Ruth Field: With all that sand, don’t forget to keep your grit about you

I’m enjoying my holidays to the full, but I am also making damn sure I get exercise every day

Being active is every bit as necessary to me for a great holiday as all the wine, cheese and merrymaking . . . and the long stretches of runnable sandy beach are drawing me in. Photograph: iStockphoto

Being active is every bit as necessary to me for a great holiday as all the wine, cheese and merrymaking . . . and the long stretches of runnable sandy beach are drawing me in. Photograph: iStockphoto

Fri, Aug 22, 2014, 17:00

Q So, Ruth, do you really run on your holidays or do you just say that to make us feel bad about ourselves? I don’t see how it is possible with three kids and a husband to look after. It’s actually more work on holiday here in Spain than when the kids are at school and my husband is at work. Where do you find the time? It’s too bloody hot all day, and I am ready to collapse when the kids go to sleep later than at home. But I keep thinking of you in the same boat somewhere, gritting out runs all holiday. And my inner bitch is getting in my face about it. So, make my day and tell me it’s a big fat lie and that you are lounging about like the rest of us, eating and drinking too much, and that you left your trainers at home. Please make my day. Jenny

A Hmmm. Well, Jenny, it will please you to hear that I have slackened off the running somewhat. The only time I have been tempted to go for a run is after having arrived on Ile de Ré a couple of days ago; long stretches of runnable sandy beach are drawing me in. And it isn’t so hot here that it can’t be done in comfort, so I know I’ll be out there most probably this evening. But I can’t see myself doing more than a few beach runs and . . . confession . . . this is my third week away, and that (as yet un-run beach run) will be my first since I left the UK.

But before you think I’ve been bone idle for three weeks, nursing a slowly inflating spare tyre with fois gras baguette and gallons of wine – there has been some of that, of course – a great deal of activity has been happening in between. And it was a very calculated decision on my part to ease off the running on holiday, mainly because I was out jogging almost every day for some time before we left home, and I genuinely felt it would do my knackered body good to have a proper break. Experience tells me that a holiday from running now will only heighten my enthusiasm for the sport on my return home, so I am not worried about breaking the good habit.

And, like you say, Jenny, there is less time for running on holiday because you are with your kids and husband from dawn till dusk. I usually use the first 45 minutes after dropping the boys off at nursery in the morning for my run back home, leaving a late evening run on holiday as the most realistic option. But my tendency to crack open a frothy* long before the twins are in bed pretty much cancels out that option.

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