I just came back from a fantastic week staying at my friends villa in Portugal and not only did I get to spend quality time with five of my favorite people in the world I also managed to squeeze in a few miles.
I can imagine running on holiday is the last thing most people want to do, but if you are up for a bit of an adventure there’s no better way to explore than sticking on your trainers and hitting the trails.
If you are thinking about clocking some hot sweaty holiday miles here are my top tips for making it out and getting back in one piece:
1. Pick your time
Its hot, that’s probably one of the reasons you chose your destination. In Port we were topping out at about 35/36 degrees at midday. Unless you have an extremely high heat tolerance or your training for the Marathon de Sables DO NOT head out for your run between 12 – 3. It won’t be pretty. Running early morning or evening will make it a lot more comfortable.
2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Once again its hot, so make sure you drink a sufficient amount of water during the day. The situation you don’t want is the clock hitting run time and you realising the only fluid you have taken in all day is a jug of vodpineapple. This will not a good run make.
Taking a bottle of water with you to sip whilst you run is a smart choice and even smarter is getting hold of some electrolytes (I use nuun) to put in that water. These clever little tablets will increase the amount of water absorbed into the blood stream and help prevent the unpleasant effects of dehydration. They also work wonders on hangovers, basically good to drink all day.
3. Choose your trail
We were staying about a mile from the coast, and if like me you tend to get slightly navigationally challenged, heading out one way along the sea front and then turning back and heading the other way dramatically reduces your chances of ending up in the middle of nowhere desperately trying to mime ‘Which way to Alto Golf and Country Club?’ to a bemused Portuguese child and their dog.
Plus running by the sea mostly guarantees some beautiful views, and if you’re lucky some beach sections where you can practice running like an ungainly giraffe through ankle deep sand.
Some of my Portugal running haunts:
4. Take a pal
If you can persuade a friend to come along do! its always fun to run with a pal. They might protest at first, but they will love you for it later. Am I right Kirst?
Ah she’s left..