Whether your upcoming vacation involves hiking through the woods or getting a tan at your favorite beach, you may be thinking about putting your trainers away for the duration. If so, then read on.
For a long time, traveling has interrupted my running schedule. In fact, it wasn’t until recently that running became part of my to-do list for my vacation plans.
After doing some research on how to keep training while on the road and adding a few preparatory measures, I was able to turn my running into a part of my vacation time. If you’d like to do the same, today’s post will come in handy.
10 Ways to Keep Up Your Running While on Vacation
Here are some of the things I do to keep my running routine going strong while I’m on vacation. I hope these simple steps help you to do the same.
1- Have a Plan
One of the biggest challenges of running while traveling is knowing where to go. Gone are your familiar trails and habitual streets.
The solution is quite simple: plan ahead for your runs.
When you’re planning a vacation, a big part of the fun lies in doing research on the best things to do in town: what landmarks to see, the best restaurants, and shopping, the events that may be going on during your visit.
At the same time that you’re looking into all of this, you can also check out the best running trails in the area and map out some routes for your own runs.
Of course, you don’t have to memorize the whole map, but have some sort of familiarity with the landscape will make you feel more confident as you head out. Lost is not fun.
Still can’t locate a safe route? Check if you can find a nearby decently sized park or pedestrian trail.
2- Pack Everything
I hate to sound like a broken record, but planning is key for a successful running experience while on vacation. I cannot emphasize this enough.
Regardless of how long you plan to travel, you’ll need to pack a bag in which you put in everything you need for the trip—as well as for your running routine.
The first thing I do when packing for vacation is to pack relatively modest running clothing. These include my favorite T-shirt, two pairs of running shorts, and running socks. Running gear can take up room in your suitcase, but being prepared for various weather conditions will help you avoid succumbing to excuses for missing a run.
Want to make sure you don’t forget anything? Use the following list as your guide:
- Running shoes
- Running jacket
- Running socks
- Plan on running at night? Bring reflective high-viz clothing and headlamp.
- GPS device
- Running sunglasses
- Running watch
- Running belt
To make sure your everyday clothes don’t smell funny, put your running shoes in a bag and stuff them with a dryer sheet. My bag has a separate pocket where I usually store all my dirty clothes and running shoes.
3- Choose Light Running Shoes
Choose lightweight running shoes so that expensive space in your carry-on is now well looked after. Aim for roughly 10 ounces or less. They also should have a flexible midsole, collapsible heel structure, and semi-flexible upper section.
4- Double Up
Find a pair of running shoes that also look great with casual clothing. Then try wearing them everywhere—for shopping, hiking, errands, and yes, of course, for running. By keeping them on your feet instead of your backpack, you’ll save a lot of space for other things. Style check, comfort check. Two birds, one stone J
5- Connect With the Local Running Community
Keen on running in groups?
Look online for other runners and like-minded individuals, and perhaps they’ll have a group run going on while you’re in town. I always find it fun and exciting to meet new people who like to run just as much as I do—despite being an introvert who usually prefers to run solo.
Running clubs are virtually everywhere and are the best places to meet runners, who typically tend to be extremely friendly, and likely wouldn’t mind if you didn’t even speak the same language. Running is a language in itself. They seriously don’t give a damn if you are a noob or a pro. They just share the same love for running. Don’t be shy.
One way to meet local runners is to drop by a running specialty store such as Lululemon or Niketown, then join a fun run. That’s how I ended up on a running tour of Istanbul this past winter. These stores often hold group runs that welcome visitors too. They’re also the best people to ask about favorite paths, trails, and venues in general.
6- Use Google
Do a simple search of “ Running in YOUR DESTINATION” or “best running routes in YOUR DESTINATION.”
More than often, numerous posts and forum threads will pup with plenty of pre–planned routes and tips—unless you’re heading into uncharted territory.
Don’t be surprised that you might meet some obstacles on the way or even blocked roads. It’s a great opportunity to connect with locals!
7- Set A Schedule
The ideal way to make sure you actually hit the pavement is to set a schedule for yourself.
If you typically run four times a week, it’s okay to cut it down to two or three runs.
You’re likely to do plenty of walking and hiking on vacation that makes it okay to cut back a little.
Remember that you are taking time off, and you deserve all the relaxation and sleep you can get, so you shouldn’t lose sleep over running a few miles less.
If you can find a race that’s suitable for your trip, then, by all means, go for it. Racing on vacation can be a great way to keep you motivated and help you avoid falling off the training wagon.
During my stay in Yogyakarta (Indonesia) last year I discovered that a fun race was about to take place. The race caught me completely by surprise. I found out about it because I was lucky enough to meet up with a local girl who happened to be a runner.
Instead of logging my planned three-miler, I jumped into that local event and made it a training run.
9- Keep It Safe
Whether you’re vacationing in a neighboring city or halfway around the globe, whenever you’re running in unfamiliar territory, you need to put your own safety first.
Here are a few steps to take any time you’re venturing into an unfamiliar city or region.
- Take your phone with you even if you aren’t using data.
- Listen to the local and heed their advice. If they say it’s not safe to run, then don’t run in that area.
- Know the country’s emergency code and teach yourself how to say help in the local language.
- Have some cash with you in case you need to grab a taxi back to your hotel.
- Take your road ID with you along with emergency contact and name of the hotel where you’re staying
- Let someone know you’re going for a run, your planned course, and the expected time of your return.
More importantly, keep a low-profile. If your trip is taking you to a less-than-progressive place, then running shirtless may draw unwanted attention or anger.
The same is true for women, who should avoid running in shorts, running bras, or even tanks tops. You don’t want your dream trip to turn into a nightmare.
10- Keep it Simple
If all prove futile, keep it simple. Just go out and make an out and back or just run laps around a nearby park. This reduces your risk of getting lost.
There you have it. The guidelines above should be the only measures you need to keep running and training throughout your vacations and trips.
Now it’s your turn. Do you have any personal favorite tips to share with us?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.
In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.
Keep Running Strong.