I used to travel quite a bit for my job. I would be in New York every few weeks, Maine twice a year, Miami every other month, and so on. I quickly learned that just because I was not at home, it didn’t mean I could afford to skip my runs. If I stopped running every time I traveled, I would have been severely undertrained for just about any race on my calendar. With each trip that I took, I figured out how to make running while traveling work for me. I don’t travel nearly as much for work as I used to. However I have a big conference coming up next month and realized that I needed to sit down and plan how I’d get my fitness in while traveling.
Here are my five must haves in order to run while traveling for work.
- A good packing strategy. I pretty much refuse to check bags when I fly, so packing running gear during a business trip requires some finesse. If I can get away with it (meaning I’m not going straight into a meeting), I’ll wear my running sneakers so I have more room in my bag. If I can’t wear my running sneakers, then I am very good at rolling up items (socks, underwear, etc) and stuffing them into my sneakers in my suitcase. Make it work!
- A plan. Before a trip, I map out running routes so that I already know where to run. I make sure my hotel is in an area where I could get in a run safely. Don’t just step out the door of your hotel and run. Plan it out. Mention to the hotel concierge that you are going for a run. Many hotels offer running routes you can take with you.
- A backup plan. Meetings run long, weather changes quickly, things happen. Don’t be afraid to be flexible. If you can’t get outside to run, you can always hop on the treadmill for thirty minutes before you start your day. Again, make it work!
- Fun options. I love running with others and have used my travels to join a few friendly running groups more than once. I highly recommend looking up a running group that you can share a few miles with.
- Your gear! This should go without saying but it can be easy to forget. When I was traveling frequently, I set aside two sets of running clothes and kept both sets in my suitcase so I never was caught unaware!