Training What You Need To Know About Racing On Vacation

What You Need To Know About Racing On Vacation


Racing is fun. Traveling is exhilarating. Combining a race with a vacation? What an incredible way to have the best of both worlds.

By Pamela Mazzuca HBSc. Kin, Athletic Therapist

Whether you go solo or pack up the whole family a racecation is a great way to see new, and even exotic, destinations and cross them off of your bucket list. Run through a national park, across a historic trail, through the most magical place on earth or even through wine country. Destination races are becoming increasingly popular, which isn’t much of a surprise considering it’s just another way for us to multitask.

As great as racing on vacation sounds, it can cause some logistical nightmares if you aren’t prepared. So before you pack your bags here are the top five things to think about when racing abroad.

Carry it

Be sure to pack all of your race day gear in your carry on luggage. The last thing you need is for your running gear to end up on the wrong plane, delayed or completely lost. It’s also a good idea to check the weather forecast before you leave and to pack things like band-aids, second skin, and other over-the-counter medications you might need in your carry on as well. You never know what how readily available these items might be.

Time it

When racing out of town you need to give yourself enough time for travel. Consider things like flight delays (especially if you have connecting flights), traffic detours and inclement weather. Depending on how far you are traveling, you also want to give yourself time to acclimate to a new climate, altitude and/or time zone. Racing while jet lagged will not provide the most positive memories.

Keep it simple

Vacation is often a time when we indulge in new and rich foods, but it’s best to stick to what you know until after your race. You just never know how your stomach will react to new foods.


Planes are notoriously dry so make sure you drink a lot of water leading up to the race in order to stay hydrated. And you really should avoid alcohol until after you cross the finish line.

Keep it low key

As tempting as it is to hit the pavement hard your first day in a new place, save the walking tours and heavy sight seeing until after the race. Being properly rested will help reduce your risk of injury and increase your chances of having a successful finish time.

Top Five Bucket List Races

  1. Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Marathon – Peru
  2. Great Wall Marathon – China
  3. Athens Classic Marathon – Greece
  4. Versailles la Grande Classique – France
  5. Venice Marathon – Italy