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How to Keep Your Habit of Running Going Strong While Traveling

We did a lot of traveling this summer, as you may have heard on podcast episode 292. One highlight of our travels was getting to run in so many spectacular places like Michigan, South Dakota, Montana, and Washington (and lots of places in between).

For those who travel, here are some ways to keep your running alive and well . . .

Schedule races to run on vacation.

We always look for races near where we are traveling. Often we build our whole vacation around traveling to a race. Some call this a “runcation”. Two great sites for finding marathons wherever you want to go in the United States include runningintheusa.com and marathonguide.com. For ultras a good site is ultrasignup.com. For international races check out Ahotu Marathons.

This summer I stopped to run the Black Hills 50k in South Dakota on our way to visit family.

Always bring your running gear

This means planning for enough running clothes to last between laundering or airing out/rinsing off items to wear again. I think 50% of my suitcase is usually running gear. Important gear that I always pack includes anti-chaffing ointment, running shoes, watch and charger, pepper spray (where allowed by law), fueling options, and my hydration pack. If you forget anything it might provide a good opportunity to check out a local running store and talk to the staff about good places to run in the area.

My gear for the Black Hills 50k

Look for places to run wherever you stay.

If you’ve been a runner for any length of time you’ll probably find yourself keeping an eye out for places to run. This may be a gravel road out in the country, loops around a small town, a local track, a treadmill in a hotel gym, etc. I constantly find myself thinking, “I wonder where that road/trail goes? and “That looks like a great place to run.” Ask the front desk employee at a hotel if they have suggestion on good places to run. Check out Map My Run which shows the most popular running routes in the area. Here are some other links that may be helpful in finding great places to run.

  1. Great Runs is advertized “for travelers who run and for runners who travel”.
  2. Trail Link shows popular trails in your area.
  3. American Trail Association is also a great resource for finding trails.
  4. City Running Tours– They offer group runs or you can pay more and do a concierge run (where distance, pace, time of day, etc can be controlled by you).

One of my favorite runs this summer was in Leavenworth, Washington. Just check out that view!

Make it a priority

Schedule your run at a time that you won’t skip it. This probably means in the morning if you’re a morning person. I always lay out my running clothes/gear the night before so I can slip them on without disturbing others. But don’t despair if you miss your morning run. A run in the afternoon or evening after a long day of traveling can feel really good. Remember that getting out the door is often the hardest part.

Get over the fear of what other people think

As much as I hate to admit it there’s often an element of self consciousness when I head out for a run in a new area. I sometimes imagine that others are wondering who the weirdo is out running. But I’m always thankful when I push outside my comfort zone and do the run anyway. Sometimes this has meant doing laps in a campground or performing strength training exercises outside. You may look a little strange but you’ll probably never see these people again. It’s more important to be proud of yourself than be held back by worrying what other people think.

Remember, it could be worse. At least you’re not running a naked 5k like our recent guest Susan Lacke, author of the book Running Outside the Comfort Zone.

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