Many of us travel year round, but an even larger amount of us travel during the holidays. Traveling shouldn’t be a reason to give up on your running.
Here are ten tips to keep you on your toes while you’re away from home:
Pack your running shoes, one running outfit as well as your GPS/watch in your carry-on bag. The chance of your luggage getting lost isn’t high, but it does happen. This is especially important if your travel plans happen to include a marathon or another type of race. This extra little precaution may mean you can still get your runs in with gear you are accustomed too.
Map your route.
You wouldn’t go to a new friend’s house or travel to see a family member without first making a plan – so consider running part of your travel plans. Websites like Map My Run and USATF Routes are invaluable when it comes to finding a running route in a new town. Some hotels like the Westin have a Concierge who can suggest the best places to run or even connect you with other runners staying at the same hotel.
Make a training plan.
Before you leave come up with a mini plan of how often you would like to run while traveling. What is your “a.” goal and what is your “b.” back up goal that you would be pleased with if “a.” doesn’t happen.
Sign up for a local race.
Running a race while traveling has many benefits. You have the chance to see a new area that you haven’t run in before. It can also serve as motivation not to skip runs and you may just inspire a relative or a friend to sign up for a race too! Lead by example.
Want to pack light for your trip? Seems impossible when you need regular clothing as well as running gear. If you want to pack fewer running clothes, I suggest bringing a small bottle of detergent that will allow you to hand wash and air dry some of your gear in between runs. Running clothes can be easily washed in a sink directly after a run and hung up to air dry. The moisture wicking capabilities of your Saucony gear means that it will be dry and ready for you the next morning or sooner.
Water, Water, Water.
Have you ever found yourself drinking less because you don’t want to get up and bother someone on a plane, or you are trying to cut down on the stops you make on a drive? This is a surefire way to guarantee you arrive at your destination dehydrated and feeling more tired than you have to. Bring a bottle of water on the plane with you that is easily refillable. Don’t be afraid to ask the flight attendants to give you water in the bottle when they come around asking what you would like to drink.
The aisle seat is your friend.
Once upon a time I requested the window seat on every flight. I could sleep a little easier and look out the window when I wanted to. Now I ask for the aisle seat so I can get up as many times as I need to – to use the bathroom. I bought a neck pillow to help with the sleeping and arrive at my destinations rested and well hydrated instead of dehydrated with a crick in my neck. I don’t get the same views that I used to but it’s well worth the tradeoff.
Buy a travel foam roller or a gadget like the Roll Recovery, to fit in your carryon. The Roll Recovery, Tiger Tail or The Stick are all great choices because unlike a foam roller you can use them on the plane or in the car if your travel time is long. Pack your protein powder, energy gels, or energy bars in your suitcase or duffel to make sure that you are never without what you need to properly fuel or recover from your run.
Bring an ID when you run, tell people where you are running or leave a note. If you are unsure of how safe the area is that you are running, make sure to carry your phone so you have a lifeline should you need to use it.
Check your pride on the airplane.
Even the best of plans can be derailed a bit during the holidays. Maybe you want to spend more time with your family or maybe you have people who aren’t supportive of your athletic endeavors. There is also the possibility that you may just want to take advantage of this time to get a little extra rest. Either way, check your pride on the airplane and cut yourself some slack. You can still run, but if you don’t or can’t get in your workout, it’s not the end of the world. Winter holidays come right before the New Year and what better time of year to start fresh!