SO CLOSE to reaching 60 miles in one week" and "how am I gonna 'get back' into hard training again?"
But after 16 years of running, 24 marathons, tens of thousands of miles, hundreds of races, injuries, setbacks as well as fun, accomplishments and excitement, I've learned. Set the bar low while on vacation.
I told myself, my goal is to run a minimum of 20 minutes each day. Anything over that total is icing on the cake. It didn't matter how fast or slow I ran those 20 minutes. They could be on a treadmill or running circles on the deck of the ship. Or even little circles around the dessert bar.
So on Day 1 when I ran only 25 minutes, I felt GOOD about it! I set the bar so low that it would be easy to exceed my training expectations.
I could have taken the entire week of like more sane people who completely relax and enjoy their vacations. But that would be way too mentally damaging for me. Not to mention, staying physically fit on a cruise offering 24/7 food enabled me to EAT my fair share!
Also helping my case was my 5 solid prior weeks of training and 2 solid 19-20 milers. I had "miles in the bank" so taking it down a notch for a week was no big deal.
So go ahead! Take that vacation, enjoy it and then get back into training with renewed vigor!