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10 Traveling Hacks for Runners

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Do you like to keep up with your running while traveling? Whether you are traveling for work or pleasure, here are a few simple things that will make your life easier on the go.

1. Get shoes that work the double shift. When you’re packing for a short work trip or vacation, it can be difficult to jam pack all of your necessities into a carry-on. By finding a pair of running shoes that also look good with jeans, you’ll be doing yourself a favor and save on space. You might find this is a good strategy at home, too – running shoes that can double as street shoes are endlessly convenient! If you’re not sure what constitutes a “street shoe” try simply choosing a solid color shoe (eg. all black or all red).

2. Plan your running gear for your destination. Depending on where you’re headed, your usual running gear might not cut it. Be sure to pack appropriately for the weather forecast during your trip, and for the culture’s customs in your destination.

3. Be prepared. Run with a belt or armband that can hold a few dollars in the local currency, and maybe consider carrying a little mace or other small defensible.  If you like those super early morning runs, make sure you have a way to get back into your locked accommodations before taking off.

4. Do your research. If you’ll be traveling internationally, doing a few small things before your run can make a huge difference and even save you some big headaches later. Learn how to say “help” in the local language, and memorize the country’s emergency dialing code (their version of 911). It’s also a good idea to check the sunrise and sunset times before a run in a new place, so you won’t get caught off guard. Spend a few minutes looking over your mapped route and familiarize yourself with any local landmarks.

5. Set up your phone. It’s recommended to always run with your phone, especially in a foreign location, and set your GPS and running route before setting out. You can also download a safety app, which will track your route in real-time and notify your emergency contacts with the press of a button. Other apps like MapMyRun will be able to tell you what to expect on your running route – for example, steep inclines and real run duration times. Even if you’re not using data on your phone, you can use your maps location to keep from getting lost.

6. Always tell someone your running route and estimated run time. Show someone (if you’re traveling solo, the concierge) your planned route on a map, and give them an estimation of your return time (allow for a little extra time for picture taking or getting lost in new areas).

7. Plan your accommodation at a runner-friendly hotel. Your hostel, hotel or resort may actually cater to runners – be sure to ask before booking! For example, most Westin Hotels and Resorts have a dedicated “running concierge” who will do everything in their power to help you find any gear you might need, information on the local neighborhood and all of the best running routes nearby. They even have an agreement with New Balance to lend gear for $5 to runners staying at the Westin: their “running kit” includes shoes, socks, shirt, shorts, and more. If your hotel doesn’t cater to runners, they will likely still have a map available that will show safe roads to run on nearby.

8. Contact a local running group in the area you will be staying in. Most running groups are pretty friendly and welcoming and may invite you on a scheduled group run in the neighborhood. At the very least, they can point you in the direction of local, well established running routes. If you can’t find a local running club, try stopping in at the nearest running or athletic store for more information.

9. Pack items that are multi-purpose wherever you can. One of the best inventions for traveling runners, or anyone really – foam roller water bottles! Companies like Mobot have come up with a way for you to hydrate and work out the kinks in your muscles, with a water bottle that is covered in high-grade foam to create a small foam roller.

10. Stay healthy. Everyone knows it’s easy to throw nutrition out the window when traveling. While it’s definitely okay (and even encouraged!) to indulge on vacation, it’s also a great idea to pack your own healthy snacks for trips to new places. Almond butter, nuts and granola bars all travel well, and when you land it’s usually not a problem to find some local fruit and veggies to chop up and throw in a baggie.

If for some reason a run is just not feasible on your travels, get creative! It’s easy to make a challenging interval workout on a set of stairs, and you might even have fun doing something different. Ultimately, your biggest priority should be to enjoy yourself in a new place. Try not to stress too much about hitting your usual time and distance goals. And remember that runners are the luckiest travelers – running in a new neighborhood is the best way to see it. Don’t forget to take a picture or two of the beautiful sights!

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