Running + Vanlife

The blog has been a little quiet since Callum and I left on our van trip a month ago but now vanlife has developed a kind of schedule and I’m back to blogging. If you want to see pretty pictures and read about the van adventure go here. Otherwise, all the running info will be here!

Currently, we just made it to state #10, Oregon. Right before we left, I decided that I would sign up for the Lone Star 100km race in Texas in February. I made a training schedule for Callum and I because he is pacing the second 50km (his first ultra distance). It made sense for our long runs to line up so we’re following similar schedule with Callum skipping runs depending on how he feels.


Running and living in the van definitely has it’s challenges. It’s a lot easier to run and plan routes in places that are familiar. Having a shower and laundry is definitely an asset when you’re running a lot and we don’t have either of those. It’s also always stressful to leave the dog in the van for hours while we go run.

The plus side is that we’ve run in some very beautiful places. We’ve also spent a lot of time getting lost trying to find trails but that will always be part of running in unfamiliar places.


I’ve run on the treadmill more in the last month than the last few years because there is a shower there to use after the run.

For half the trip, we’ve been at elevation which is great because Lone Star starts at elevation. Now that we’re in Portland, we are finally back at sea level and I can’t wait to go run and hopefully feel great with all this extra oxygen.

We’re in Portland all week and all I’ve heard is great things about running here so I can’t wait to experience it!

What’s your biggest challenge with running and travelling?

Happy running!

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11 thoughts on “Running + Vanlife

  1. Jessica November 29, 2016 / 11:09 am

    I have been loving to follow your travels. It looks like you guys are having so much fun!

    • KatherineRunsUltras November 29, 2016 / 8:11 pm

      Thanks for following, it’s been a lot of fun and it’s still the beginning!

  2. CathyV November 29, 2016 / 12:25 pm

    I hadn’t thought of the obvious challenges of shower, laundry, route planning and Lucy with regards to your runs. That would be difficult. Focusing on the perks of the places you get to run is a good distraction though! Nice that you guys get to train together. I will be interested to see if Callum ends up liking the ultra distance better than the marathon too!

    • KatherineRunsUltras November 29, 2016 / 8:10 pm

      Definite big perks and some awesome runs! We’ll see how Callum feels after this, he made it to 30km for the first time in 2+ yrs last week and I thought I’d done him in 😂

  3. theroadhousecoasters December 8, 2016 / 6:23 am

    We are just about to start a trip in our Toyota Coaster around Oz and I’ll have to take my training from the treadmill to the trails. As well as never knowing where I’m going I’m pretty nervous about running into some snakes!! 😉 Kate

    • KatherineRunsUltras December 8, 2016 / 11:10 am

      The exact opposite has happened to me, I’ve run on the treadmill more than ever before on this trip just for a chance to shower at the gym! I’d be scared of the snakes too, hopefully you don’t see them!

  4. continuouscamper December 9, 2016 / 12:49 am

    This has been on my mind a lot as I have started the journey back into vanlife. When I lived in my van in 2012, I wasn’t a runner. Now, I hate the idea of not going trail running in all the beautiful places on my list to visit. What has been your solution? When in a city, I could see a 24 hour gym membership maybe solving the problem – but when out and about the mountains for weeks, no showering or laundering could make for a real unpleasant van odor.

    • KatherineRunsUltras December 22, 2016 / 4:51 pm

      Quite honestly, it’s been super difficult. We’ve had to drive places just so we could go to the gym and shower. I have an anytime fitness membership and that’s helped the showering situation a lot. The harder part than the laundry and showering is also consistently finding places to run. We find really great trails but that usually doesn’t happen every day so there’s a lot of running on the side of the highway or spending a lot of time on google trying to piece together enough trails!

      • ContinuousCamper December 23, 2016 / 1:03 pm

        I guess that makes sense, coming into a new town and not knowing the area. Living in Portland and then near Smith Rock, I take it for granted that trails are easy to find. I feel like there is an opportunity for a site/phone app that is host to trails to run, with routes uploaded by the community – like SummitPost for trail running.

      • KatherineRunsUltras December 30, 2016 / 10:02 pm

        An app like that would be super helpful. I’ve found similar apps but only for specific places, not the whole country.

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