Training On Vacation

Vacations are needed to rest, recover, rejuvenate, and get out of a rut.  However, vacations also can cut into training opportunities and the routine/schedule one is trying to follow to prepare for a specific race.  Recently, I went to Iceland and Sweden for 10 days near the beginning of training for triathlon season with a few friends.  It was a bit snowy and -25 degree Celsius at one point without the wind factored in!

The Torne River in Winter
View of The Torne River in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden

I went on this vacation with multiple goals – explore, engage, laugh, try new food, and have fun with everyone on the trip.  All of those were accomplished.  These goals also meant my nutrition was out the door and I had to be creative in my training schedule!  Food that I tried included whale, lamb, fish, and reindeer.  At times, vegetables were an option, but at other times the breakfast pastries just had to be eaten because European breads and pastries are amazing!

For workouts, the weather prevented the outdoor running and biking as I’m not keen on running/biking on snow and ice.  Maybe one day.  In Iceland, there are plenty of outdoor swimming pools so I had a great goal to use those to swim (yes, outdoors in the winter with water from the hot springs).  However, outside of the Blue Lagoon, there were no swimming opportunities due to constant rain and snow storms.  Knowing I needed to be creative, I chose to walk to touristy locations instead of taking public transportation when possible and asked others who might want to join.  When faced with options, I always chose to walk (or hike to the bottom of the waterfall as this photo shows.  In addition, I tried to do some stretching almost every day.

Faxi Waterfall
Faxi Waterfall in Iceland

When we had access to a hotel gym (the last two nights) I woke up earlier than any of the group members to use the treadmill and bike.  I wasn’t the only one trying to fit in workouts during these ten days.  Another member of our group has been working with a personal trainer who provided exercise band exercises to work on.  One morning, another in the group also woke up early to join me by lifting some weights while I ran on the treadmill.  It was great to have the support of another in the group.

Although I didn’t get all the workouts in that I wanted/needed, I added workouts upon my return to get ‘caught up’ if there is such a thing.  In addition, I used Nuun and Honey Stinger products throughout the trip which was extremely helpful.  The vacation allowed me to learn about new cultures, try new foods, and explore with friends from across the USA.  When an opportunity presents itself, always say yes to vacation, even in the middle of training!

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