How Technology Helps Me Train on Vacation

tech_001According to Jess (who knows me pretty well), I can be pretty regimented at times. In particular, when following through on plans or directions. She’s not wrong either – I can be inflexible, diligently adhering to the plan without really taking the time to pause and assess whether my actions are for the best. Stubborn is a word that has been used once or twice around our place. It’s something that came up in the past and caused a bit of tension between us. It is also one of the reasons I ended up with an over-training injury earlier in the year. Not surprisingly, flexibility of schedule was the subject of a recent tweet by one of the individuals I most respect in the running community:

When real life interferes, sometimes you can juggle schedules and maintain momentum; other times you need to sigh and skip the workout.
– @higdonmarathon

As we approached summer, many questions circulated my brain relating to maintaining my training while enjoying weekends and vacations at the beach and lake. I would like to think that I have learned my lesson, and am not blindly prioritizing training activities ahead of all else. But the unfamiliar was definitely causing me some stress as discussions about various trips loomed. This summer has given me lots of opportunities to test out my adaptability, and put into practice some of the promises I made to Jess last year. Whereas in the past I might have been hesitant to take days and weekends away from my home base, potentially disrupting my ever so well crafted training plan, these days I can be more flexible thanks to technology and a little forward planning.

Ever since I started running over a year and a half ago, I have been using an app called Runkeeper to track my activities and view historical reports. I like it because it’s easy to use both on the web and phone. Recently, I started to make use of the routes function. Initially, I used this to map my routes for the various training runs in my plan. However, I quickly realized that it also gave me the ability to pre-plan routes for those times when I’m away from home. So far this summer I have been able to create routes near our upstate weekend retreat and along the Jersey shore where we recently spent some time with friends. We’re planning further trips through the end of August, and to maintain my plan I have mapped out appropriate routes in and around Virginia Beach and Fire Island, NY.

Using the tools and technology at my disposal, I am able to travel and take advantage of the summer while holding myself to my training plan. The biggest issue is then simply a case of finding the right time to head out for a run. As I’m an early riser, I am able to take advantage of the cooler temperatures in the morning and complete my run before anyone else is awake and moving about.

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