It’s that time of year when so many people are hitting the road, whether it’s for year-end business, vacation or trips home for the holidays. As I have mentioned in my logs the past couple of weeks, I recently snuck away for a mini beach getaway (and a family visit, too). The good news is that while I was gone I managed to stay on track with my training, which isn’t always easy.
As runners, one question that always comes to mind when making travel plans: how to fit our runs in while away from home.
Find Your Route
First, let’s address the logistics…. where will you run?
Map it out! Plan your route before you go. You can search for existing routes or make your own using sites like MapMyRun. (If you have a smart phone, some sites will enable sharing with your phone’s apps so you can do turn-by-turn navigation.)
Ask the locals. Inquire at your hotel or with friends or family about good local running routes. Even if the folks you’re visiting aren’t runners themselves, they may be able to direct you to some well-known routes or trails, or tell you areas that you should avoid.
…Or meet some locals. A local running group, that is! If you have a speed work session or long run planned during your travels or if you just want some company, consider hooking up with a local running group, like Salty and Cinnamon did when they visited PA. Road Runners Club of America and Running in the USA both have directories of clubs listed on their web sites, but a good ol’ fashioned Google or Facebook search will work, too. If you’re coming up empty, try searching for local running stores in your destination city and give them a call! Chances are they’ll be glad to connect you to some local group run opportunities.
Find the (Right) Time
Of course, fitting in your runs is about more the when than the where. While making your running plan of attack, make sure to consider your other time commitments, and remember why you took the trip in the first place.
Communication is key. Particularly if you’re traveling with or visiting non-runners, let them know about your running plans. If last time you missed out on a big family breakfast because you were finishing up your run, this time see what everyone else’s plans are and maybe run beforehand. You can always take a nap later!
Be flexible. Keep in mind that you may need to change up your running plans or move days around to fit workouts into your traveling agenda. If you have a 4 a.m. flight, that’s probably not the best day to get in your long run. Likewise, especially over the holidays, roll with the punches and schedule your runs around any commitments that you have, instead of letting your runs dictate the schedule for everyone. A little flexibility will go a long way.
How do you fit in your running schedule while you’re on the road?