Are you ready to run when your company sends you traveling for work?
Several times a year, I find myself traveling for work. Sometimes it’s only for a few days, and other times it can be for a few weeks. Either way, I usually jump on any opportunity to travel…especially when the travel expenses aren’t coming out of my own pocket!
Travel takes you out of your normal routine which can sometimes make it difficult to stick to your running schedule. With a few simple tricks and some intentional planning, you can still enjoy running when you travel!
4 Methods to Planning Your Run When You Travel
Running when you travel can be tricky. With a few simple methods, you can easily plan your runs in new places, even if you’ve never run there before.
I always use one of these methods when I travel to a new location.
Look on Google Maps for Nearby Trails
This one is pretty simple, but not everything shows up on Google Maps. I typically check this first, because it’ll show if there are any major trails nearby. To use Google Maps, I go directly to my hotel’s location, and then I just move the map around to search the nearby area. If there are any major paths near your hotel, they usually show up as a green line on the map.
Ask the Front Desk Staff if They Have Pre-Planned Running Routes When You Travel
Often, the hotel you’re staying at will have running routes plotted for you. I usually stay at Hilton brands, and I’ve found they do this at most of their locations.
Just ask the front desk staff if they know of any good running routes from the hotel. Chances are, you’re not the first person to ask.
One other place to look for these routes is in the hotel Fitness Center. I’ve seen small cards printed with running maps right on them. These are small and easy to take with you so you don’t get lost!
Look on running apps like Strava or MapMyRun to find routes in your location
If all else fails, you can always rely on your fellow runners!
You can usually check your favorite running app for routes that others have made in your area.
I did this the last time I traveled for work, and the above three methods failed me. It works best if you are actually at the hotel when you search for routes.
Using MapMyRun, select “Routes” from the sidebar, and then select “Nearby”. It will pull up several running routes others have made and filter them by how close they are to your location! I found that there were several routes that started right from my hotel, likely from other runners who were in the same situation as me. It also shows the distance, so you can scan through them and find a route that fits your desired distance for that day.
How to Keep Your Motivation to Run When You Travel
Now that we’ve discussed the tactical part of where to even run when you’re in a strange place, we need to discuss the motivation piece. Because let’s be honest. When you’re traveling for work, it can be easy to slip out of your normal routine.
Depending on whether you’re just away for just a few days or a few weeks, this could be detrimental to your training. Therefore, it’s better to stay motivated to keep running so you can just keep pushing forward when you get home, rather than having to start over again.
Prioritize When Your Runs Will Be
Prioritizing WHEN you will actually do your runs is a must!
If you can keep your run at the same time every day, even when you travel, that’s great! But chances are…something will have to change. When you travel, your schedule is usually different than normal.
Look at your schedule and see what you have going on. Can you get up early in the morning and run before your other obligations? Or do you have meetings that would force you to run so early that you would struggle to actually get up and do your run?
Decide when you will be most likely to actually complete your run and stick to that time.
If you want to run first thing in the morning, then set your alarm and lay out your running clothes. On the contrary, if the best time to run is right after you finish work for the day, then commit to changing and heading out for a run as soon as you get back to the hotel!
Whatever you choose, prioritize it and stick to your plan.
Minimize Alcohol and Junk Food
If you are lucky enough to have your meal expenses covered for you, then it can be SUPER tempting to eat at all the great restaurants and enjoy a few drinks while you’re away!
I’m not saying don’t enjoy those things…you should absolutely eat out and savor a glass of wine with dinner. Just consider how much you are enjoying and keep it to a moderation that won’t leave you feeling sluggish and unmotivated to run.
If you eat out, look for the healthier dinner options that will fuel your run in the morning. Should you choose to indulge in alcohol, keep it to a minimum. I personally have a 1 drink limit if I’m going to run the next day. Any more than that leaves me feeling dehydrated, sluggish, and foggy enough to affect my run.
Plan Your Rest Days on Your Travel Days
This one is key! If you already have to wake up at 4:30 AM to make your flight and have a long day of travel ahead of you, then fitting a run in your schedule isn’t likely. (You can lie to yourself all you want, but I still haven’t been able to make a 3 AM run happen!) I learned this fact a while ago and accepted that my travel days will probably be rest days.
Plan ahead and do a hard effort workout the day before you travel, or move your workout schedule around as needed so your rest days land on the same days as your flights.
If you need to, you could always do a double workout the day before!
Explore the Local Area on Your Run When You Travel
This is my favorite reason to run when I’m traveling! Traveling to a new place is a great chance to freshen up your running view. If you normally live in a colder part of the country and you happen to be traveling somewhere warmer, it might just give you a chance to run outside instead of hitting the treadmill again!
It’s always fun to see new sights instead of the same old views every day. Use your run as an opportunity to explore the local area and orient yourself with the different restaurants, businesses, and roads. I always love it when I’m up before everyone else and get a run in on the morning of our first day in town. Then it’s easy for me to answer questions about which restaurants or other amenities are close. Also, I have a better orientation on the area and where everything is.
When you’re running, it is much easier to take in the sights than when you’re speeding past in a car, focused on where you need to be!
How do you plan your runs when you travel? What are your favorite tricks for staying motivated?
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About Me: I’m Alexis, Founder of RunningMyBestLife! I am an avid recreational runner, half marathoner, wife, dog mom, busy professional, downhill skier in Northern Utah. My mission is to help new enthusiasts fall in love with the sport of running. I believe that running is a catalyst to taking control of your life and living your best life by design. Learn More –>