I trained for a marathon on my holiday, here's how

Matthew Kelly profile

For many people, holidays naturally equal weight gain.

I stacked on 10kgs in Europe last year, and that was while backpacking! So when I travelled to the picturesque Bintan Island just a week before my next half marathon, I only had about four nervous breakdowns.

The beautiful Club Med has 311 rooms scattered across it's very own private beach

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My idea of training entails a perfectly balanced diet and fitness regime, and I was terrified that all the hard work and progress I was making was going to be reversed.

But as soon as I stepped through the chic wooden doors at Club Med, Bintan - an eight-hour flight from Sydney to Singapore followed by a short ferry ride - my anxieties were put to bed. Legit as soon as I put my bag down, I was offered a watermelon juice #YESPLEASE.

And that was just the beginning. Meals at the beach-side resort are distributed buffet style, which is enough to send any waistline watching holiday-goer into a sweat.

The wellbeing section of the buffet offers a great selection of healthy and low calorie food options

But there was a whole wellbeing section which boasted a good selection of low calorie and healthy food options, with everything from gluten-free desserts, to fresh fruit, and a ‘make your own’ salad bar.

Of course for those who aren't trying to stay as disciplined as possible before a 21km run, there was also an array of international cuisines including French, Italian and Japanese. If you like to spice up your palate, I would recommend trying the amazing Korean BBQ chicken #UNREAL.

The guided running tour was my favourite activity. Here I am at the halfway point.

Holidays aren't only about eating, so let's get to the fitness stuff. Not intent on kicking back and resting on my laurels all holiday, I tried out the hotel's epic range of activities.

They have yoga, tennis, sailing classes and even archery on offer, but my personal favourite were the guided running tours where you can explore the island surroundings. Trotting through the Bintan rainforest, seeing the beautiful native plants and animals, exercising had never felt so tranquil. The halfway point showed the most breathtaking view of the South China Sea.

The hotel also has a fully equipped gym that hosts daily cardio classes for the die-hard fitness fans.

Luckily, four bars - that run from 9am to the wee hours of the morning - are scattered throughout the 311-room hotel the hotel, so there's always a place to reward yourself.

Before staying at Club Med I was terrible at yoga, but the incredible instructor turned me into a professional.

Leaving the holiday after four nights, I was relaxed and refreshed all whilst maintaining my healthy lifestyle.

I did treat myself a couple of times; the endless supply of chocolate croissants at the breakfast buffet got me, but overall I felt great!

I felt Club Med feeling recharged and ready to tackle the half marathon.

Returning home; I was feeling stronger and fitter (maybe I should holiday more often LOL) and I achieved a personal best time on my half marathon; smashing 10 minutes off my previous PB!

I was a guest of Club Med, Bintan Island, Indonesia.

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