Running At Sea: An Odd Way To Stay Shipshape

Yes, I actually exercised on my last cruise. Now that we’ve gotten that bombshell out of the way, we can move onto talking about one of the strangest sensations at sea: running.

Personally, I prefer to run on a dedicated track or trail rather than a treadmill. For me, there’s something about physically traveling a specific distance that motivates me and gives me the boost I need to go on. In the past I’ve only run around my university’s campus, so I already knew running around the deck of a cruise ship would be odd. Little did I know how odd it would be.

The strangeness of it all began when I left my stateroom in my running shorts, running shoes, an FAU t-shirt, and an iPhone strapped to my arm. This isn’t the look a typical cruise passenger rocks at sea, so it wasn’t a shocker that I got some weird looks from the crew and fellow guests while walking to the upper decks. Next came the stairs. I’m not quitter and I wasn’t about to take an elevator to my workout. This turned out to be a big mistake as I was winded by the time I had finished climbing the 9 decks to the track. Finally, after an adventurous journey to the track, it was time to get moving.

As I began my run, I felt confident in myself and felt good running alongside the sea. I was relaxed and moving at a great pace. Suddenly, I rounded the corner and ran into what felt like a brick wall, but was really the wind blowing from the ocean. I had apparently been running into the wind on the starboard side, but didn’t even think about the potential slowdown that awaited me on the port side. Eventually I powered through, but I had lost a bit of energy. As you can imagine, this pattern of bursts of energy and windy slowdowns continued for numerous laps. Finally, I reached around two miles and threw in the towel. I had performed slightly worse than usual, chalking it up to the addition of ocean winds and running on a steel surface. I felt good though and was happy to have run off a few of the calories I no doubtfully gained earlier in the day.

Was running at sea good for me? Yes. Was it as easy as I have experienced on land? No. Will I continue running at sea? Maybe. In all honesty, I think the stairs onboard gave me more of a workout than running.

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Mike Faust

Mike Faust is an avid world traveler, often found traversing city streets in Asia and Europe rather than his home city of Boca Raton. Mike has touched down in 39 countries, set sail on 35 cruises, and flown over 400,000 lifetime miles.