Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

Each year, we try to schedule a family camping trip. We all enjoy being together in the great outdoors and exploring a new area. The kids like to make new friends and have a greater degree of freedom to play.
This year, we booked a week at a campsite on the Somerset levels, an area steeped in history and legend – King Arthur, Alfred the Great, The Holy Grail and the witch of Wookey Hole. I’ll post a separate note on the camping trip.

Even though we “Glamp” with a luxurious tent, an electric hook-up and heater for cold nights and mornings, it’s generally “harder work” than staying in your house with “all mod cons”. My challenge, after the recent over-training episode was to carry on running but without over-reaching and recovering properly.


I stuck with the basic kit I took on holiday to spain (see Carry on running… abroad!). I added a lightweight waterproof and swapped the road shoes for trail shoes.


As we tend to all be woken earlier in a tent due to the sun rise, early morning runs were out. This made it harder to schedule. I decided to go for an evening run just before our evening meal. I also brought some protein shake powders as usually I had to cook the evening meal and wasn’t allowed in the tent until I had a shower!
These worked well, I chose the High 5 brand that come in individual sachets. Halfords were doing a special half-price offer. I wouldn’t want to buy them at full price!

After a run, I mixed up the shake (using a 99p sport direct shaker) with water. After drinking, I headed to the washing block to wash the shaker out and hit the shower.

Lessons Learned
  1. My running kit dried after a rinse in the tent extension each night. Not sure if this would work in colder, damper weather.
  2. The Somerset levels are not all level! Some short sharp hills were surprisingly hard
  3. Like Spain, running is slow at times due to navigating in unfamiliar territory. The longer runs turned into speed-work and hill sessions punctuated with map reading stops.
  4. The running improved my sleep and rest periods – as did a few glasses of wine or local cider before bed!
  5. The recovery shakes tasted great and apparently helped with carb and protein intake.
  6. A running waist pack would have been a good idea to carry the map, etc.

Carry On Abroad (movie poster).jpg

Our family holiday is the highlight of the year. We all look forward to it as a relaxing break away where we can spend time together, enjoy the sun, sand and sea. I have always managed to break away for a couple of hours to scuba dive, but since taking up running I also wanted (or needed) to keep this going too. This needed a bit of thought as to how to fit it in, still have a great family holiday, not add loads of weight to our baggage and deal with the hotter climate.


A minimalist approach was needed, so I took:

  • a wicking top
  • baseball cap
  • compression under shorts
  • shorts
  • socks
  • road running trainers

With a bit of persuasion, this all fitted inside an Umbro shoe bag and didn’t take up too much space or weight. I also took the Garmin and heart sensor. I expected to do some pool and open water swimming too. I also took a race belt with a pouch to store my room key and cell phone.


Knowing how hot it can get, I expected to be up early. I managed to start all my runs before 0630 to avoid the heat. This also meant that is didn’t impact our family day and I could have a quick breakfast snack and rehydrate in the restaurant before going back up to the room and having a “proper” breakfast. I bit like the hobbits!

Lessons learnt

Generally things worked out well. I did a mix of short and longer distance runs and was surprised how cold the mornings could be before the sun came up.

  1. Toilet paper in the race belt from now on!
  2. I had to stop to use a toilet on one of the runs. There were none, so I had to improvise! Took some toilet paper in the race belt on subsequent runs.
  3. Because of the heat, chaffing occurred. I don’t usually suffer with this, but even with the compression shorts, it happened. Perhaps some “body glide” would prevent it, or some medicated Talc would be good to help recovery.