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Bite Size - Balancing The Family Holiday and Training

Is the holiday planned during peak or off-season?

This might determine whether taking a bicycle along, for example, is worth it or not. The bicycle is the one bug-bear we all have when traveling. Besides the usual additional cost of lugging the bike along in the plane, the logistics of finding the time and the routes to train on it add to the headaches when you start planning a family holiday

Is the holiday intended for quality family time?

Are you going away on holiday with the intent of spending some quality time with the family members or is the holiday disguised as a “race-training” holiday? (Going to do a race and or do some mega training but holidaying at the same time)

What time of the year will you be planning this holiday and where?

Will it be hot or cold when you reach the destination?

What sort of facilities will be available for training purposes?

Will there be access to a swimming pool and/or gym? Are the roads safe for outdoor cycling or is indoor cycling the preferred option? i.e.: gym bikes or event to the extreme of taking the turbo trainer along with you.

Everything in moderation

If your family expect that you dedicate some time to them during the holiday (which, of course, is totally fair and sometimes crucial) then you need to work on a program that does not keep you away from them for hours on end. Perhaps, plan an early training session before they wake up, or a short-sharp speed session just before dinner. This will free up the entire day for family fun duties.

If it’s the off-season…

There is no need to cram bike miles – leave the bike at home and set out a program that will only include running and possibly swimming. If swimming becomes a problem i.e. finding a suitable venue, then perhaps sticking to gym-based exercises. This will keep the upper body fit, so may also be an option to consider.

Choose a destination that the whole family is happy with

Rather than geared around ideal training routes and facilities, choose a destination that is geared towards the family and fun entertainment. If the family is happy, you can always work a program around them. This will ensure that you get your daily training “fix” while keeping everyone happy.

In-season holidays

In-season holidays are a little more difficult, but they can still be done with much success. Some advanced training block sessions with the swim/bike and run before you go can give you a little bit of leverage going into a planned holiday. This will then allow you some ‘rest’ days so you can recover properly from all the hard pre-holiday training sessions by soaking up the sun and free time with the rest of the family.

Try something new in the way of choosing your next holiday.

Just like mixing up your training routines and plans freshen you up both mentally and physically, a holiday that is different to the norm will do wonders for your state of mind, and that of your family members too. If all of you are happy and content, then training time does not become an issue at all.

Maximum return

Work out a program that will give you the maximum return with the least amount of time spent on it; Short and sharp springs to mind. Unless you have planned this holiday as a mini training camp, don’t go and do endless miles that take up precious time. Fast and explosive sessions can be wrapped up in less than 60 minutes per session, freeing up a lot of time for family activities and fun.

Sight-seeing and walk tours.

These can almost be seen as a ‘training’ session on its own. Stories of how some families have walked around 20km per day trekking through cities just having fun are plentiful. Add a daily 20km brisk walk into the training equation and you won’t feel so lazy anymore. Grabbing some food and ice-cream along the way is one of the life’s little pleasures that you can actually enjoy on the holiday.

Allow for a little weight gain whilst on the holiday excursion

You can be more strict when you get back home, but indulging in a little of the local cuisine can be seen as a healthy option for a change. Everything in moderation can never be seen as a bad thing.

If you only have a spouse and no kids…

Perhaps surprise them with a weekend getaway, where there is no formal training planned. If they are not really that into sport, they will certainly appreciate this gesture and it will earn you massive brownie points later on in the season when you really need to knuckle down and do some of the hard yards.

If you have kids…

Look to enjoy some of the activities they enjoy alongside them. A water park, for example, is loads of fun. By the time you have run up all the stairs, caught all the slides and tubes with them, you might actually get more of a workout than you could have ever imagined.

Planning a routine that will work for everyone

Early mornings are best

A quick 60 minute run/swim and or even bike with some speed set intervals built into this mix will sort your training solutions for the rest of the day.

Open water swimming opportunities

You may find yourself in settings that are ideal for open water swimming. Activities such as snorkeling can sort out the swim requirement for the day. You hold your breath for a few seconds each time and kick hard with a pair of fins to dive beneath the water, and you will have the swim workout of your life just there and then.

Running opportunities

A short and sandy beach run with bare feet, or even a train hike-run during a family outing can also be done with great effectiveness.

Holiday programs

A lot of the resorts have holiday fun fitness programs on offer. So, get the family to join in for a few of those and write it down to ‘cross’ and/or ‘active rest’ training sessions.

Use the gym

Utilise the gym facility if there is one at the destination. You can easily do a simulated indoor triathlon training session within 60 minutes; 20 minutes S&C for the upper body, 20 minutes on the gym bikes, 20 minutes on the treadmills.

Find out about any clubs

Depending on where you find yourself, there may be a weekly club run or swim up for grabs. A day of leisure spent with the family, followed by a club TT later in the afternoon just before dinner can give you a little extra incentive to enjoy the rest during the day, only to give it a good 100% hard effort later on.

Last minute planning time for a training Holiday

Do some research on the area before you book the trip. Some destinations offer the best of both worlds such as Las Playitas Resort. Ease of using training facilities and plenty to do for the family as well

Some destinations offer bike rentals. This might cut down your travel costs and the bugbear of lugging a bike case along with the family

Load your training volumes in advance so you need to rest and recover while on holiday

Opt to enter races that fall-out your preferred race season and personal holiday periods. This way, you are not under any pressure to get the miles done

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