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August 18, 2013

Benefits can abound when running on a vacation

I’ve seen it all too often in the summer.

People who are generally well conditioned and fit, and work out throughout the year, return from a vacation and lament that they’ve done little of a physical nature for a week or two, or even three, and already are out of shape.

That’s something I’ve never understood. It takes very little time in one’s day to stay in shape and, with all the different avenues (virtually all hotels have fitness rooms) in which to do it, there’s really no excuse.

That’s particularly true for runners.

In fact, vacations should be a particularly enjoyable and inspiring time for runners. During the year, training runs can become stale when done in the same locales, with the same training partners, time after time.

Vacations are a chance to get out of one’s running rut and recharge the engine.

Over the years, I’ve had a chance to run while on vacation in — among other places — northern Wisconsin, southern and northern California, Missouri, Florida, New York City and Washington, D.C.

And that’s just in the United States. I’ve also run in Russia, Ukraine, China, Canada and various countries in Europe.

In addition to getting out of your rut, there is no better way to see the scenery as well as the in and outs of city life. It’s a lot easier to run down alleys and narrow city streets than it is to drive them.

And you can see more of everyday life, too, whether it’s how children play, how adults spend their evenings or what it’s like early in the morning when people are leaving for work.

You can also see a lot more of a city, and get a feel for its people, if you’re out running than if you’re with a group walking or, worse, in a tour bus just seeing the main attractions.

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