Have plans to head out for a vacation soon? But don’t want to miss out on logging all your miles. Or, even better, want to explore the city you’re visiting on foot, making your exploration a part of your daily run?
Well, you’re in luck!
Running while traveling is almost always one of the best ways to make your trip even more enriching than it is already. It’s not always the case 100 percent of the time, but when running during your travels is safe and feasible, it’s almost always recommended. Let’s dive into some tips on traveling and running!
Plan Out a Run on Map My Run
If you haven’t heard of Map My Run, be sure to check it out before your next upcoming trip. Whether that trip is to the Most Magical Place on Earth, the Happiest Place on Earth, or some other place (that is probably just as magical!), Map My Run is going to help you be able to plan your routes and the distances you plan to run in advance.
Map My Run is a website that allows you to virtually enter your running route. You can see, and travel along, all the areas where pedestrians are able to walk. Plus, in addition to typically traversed sidewalks, it also includes officially designated trails that you are able to run along.
On the website, you’ll be able to select from options of creating a new route, finding an already created route, or even exploring a city. With the latter two, you’ll be able to save yourself the trouble of mapping out your own running route. You pick your plan and then make sure you know where it leads you.
If you want to get more in-depth with the details take a note of your route and then head to Google Maps. You can zoom in on the different streets along your route, familiarizing yourself with what you might see along the way.
Reach Out to Local Running Stores or Running Groups
If you’re lucky enough to head to a town that features a local running shop, or perhaps a decently sized running group, you’ll be in luck as well. Often running shops will put on group runs throughout the week, supplying maps or a route for runners to run.
Running groups may or may not meet at local running stores, but do a little digging on social media and you might just come across a welcoming running group that meets for runs. Don’t be afraid to message a store or group to see if they have a meetup coming up when you’re in town. Alternatively, give the local running shop a call and inquire about group runs that the store might put on. The old saying, ‘You won’t know if you don’t ask’ rings true in this situation.
Be sure to ask, and ask early, so you can form a plan for when you’re out of town!
Drive the Area
Once you reach your travel destination, it might not hurt to drive around a little so you can get a feel for the area. Have an endpoint in mind and then drive the streets leading up to that endpoint. Be sure to note if there is a sidewalk along your entire path and if you have to cross any super busy streets. Obviously, stay away from running on super busy roads, for sure stay off of the freeway, and be mindful of areas that might not be the safest.
Not traveling with a car? Or, as mentioned above, hop on Google Maps and check out Earth view to get a decent picture of the area.
Go Music Free
Speaking of safely, when you travel it might be a good time to go music free for your run. Not only are you not familiar with your surroundings but your surroundings aren’t familiar to you. Unfortunately, not every single town is runner friendly. Which could mean drivers aren’t aware to keep their eyes peeled for runners during their daily commute. To help keep yourself safe you’re going to want to play on the ‘defense’, making sure you see every single car or obstacle well before it sees you. If you can’t live without music, then try running with just one headphone in or a pair of bone-conducting headphones, such as these.
Share Your Route with Friends and Family
Before you head on any route it’s always a good idea to let others know where you are heading. It’s even more important to do so when you’re heading out for a run on vacation. Odds are the area is new to everyone in your travel party, or at least not as familiar as your/their home town. Be sure, if you can, to grab a snapshot of your running route and share it with your travel buddies. Or, at least, be sure to let them know the general area of where you are going and for how long you plan to be gone, leaving some wiggle room for sightseeing, walking breaks, and, possibly getting a little lost. That way if you end up being an half hour or an hour late, then your travel party knows something might be up.
Bring Your Phone
On that note, even if you don’t typically bring it when you’re running at home be sure to bring your phone when you’re heading out for a run when you are traveling. Even if you have an amazing sense of direction and map out your run to a tee, there is a always a greater chance that you will lost while not running in your normal area. If you hate carrying your phone (I’m right there with you!), try a running waistband designed to store your phone when you’re out on a run. My current favorite is the Nathan one linked above.
Bring Some Cash or Use Apple Pay/Google Pay
While you’re working out where to store your phone when you’re running on vacation, be sure to tuck some cash in that same pocket. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but it won’t hurt for you to bring along a 5 or 10, or even a 20 dollar bill. If you happen to get lost on your run, that cash will give you the opportunity to grab some food or a drink while you get your bearings.
It doesn’t hurt to have Apple Pay or Google Pay activated on your phone as well. More and more vendors are accepting Apple Pay and Google Pay, but just in case that cash is a good backup! Plus, even if you don’t get lost on your run, you might just want to hit up a local coffee shop or sandwich place. Half the fun of running on vacation is trying out all the fun new local places.
Cut It Short If Planning to Walk a Lot
Unless you’re in the heart of training for a marathon, see if you can cut your milage back when you travel. You might be going for a 20-mile run before walking the city all day, which would be draining. Plus, some places are not super conducive to getting your miles in. You may find yourself doing lots of loops and getting extremely bored.
On the flip side, trying to squeeze in somewhere between 3-7 miles during a vacation day is a lot easier. You’ll have energy for all the sightseeing and you’re less likely to need to do a bunch of loops on your runs. Plus, if you find yourself opting for the hotel gym treadmill, 3-7 miles is almost always preferred over 20 miles!
Conclusion to Tips for Traveling and Running
There ya go! A few tips for traveling and running! Following the tips above will help you be able to fit running into your travel plans and hopefully make the experience more enjoyable for you. Plus, hopefully, help keep you a little safer overall. If you have any other questions regarding these tips for traveling and running, please feel free to leave a comment below!
And, while you’re at it, if you want to let everyone know how much you love running, be sure to grab a few things from the Magic for Miles shop. Who knows, maybe you will find another Maic for Miles fan in the new city you are exploring!