Do you relax on holiday?

I know we are all active types and it’s been discussed before re training on holiday etc.

But I’m curious as to what you consider relaxing? Every holiday we have I swear I’m going to relax and we never do because I try to cram in so much.

Today is our first day and we have brought surfboards and running gear with us. Surfing on holiday in the UK isn’t is laid back as it sounds because of the massive high/low tide difference, it can screw with your day, especially if you cop an onshore.

We tend to to plan the day around surfing but it can be a bit of a schlep with boards up and down the hill with the gear. ( I hate just hanging on the beach).

So it’s a cycle of pre breakfast surf or run, breakfast then another surf with Little One, then a family trail walk and trying get some vert in. Given I’m battling the rash from the evil hedge ( my own fault) and starting my job next week, for the first time on a holiday, I’m thinking ‘screw it’ and just see how the day pans out.

TBH, I think I’m shit at relaxing!

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Just got back from a week in Charmouth and thought long and hard about taking running gear before eventually deciding not to.
I find it harder to exercise when I don’t have my normal routine and the only time that really works is to go early before everyone else is up. In the end I decided not to try and just accept a week’s rest will do me good in the long run, albeit we still clock up plenty of steps rather than lazing around all day by a pool.

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Interesting question. I’ve just got back from the first holiday in a long time where I felt relaxed. We were busy every day, for a long time. I would have liked more time sat in the sun outside the tent drinking cold and crisp white wine. I am very fixated on a schedule, my wife thinks its autistic traits, and she has specialist qualifications in that area so probably right, I cant stand changing an agreed schedule. I think for a lot of people they have to work hard at relaxing, which sounds arse about face. For me it’s always been work worry. My last job I’d constantly be contacted on leave. In my new job I’m not a subject matter expert, and if they need escalation they can go to my boss. I’ve finally been able to disconnect.

Sorry not sure that helps you much as it’s all about me. But my point is that it doesnt come easy for all, I always thought, go on holiday instant relaxation and it rarely works like that.

I didnt think about work once, had no desire to check my email. Didnt worry about anything other that what are we doing today and where are we going.

I’ve never been good at relaxing in the past, but now I really do feel relaxed. I’m back to work tomorrow. Usually I’d be filled with dread. I dont give a shit. I’ll get up and do my days work no problem.

It’s very hard to reach this point for me. A lot of things have fallen in to place and I’ve worked hard on trying to let go of things and relax.

I think you need to work out the things that prevent you from relaxing. Is it the need to have a rigid schedule, is it that you have to feel like you are “doing something” on holiday and sitting round the pool doesnt meet that expectation. Once you know why you can work on dealing with it.


Thanks for that, really useful
I think for me it’s the need to be doing and if I’m relaxing then I’m not being productive. I get plenty of chances to train at home and if I said to Mrs FP I wanted to run and surf on my own a lot this week, she would be fine.

I think whenever I get home from a holiday, I always I think ’ I should have done more of this or that’s so as a result, i try to do everything, all the time.

I think the disconnect comes from thinking ‘am I on holiday, are we all on holiday’ ? Which sounds odd, now I’ve typed it.

I get that totally. I’ve been having this argument with myself recently over weekends. Some times I drink far to much on a friday night and lob around in bed most of Saturday morning. Especially during lockdown when there was really nothing to do.

I’d then get annoyed with myself for wasting the weekend, even though st the time it was impossible to actually do anything.

On family summer holidays - which have always been camping - I am totally shit at relaxing but the rest of them excel at it.

The solution for us is that every other day we’ll go & do something & the following day I go ff cycling/running/whatever while they mooch/read/swim etc.

Works for us & it is a flexible thing I’m not that hard-wired.

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Good responses. I woke up at 5.45, checked the surf from the window, very small and windy, and I could have gone running but went back to bed, why I did that when I knew I’d feel guilty now, god only knows.

Plan for today is a mushy surf session for Little One when the tide comes I a bit, then a family trail walk to Croyde, which will be about 10km.


The Neilson active holiday company summed it up in their motto, “relax as hard as you like.”

For us, have to knock out something early doors to then truly let go. This just means taking our bikes along and getting in a few rides and runs over the week, usually being done by 10am to take the kids to the pool. We always picked a campsite with its own lake so could do some swimming in the afternoon too.

Basically, I need to raise my heart rate, in order to lower my heart rate. On a daily basis!


At least Little One seems happy enough. :+1:


I always train on holiday, the weather and terrain are too good not to take advantage. It also stops me ballooning in weight because I like a few beers with my borderline alcoholic in-laws :joy:

Get out early while the kids are asleep for my runs, sometimes with my wife (other adults are in villa)
We have some pool days where we do nothing and some lazy beach days, then days like today where we are to some waterfalls for a walk and swim/jumping.

Whatever makes you happy is right.


I relax mentally, but for me that means exercise is required, so normally my holidays see me wake up early, get an hour of something in (normally running, but if it is a UK holiday I take my bike), then often home, showered, and getting breakfast ready for everyone when they wake up. That, at least, is the dream.

When I did my first Ironman I was in Mexico for 2 weeks before and I did 1 hour in the 80m pool every morning. Wife and kids would meet me at 8am, towel dry, and walk to breakfast together. That was heaven. Also the swim focus that summer netted me my best IM swim time by probably 8 minutes (but still horribly slow).


Relaxation was impossible in the ‘holiday with kids’ scenario.

