Marathon Training on Holidays

I have a marathon coming up soon, my dream marathon in Kyoto, but guess what? We are in the middle of school holidays. My little guy is with me 24/7, but I need to run. How can I do it? Is it really a problem?

When you're a runner it is undeniably convenient to work from home and be the boss of your time. Especially when you have a family. Kids to school and off you go for your run. No need to wake up early morning at some ungodly hour or risking breaking your legs in the total darkness. I know, it's not for everybody and not everybody can do that, but I am lucky.

When my son started primary school I decided to quit my job and focus on his, my and our family's wellbeing. Working from home as a freelancer allows me to do work, house-chores, volunteering at school, running, and taking my son to sports after school all in a day, every day. Except of course school holidays...

... then I can just throw my daily schedule out of the window because, I 'have to' play Lego... and go to the museum (for a hundredth time)... and attend many playdates, and picnics... I can barely do any work at all and yes, I have to wake up at an ungodly hour to go for a run, or run on a treadmill at the gym where also, very conveniently, my son's holiday Taekwondo classes at taking place.

school holidays fun

The problem grows even bigger when we actually go away. Whether it's camping or flying overseas, it's hard to find time... except early in the morning. But there are no excuses when I'm training for a marathon, and I am basically training for some marathons all the time. That requires not only a lot of determination, but also a lot of support and understanding from the family, because apart from all the short runs that I need to do during the week, I also go for a long one on the weekend.

It's hard to do it all and don't impact all the holidaying. It is hard, but not impossible. I learned, and so did my family, to weave my training in our holiday routines. Some days they can sleep longer and wait for me with breakfast, some days they organise their own activities that I'm happy to miss, some days (when I had a really bad run) we all take it slow and relax... and some days I skip the training, because there's something super exciting we all want to do.

That's why I don't have a written training plan for the holidays, I go with the flow, adapt and adjust. I am flexible and don't force my family or myself to sacrifice to much of our time together. It worked when we camped in Mallacoota, Beechworth, Portland (Victoria, Au), and when we went to Sydney or flew to Myanmar...

running on holidays

... and yes, I finished all the races that followed and I'm really hoping this plan it's going to work again now that I'm training for Kyoto.

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