Find it hard to get your runs in when you travel? With a little advance planning, getting in those runs might be easier than you think. Below are eight tips to help you squeeze in the runs while on the road.
1. Check at the Front DeskStaying at a hotel? Check with the front desk or concierge to see if they know of any running routes in the area. Many times they'll even have a map of a walking and/or running route in or near the hotel. They may also have information on local running groups and weekly group runs. I've done this several times and more times than not, they have information to share.
2. Use the Fitness CenterMost major hotels provide a fitness room. Some are better than others, but most include a treadmill. It may not be glamorous or very stimulating, but if it's raining out, snowing, or you're in an area not conducive to running, then treadmill is a great option. If treadmill running is boring to you, try doing increasing the incline of the treadmill to simulate hill intervals. Do 45 seconds at a 5 to 7 degree incline then 45 seconds at 0. Repeat five to 10 times. Or try doing an interval workout. Run fast/slow intervals such as 5-minutes fast and 1-minute slow for five cycles. That makes a great 30-minute treadmill workout. Your hotel not have a fitness room? Check with the front desk and see if there is a gym nearby. Many gyms will let you purchase a daily pass. Some hotels even have relationships with local gyms where you're able to attend free or for a nominal fee.
3. Google Local Running StoresMost major cities have running stores. Take a few moments to Google "running store" and the city you're visiting. Look for listings of the independent running stores in the area. Then check out their websites. Many local running stores will post information about weekly group runs. If in doubt about suitability for your pace or fitness level, just give the store a call.
4. Check out the Social SceneThere are several social sites such as Athlinks, DailyMile, SeriousRunning and the Active.com community boards that cater to runners. These sites are free and are kind of like a Facebook for runners. After creating a profile, you can search runners by location and then contact individuals and ask if they know of any good running routes in the area. Most of these sites also contain an online log where you can keep track of your daily/weekly workouts as well as keep your with your race results.
5. Check Out MapMyRun.comMapMyRun.com is a great place to check out running routes of individuals living in the city you'll be visiting. You can also map out and determine the mileage of your own running routes for others to view.
6. Find a Running BuddyDo you travel with others? If so, scope them out to see if any are runners. If so, you may have a running buddy right there with you and not even know it. If one of your traveling buddies can also be a running buddy, you can work together to keep each other on track with your workouts.
7. Make TimeProbably the biggest obstacle for training while traveling is time, or lack thereof. This is where you have to dig deep and make a commitment to sticking to your training routine. It's hard and takes real commitment and determination, but if you're in meetings all day, try getting up 30 minutes earlier to get in that run. Or, ask yourself, "Do I really have to attend that cocktail party?" Sometimes, it's easy to push aside the training, because of this function or that, but in reality you may be able to skip on or maybe leave early.
8. Turn Your Hotel Room Into a GymOn those days when it's just impossible to get in a run, do some cross-training in your hotel room. You may not be able to run, but you can get in some great fitness. No weights? No problem. You have your own body weight. Calf raises, crunches, pushups, squats, lunges, tricep dips, all of these can be done very effectively with just you body weight. Exercise bands and/or tubes are also great traveling workout tools that can be easily tossed into your bag for added resistance. Plyometric exercises such as jump squats, burpees, mountain climbers, and jumping jacks are great ways to jack up the heart rate, break a great sweat and add some punch to your hotel room workout. Sign up for your next race.
Certified running and fitness coach Thad McLaurin hosts and writes the popular RunnerDude's Blog and is the owner of RunnerDude's Fitness in Greensboro, North Carolina. He has a BA in Education from UNC-Chapel Hill, and his credentials include personal trainer certifications from NPTI and ACSM, as well as running coach certifications from RRCA and USA-Track & Field. Thad's greatest reward is helping others live healthy, active lifestyles. From general fitness to marathon training, Thad can help you reach your fitness and running goals.