Running and Travel

My job requires that I frequently travel. Most of my trips are either day trips or an overnighter, but I do have plenty of trips, including vacation, that require a little bit of planning for a run. So, here are a few tips I’m sharing about my experiences on how I fit in some type of running activity while on the road.

First, I do a little research on the city and hotel where I’ll be staying. I make sure there is a gym with at least one treadmill. Ideally, I like to run outdoors, but that is not always an option in the Midwest winters. I’m a minimalist when it comes to packing run gear, so I only bring shorts and a shirt and don’t pack for cold weather. When I check into the hotel, I ask for a running map of the area. Most hotels will provide one if it’s a run-friendly area.

I then pack all of my running clothes for the number of days I’ll be there. Just the thought of packing my running stuff gives me a little psychological boost to get out of bed and run. I’d hate for those clothes to make the trip and not get a chance to get a little workout!

If I’m traveling to a location where I know  several people, I try to find someone to run with. Nothing better than an accountability partner to keep me motivated. It’s a lot easier to hit the snooze when I know I don’t have someone waiting to meet me in the lobby.

Hydration and some fuel are always important on the road so I try to hit a Walgreens or CVS to stock up on some water and some type of energy or granola bar. This is way cheaper than raiding the mini bar. My runs during the week are usually around 30 minutes so I don’t need to eat a ton, if anything at all, before I head out.

I don’t always have a problem waking up early when I’m traveling, but I always set my alarm at least 2 hours before my first meeting. This gives me plenty of time to wake up, get a 30 minute run, and be ready for the day.

As far as my diet while on the road, I don’t always eat the healthiest. When home, I typically maintain a relatively healthy diet. I don’t follow anything in particular, I just try to avoid fast foods (is Chipotle considered fast food?) and always drink plenty of water. When I travel, a lot of that goes out the window. While there are always some healthy options at airports, I’m rarely passing up the buffalo chicken tenders with bleu cheese. And there’s something about the McDonald’s and their fast service that keeps me coming back when I’m in a hurry before a flight. (I tried out the Grand Mac, last night, and it was fantastic. Hey, I had the small fries and bottled water.) This is all to say that I don’t always make the healthiest choices on the road.

I’ll admit I do not always stick to my running plan, but I make sure I don’t have any excuses like forgetting my shoes or not packing my shorts. Traveling can be a bit of a downer, especially when I’m away from family, but being able to hit the streets and check out some new scenery always brightens the mood and makes the trip a bit more enjoyable.

Now it’s time to lace them up and run off that Grand Mac! 

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