IMG_5426Recently my husband John and I went on a glorious, kid-free vacation to Costa Rica with our friends, Paul and Christy to celebrate all of us turning 40. It was the best couples retreat ever.  Between our catamaran adventure, snorkeling, ceviche tasting, crocodile watching, paddle boarding, reading,  relaxing, and massages, I managed to get a couple of noteworthy training sessions in.  Here are some do’s and don’ts for vacation work-outs that I learned along the way.


  • Plan to work-out if that is what your body is used to. You will be in a ‘funk’ if you don’t do at least something.
  • Run on the beach. I did my runs on the beach in front of our condo.  No need to worry about getting lost on local roads.IMG_5403
  • Make a strategy for the heat (see the next 3 do’s)
  • Look for things in the sand (seashells, fish that have been washed up, anything) that will give you an excuse to stop. You’ll need them.  I have a nice collection of seashells from my runs now.
  • Wear your bathing suit under your running clothes. If you don’t, you will be so desperate to cool off that you will run into the ocean fully clothed.  Which is totally fine too.
  • Adjust the length of your run in the middle of your run. This is a big no no at home but on vacay, it’s cool.
  • Look at the massage tables on the beach knowing that it will soon be your turn. And then make sure you take that turn that you promised yourself.
  • Bring plastic bags to put icky workout clothes in for the trip home (TMI?)
  • Sleep in. At the risk of running in the hottest part of the day, for me, it was worth it.
  • Have fun with your runs. Remember that you are on vacation.
  • Put other things that you can’t do at home first. Stand up paddle boarding for an hour in the warm ocean water with Christy is not something I can do at home.  Going on a jungle cruise and seeing crocs everywhere, not something I can do at home either.
  • Remember why you love to run. Use the time to recharge your
    batteries and focus on what really matters to you.



  • Choose the hottest part of the day to run. I have a knack for that.  90 degrees and 90% humidity is no bueno.
  • Expect your Garmin watch to work. Especially if it’s four years old.
  • Give the people getting massages on the beach dirty looks.
  • Definitely don’t give your friend who is watching you run back and forth on the beach while in the nice, cool pool dirty looks either.
  • Drink too many Sangrias and then expect an awesome training run the next day.
  • Expect the same results as a paved run at home. Especially if you run in the heat of the day, in the sand.
  • Tie the awesomeness (or lack thereof) of your work-outs to the awesomeness of your vacation.
  • Force it.

Happy vacation training everyone!