A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Running on a cruise

on February 17, 2015
Earlier this month, I got lots of practice running on a cruise ship. I wanted to stick to my training plan because a) I have big goals for the Lincoln half marathon and didn’t want to miss a week of training just for vacation and b) all that running kept my weight gain from being even worse than it was on the cruise!
There are a few options for sticking to your training plan while on a cruise ship.
Find the walking/jogging deck. On the Disney ships (and I suspect many others), there’s a promenade deck that you can walk or run on. In the case of Disney, this is deck 4 (at least on the Dream and the Magic). This is definitely how I got most of my miles in, especially early in this morning. It was so nice to be out when the ship was quiet and watch the sun rise over the water as I ran my laps (3 laps = 1 mile on the Magic). The changing light over the water actually helped to keep things interested over the many, many laps I ran.
Gorgeous watching the sun rise!

Gorgeous watching the sun rise!

I also got to see some areas of the ship I wouldn’t have otherwise!
I also ran across the service pet relief area down there, but it was less photo-worthy. :)

I also ran across the service pet relief area down there, but it was less photo-worthy. 🙂

This disadvantages to this approach are that a) it gets crowded later in the day (although I did enjoy running past people napping in the lounge chairs one afternoon) and b) your GPS device may not work on the boat, so you’ll have to find another way to estimate your pace and keep track of your distance. I found it particularly hard to keep track of the many laps, so a lot of my distances for the week on board were estimates.
Also inconvenient that the jogging path may get closed while you're trying to run.

Also inconvenient that the jogging path may get closed while you’re trying to run.

Hit the treadmill. I’m not opposed to treadmills on dry land, but I really dislike them on a cruise ship. The motion of the boat plus the treadmill really disorients me! However, it is sometimes necessary. In my case, I did the tempo run on the treadmill so that I could be sure I stuck to the pace without letting up for a mile. I also ended up doing part of the long run on the treadmill because they closed the promenade deck. This time around, I found the treadmill a lot less disorienting because I’ve figured out how to read on my iPad while I was running. Focusing down on the iPad rather than on the water really helped tremendously. It’s odd – you’d think the lovely view of the water would be a good thing, but it definitely isn’t for me! The day of my long run, I also kept one hand on the treadmill rail for balance because of the boat motion.
Nicer view than usual gym views,right?

Nicer view than usual gym views,right?

Run in your ports of call. I’d read a lot of different reports of people getting off at whatever port they were visiting to get their run done. It would depend on the safety of that particular port of call and where you docked, I suppose. I didn’t go this route for the most part because it seemed like a bit of a hassle, especially since I didn’t mind running on the promenade deck. I did run on Castaway Cay, for the 5K, and saw several people out running the runway and bike path throughout the day on the island.
It's rubber, but it was free bling so that's totally fine!

It’s rubber, but it was free bling so that’s totally fine!

Another general piece of advice would be to bring anything you needed, like a water bottle, fuel or hydration supplies because they may not be available on the ship. Some ships have things like Gatorade in the gym and the Disney gym did have water and fruit available in the gym, but I also had my own Nuun. As my runs were all fairly short (longest 7 miles), I didn’t bring any fuel with me but if I’d had longer runs planned I would definitely do so as there weren’t any Gus for sale in the shops onboard. 🙂
Have you run on a cruise ship? Any advice?

PS Check out this recent post from Pam with great tips about planning workouts when you’re on vacation!

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