How to Run While Traveling

August 29, 2016 Posted By: Bob "Wish" Wischnia

By: The Mizuno Shoe Guy

 

Do you travel for business or pleasure? Plenty of us do, especially in the summer when so many of runners hit the road with family and friends.

 

If that’s you, chances are you already know how difficult it can be to maintain your training while away from the comfort and familiarity of your home turf.

 

For frequent business travelers, it is such a problem that many don’t maintain their training while on the road—either because it’s too inconvenient, there isn’t enough time, they’re too tired from the stress of traveling and jet lag or unfamiliar with good places to run.

 

While it is definitely harder to do satisfying workouts on the road that follow your training schedule—especially marathon training–a moderate amount of running is better than not running at all. Also, even a short run when traveling keeps you on an even keel, maintains your fitness and is a positive way to start what is often a very long day.

 

Here are some suggestions for squeezing that run in while traveling:

 

Do it early. When you’re on the road, you never know what your day will bring and when it will end. Unexpected meetings, lengthy dinners or that late-night fireworks display at Disney World typify what can come up. If you get your run in first thing in the morning, it’s already done and out of the way.

 

Be flexible. Let’s face it, you’re out of your comfort zone. If your schedule calls for a 6-mile run, but all you can do is half that, relax. It’s all good.

 

Do less. It’s better to sacrifice some part of your run so you have plenty of time to stretch, shower and eat something nutritious before beginning your busy day

 

Don’t push it. If you’re tired from vacation activities, all-day meetings or late dinners, sleep in and bail on the run. There’s no point in forcing yourself to run when you simply aren’t up for one. If you just don’t have the energy or motivation, go for a walk. But do something.

 

Tread ahead.  If you’re staying in the center of an unfamiliar city and running outside isn’t practical, try a treadmill or elliptical trainer. Most hotels have fitness facilities with treadmills. While the treadmills often aren’t great—frequent flyers tag them “dreadmills”–a short run on a treadmill (or an elliptical workout) is better than no run at all.

 

Ask. If you’re not familiar with the city you’re in, ask the concierge or doorman for a good route. Some hotels even have special maps for runners. Or do a Google or MapMyRun search. You can also call ahead the day before to the local running store or club for a good route. Perhaps, you can hook up with a training group, especially if you are going to do a long run.

 

Safety first. When running in an unfamiliar city, check with the hotel concierge or doorman whether there are some areas that aren’t safe for running and should be avoided. If you’re traveling with someone, let them know where you are running and how long you expect to be out. Also, always bring your phone and the address of the hotel. (If you’re in a foreign city and don’t speak the language, bring a card from the hotel with its address and phone number. When desperate, you can always show the card to a cabbie.)

 

Out and back. If you still can’t find a good route, just run out the hotel door in one direction (no turns) for a set length of time. Then, turn around and come back the exact way you came so you won’t run the risk of getting lost. Trust me, there’s nothing worse than getting lost in a foreign city with no money or phone and not know the language.

 

Be selfish. If your running is important to you, you’ll ask your business associates or family if you can meet for an earlier dinner than normal (or later breakfast) so you can get your run in.

 

Pick a good “running” hotel. Do a search before you leave to find out if any hotels are convenient to parks, tracks, bike paths or running trails. If so, book a room there.

 

Pack smart. Make certain you bring all your necessary running gear, including shoes (and orthotics if you wear them), plenty of running shorts, shirts and socks and a water bottle. One handy tip to minimize the load on long trips with multiple stays, is to bring worn out T-shirts and socks that you can simply toss out after using. Another good tip is to always bring your running shoes with you as carry-on luggage on the plane. That way if your luggage gets lost, you’ll still be able to run.

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