The Mother Runner’s Guide to Family Getaways: How I stay on top of my training

Well, we’re coming up on the unofficial end of summer (how is it already Labor Day Weekend?!). This summer has been a strange one, to say the least. But despite all of the changes in our world, our family has spent more time outside than ever before. Day trips, camping trips and outdoor adventures have made this summer truly a summer to remember. Nearly every weekend, we escape to our local mountains or local National Parks – we’re totally spoiled and have three parks within an hour’s drive!

If you’re like me and are currently training for a big race, the weekends are typically when you plan your long runs and catch up on mileage. How does this work when you are on vacation? Camping? At a National Park? This summer, I’ve followed a few basic principles to keep me on track with my training:

1. Give yourself grace. And rest. Sure, weekends are a great time to log those long runs. But be sure you make time to reconnect with your family and the outdoors. I will add more miles during the week if we happen to have a weekend trip planned.

2. Embrace cross training. Lucky for me, my family’s idea of a perfect weekend getaway is camping and hiking in the mountains. While it can be a challenge to hike with toddlers (especially the 3-year-old who is now over 40 pounds – can’t carry him anymore!), we’re usually able to log some awesome hiking miles together as a family. I carry baby girl in the pack, which ups the ante even further, especially on hikes with elevation gains. I’ve found that hiking is the absolute BEST form of cross training. After a long week of running, it feels great to use different muscles and slow things down a bit – even when the intensity is high with elevation gains and a heavy (yet adorable!) pack.

3. Plan your trails / routes ahead of time. I love the AllTrails app for finding local trails. Typically, our campground will be surrounded by hiking trails. I love mapping out my trails prior to leaving the house (can you tell I am a big planner?). Pro tip: save screenshots of your trails since cell service might be spotty once you arrive to your destination!

4. Plan your activities / food ahead of time, too. In between our family adventures, I’m usually able to sneak in a few solo trail running miles, usually before they wake or during nap time. In order to make this possible, I plan all of our meals ahead of time. Our favorite camping dinner: spaghetti and turkey meat sauce – I take things a step further and make the dish before we leave the house! Breakfast: I make a batch of muffins ahead of time (“Run Fast Eat Slow” superhero muffins FTW!). Our favorite adventure lunch: PB+J. I also bring plenty of kid-friendly activities (right now, we’re all about coloring books, dinosaur toys & books) so that my hubby is prepared to entertain the kiddos during my solo trail time.

These simple steps have helped me this summer. I hope you can adapt them for your own adventures!