I started a new job at the end of last month, and I’ve been on the road more than I’ve been in the office the past 2 weeks. Last week, I was in Arizona for 4 days, and I’m in Los Angeles today. While I enjoy getting to spend time in other cities and experience new restaurants, hotels and seeing colleagues and friends, business travel can sometimes wreak havoc on our training schedules. But it doesn’t have to. With a little extra effort, you can find ways to make your weekly workouts happen while you’re traveling.
I recently enlisted some help from my friend Kira Harrison – a footwear merchandising associate atBrooks Running. She’s constantly traveling the world to find inspiration for the shoes she designs and often has to pick up and go frequently. She gave me these tips for running while traveling.
- Get out the door in the morning before your day starts. When you’re on the road, your schedule can often be unpredictable. By running in the morning, you guarantee getting your run in and it energizes you for the rest of the day. This may mean getting up earlier than normal to run before making it to that 8 a.m. breakfast meeting, but you’ll be so glad you did. I also make better food choices when I start my day with a workout. I’m bound to attend a lunch or dinner with colleagues with rich foods and tempting desserts. My willpower tends to be stronger when I start my day off with a workout.
- Use your run as a sightseeing opportunity. Running is a great way to see a new place and the run becomes an adventure versus just exercise. Chicago, New York City and Washington, D.C. are some of my favorite places for running and sightseeing. Other times, we are confined to the treadmill, but that is better than nothing! While I was in Arizona last week, the hotel I was staying at was on a highway with nowhere safe for running. So I did 2 runs on the hotel treadmill. Not as scenic, but much better than skipping them.
- Pack fast drying apparel made of synthetic fibers. Because you won’t be able to do laundry on the road, you want your gear to dry before you have to pack it back into your suitcase. Also, a plastic bag to wrap around your shoes is helpful to keep dirt and smell away from the rest of your belongings.
- Connect with a local running store for advice on running routes. They also may have running groups that leave from their store which will provide you with running buddies. If crunched for time, the hotel concierge is also a great resource. Many have pocket-sized maps with recommended running routes, making it simple to get in a good run right out the front door.
- Wear compression socks on the airplane to keep your legs fresh. This helps maintain blood flow and your legs will feel better on your run. I also try to get up several times, especially during those long east coast to west coast trips, to stretch my legs and move around.
In addition to these tips, do your research. I investigate the hotel gym before my trip and determine if it has a pool for swimming. If you are going to a larger city that is walking friendly, you can typically find spin classes, barre classes, running groups and public pools. Based on what your training plan calls for, do your research to figure out the best way you can accomplish your workouts.
Also, be flexible. Depending on the days you will be traveling, you may need to swap your workouts around. For instance, although I would typically swim Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, this week I am going to swim on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday since I am in LA on Tuesday. It’s ok to shift some things around. Do the best you can when you can.
And most of all, enjoy the adventure!