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Tips for Running While Traveling This Summer

Do you travel for business or pleasure? Plenty of us do, especially in the summer when so many of us hit the road.

If that’s you, chances are you already know how difficult it can be to maintain your training while gone from the comfort and familiarity of Austin’s roads and trails.

For frequent business travelers, it is such a problem that many don’t keep up their training while on the road—either because it’s too inconvenient, there isn’t enough time, they are too tired from the stress of traveling and jet lag or unfamiliarity with good places to run.

While it is definitely harder to do satisfying workouts that follow your training schedule while traveling, a moderate amount of running is always a good idea when traveling. It keeps you on an even keel, maintains your fitness and is a great way to start what is often a very long day.

Here are some suggestions for squeezing that run in while traveling:

Do it early. When you’re on the road, you never know what your day will bring. Unexpected meetings, lengthy dinners or that late-night fireworks display at Disney World typify what can come up. If you get your run in first thing in the morning, it’s already done and out of the way.

Be flexible. Let’s face it, you’re out of your comfort zone. If your schedule calls for a 6-mile run, but all you can do is half that, relax. It’s all good.

Do less. It’s better to sacrifice some part of your run so you have plenty of time to stretch, shower and eat something nutritious before beginning your busy day. Don’t sweat it if your run is shorter than your schedule indicates.

Don’t push it. If you’re tired from business commitments, meetings and late dinners, sleep in and bail on the run. There’s no point in forcing yourself to run when you simply aren’t up for one. If you just don’t have the energy or motivation, go for a walk. But do something.

Tread ahead. Most hotels have fitness facilities with treadmills and/or ellipticals. The treadmills usually aren’t great, but a short run on a treadmill (or an elliptical workout) is better than no run at all.

Ask. If you’re not familiar with the city you’re in, ask the concierge or doorman for a good route. Some hotels even have special maps for runners. Or do a Google search. Or call ahead the day before to the local running store or club. Perhaps, you can hook up with a training group, especially if you are going to do a long run in an unfamiliar city.

Out and back. If you still can’t find a good route, just run out the hotel door in one direction for a set length of time. Then, turn around and come back the exact way you came so you won’t run the risk of getting lost. Trust me, there’s nothing worse than getting lost in a foreign city and not know the language.

Be selfish. If your running is important to you, you’ll ask your business associates or family if you can meet for an earlier dinner than normal (or later breakfast) so you can get your run in.

Pick a good “running” hotel. Do a search before you leave to find out if any hotels are convenient to parks, tracks, bike paths or running trails. If so, book a room there.

Pack smart. Make certain you bring all your necessary running gear, including shoes (and orthotics if you wear them), plenty of running shorts, shirts and socks and a water bottle. One handy tip to minimize the load on the return trip, is to bring worn out T-shirts and socks that you can toss after using. Another good tip is always bring your running shoes with you as carry-on-luggage on the plane. That way if your luggage gets lost, you’ll still be able to run.