Now kids are no longer a factor, but last few years of job stress it was very hard. There’d be a ton of stuff that HAD to be done before I went so I’d be working harder than ever right to the wire beforehand.

It would take 2/3 days to de-stress, a blissful middle portion then as the holiday entered the last 3/4 days the looming spectre of work and the catching up I’d have to do when back would raise anxiety again. The whole purpose of the holiday would be that stress free spell in the middle, it felt like bliss.

But lifestyle change 13 months ago (took voluntary, now have a low key, lower paid but stress free local job) means life is now very low stress. Not had a ‘holiday’ yet in this new guise (thanks Covid!), so not sure how that will pan out holiday wise. Possibly do more, rather than just ‘do nothing because I can’.


You’ll all hate me but once the packing/travel bit of the holiday is out of the way I can quickly switch off. I think I’ve got a pretty laid back attitude and outlook on life in general. Whenever I run or ride I can quickly clear my mind.

Current holidays are busy though. Generally don’t take my bike and always try to swim/run. Was easier when they didn’t get up several times in the night and wake up at 6! Can’t wait until the kids are a bit older and I can get back to that sun lounger.

@TROSaracen experience sounds very similar to my wife’s. Takes her a few days to decompress and forget about work. She has however always stuck to her guns and never taken her work phone or laptop

Holidays? What are those :wink:
The very thought of a holiday stresses me out - all of that money and what if you don’t like it?
I like my hotel to be nicer than my house - I hate staying somewhere where the rooms are smaller than our bedroom, so claustrophobic!

We go to Paris Christmas shopping once per year, which we really enjoy.
I take two weeks off over Christmas, which is always super relaxing - I really enjoy that.
Also take two weeks off over Easter, which is pretty much the same, but with more days out in Wales/Cheshire/Derbyshire, plus some days at home doing sweetFA.

Then have some random days off to ride my bike, then a few Fri/Mon to make a long weekend, where we take the kids up to Whitby/Scarborough to see their grandparents, which is quite stressful :see_no_evil:

This whole Covid thing has made our life much slower - we’ve just been into town for a Rishi breakfast, took our work phones, just in case, then did a shop at Sainsbury’s, now back at home “working” :wink:
No commute, nobody breathing down your neck, no pressure to be at your screen - do the work, that is all.



To be fair the packing is pretty straightforward too so once I’m on my bike and leaving work the relaxation starts.

No trouble doing absolutely nothing when we get to wherever it is either, phone goes in the safe and don’t bother with the wifi code. We both take our running stuff and have a little jog around just to explore the local area as much as anything to keep fitness levels.

I think the issue for us is that so much of the day Is dictated by the surf and what it is doing. The best waves can be early doors or middle of the day or whenever the elements combine.

I love surfing, it’s my favourite sport but I’m definitely a lot slower in my pop ups these days, post broken back. In the context of a holiday, I’m starting to think if it isn’t time to give it less priority so we can all do more. Little One is so tiny, she can ride a ripple in the bath, so it’s only me really.

If I wasn’t compelled to surf, the idea of knocking out an hour run before brekkie on holiday would be easy.

I’m probably a little bit of Hewligan, TRO and Adam.

I’ll nearly always take my trainers as having a run lets me explore the place and relax. Although I always do a lot of walking and don’t really worry if I don’t have much structure to training. If it’s the end of the year\season I might do no running at all.

I’d only swim\bike if I was there doing a triathlon really. And I’ve only really gone on one holiday I’d call cycling.

My holidays usually are either a short break to do a race, possibly with a few days afterwards to look around. Although when I went to Chicago in 2018 I did keep some swimming up as I also did an IM the week after, and the swim was reduced to 1500M after getting a weeklong gym membership :roll_eyes:

Most of the holidays with the GF tend to be in the UK for a few days, she doesn’t go abroad very much these days and can’t walk very far.

My other holidays are mostly city breaks so I end up walking quite a bit, but I don’t look at work emails etc. so get a mental break from the stresses of work, it can take a day or so to forget depending on what happened just before I went, but I do sometimes start to think what awaits with a day or so left :frowning:

I think that an assessment for Austistic Spectrum should include the question “are you a triathlete”. If the answer is yes, it is a strong indicator. This comment is not entirely in jest, I do wonder if solo endurance sports, which require a large degree of mental strength teind to attract people who could be on the Autistic Sprectrum


I love camping holidays as I need personal space and be in control over what and when I eat. I hate organised package tours.

I was talking to my wife about this (luckily she is similar), we did camping holidays because the kids loved them, however, now the kids are older, I think that we may well continue as we realise that it is as much about ourselves and not just the kids. We have a trailer tent, it stays packed for the whole year, therefore not much packing is required, grab clothes and bedding and hook up the trailer. There is space for bikes and windsurfing kit, so tend to take loads of stuff.

As we go back to the same place, we know lots of people who will be there at the same time. Since we know the area, there is no pressure to go places or see things, we just decide what we will do tomorrow, based on how we are feeling and what we know that we will enjoy.

I tend to go for a ride first thing in the morning. If the afternoon is windy, I may go for a windsurf in the afternoon, but lots of time is spent relaxing, and drinking with friends, and eating out

Oh I get that. It’s basing the holiday on a brilliant but unreliable activity. For us it was windsurfing. Whole holidays could be windless and even though I could enjoy them I’d still feel a bit let down. If we ever can afford to go away with Neilson or Mark Warner again (school hols grrr) we’d definitely find one with good wind forecasts and good cycling to avoid that…

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