Keeping Fit While We Travel

How do you keep fit on the road?


Back in October I started running again. I downloaded the NHS Couch to 5k podcasts, downloaded the “Runkeeper” app on my phone and hit the neighborhood.


I am the worlds worst runner, so even though I’ve been at it for about three months, I’ve only just started week eight on the program. I’ve had to repeat three weeks because it’s just to dang hard to move on to the next one.


Still, I’m making progress. I’m at the point in the program where I should be running (jogging very slowly for me) for twenty eight minutes straight. I still can’t quite do it, but I don’t slow down to a walk until about minute 23, and then only for about sixty seconds before I pick up the jog again. Then I continue jogging for a minute or so after the nice woman on the app tells me to slow down for my cool off walk.


I’m still getting in the 28 minutes, but not quite all in a row. Maybe Sunday’s run will give me my breakthrough?


By the end of the program I should be able to jog for 30 minutes straight, with a five minute warm up walk, and a five minute cool down walk. I’m not worried that I won’t be able to do it, I’ve obviously been doing better little by little and I’ll get there. The problem for me is that I can’t imagine that I’ll get to the point where it doesn’t absolutely wipe me out.


When does it get easier? When does it start to feel good? When does it get fun? Because that shit is torture right now.


But there are two things that keep me doing it (besides the fact that I love to eat, a lot, and want to keep doing it and still fit into my pants). The first is that I feel fantastic for the rest of the day after a run.


The second is the scenery. So far I’ve gone running in Rio das Ostras (Brazil), Houston (Texas, USA), Dunfirmline (Scotland), Newcastle (England) and now in Pooley Bridge (England). I can take running anywhere. I can discover new paths, see new countryside, find new neighborhoods and lose myself in new scenery anywhere I go.

Pooley Bridge Run


These photos are from a run in the Lake District of England. I explored some back roads, met a few sheep, saw a rabbit and a pheasant, ran alongside a wall that is probably older than my own country, found a stables where we could have hired horses for a ride (ran out of time for that one), and loved every minute of my slog through the fog.


I still felt like I was dying. I was shuffling and panting like a geriatric dog, soaked with sweat, but I also enjoyed being out there.


I did it, and I felt great afterwards just like I always do.


We travel in so many ways. We drive, we fly, we take the metro and the train, we ride a bike now and then, but until we put our feet on the path we don’t really slow down to see it all.


Jogging and hiking do that for me. I feel like I really see a place when I let my feet take me through it.


It’s nice to slow down and take time to really look at a place, so I suppose it’s a good thing that I’m a terrible runner. I am most definitely slow enough to really look around.

Do you work out when you travel? How do you manage it?

(Sorry about the not-so-lovely iphone photos)

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About akil3655

A Scotsman and his American photographer wife traveling the world and writing about it. Tales, reviews, photos, interviews and crazy goings on. Because you never know what's going to happen.

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4 Responses to Keeping Fit While We Travel

  1. Melissa Swanson January 4, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

    First of all, your “lovely iPhone photos” are far better than anything I could ever hope to accomplish. Second, I plan on starting the Couch to 5k as soon as I get the “all clear” from my surgeon – hopefully, the end of the month.

    A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was an aerobics instructor. Hard to believe, I know. I hated it. I did it for the cute guys in the gym. I was still smoking, so it obviously had nothing to do with my health! I have never gotten an exercise-induced endorphin in my entire life, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get anything out of it. Occasionally, tennis gives me the thrill of victory, as well as a good excuse to have wine with friends following a match.

    Despite the lack of endorphins and not going as quickly as the nice lady on the app would like you to go, you are getting a lot out of it. You’re seeing things you would otherwise miss, and I’m not talking just the scenery. You’re seeing that you can push yourself through something that makes you feel like dog shit and come out with a smile, albeit a tired one, on your face. That’s a breakthrough. That’s victory!
    Melissa Swanson recently posted..LanguageMy Profile

    • akil3655
      Twitter: kiltandacamera
      January 4, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

      I’ll take all the victories I can get! Even if they make me feel like dog shit, lol.

      I do agree with you though. It’s really hard to make it through each run, but the half hour of suffering really does bring me way more than a half hour’s worth of feeling great afterwards. The scenery is a very nice added bonus on top of that.

      A hard earned win. Now where’s my endorphin? And my wine?
      akil3655 recently posted..Keeping Fit While We TravelMy Profile

  2. Scarlett January 24, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    What a beautiful place to run! I’m impressed that you’re sticking at it – you can’t be a worse runner than me!! xx
    Scarlett recently posted..How Things Change.My Profile

    • akil3655
      Twitter: kiltandacamera
      January 24, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

      I stuck with it until… two weeks ago. One nasty chest cold and then ten days of snow and ice did me in. As soon as the slushy, icy mess melts a bit I swear I am back out there. I’m scared to see how far backwards I’ll have slid by then. I’ll be huffing and puffing like an eighty year old asthmatic. Pretty much like always.