Traveling & Trails
It’s that time of year! We’ll be setting out to visit family and friends for the holidays and
the new year. As runners, we know it’ll be next to impossible to avoid the trails while we’re
out and about celebrating the holidays. Whether you're jetting off across the country or
driving a few towns over, the idea of lacing up your running shoes and hitting new &
unfamiliar trails is exhilarating. Running while traveling not only allows you to maintain
your fitness routine but also provides a unique opportunity to discover the beauty of
different landscapes. Here's your guide to making the most of your runs while on the
Research Your Routes
One of the joys of running in a new location is the chance to uncover hidden gems that
might only be known to the local run scene. Before you travel, take some time to
research these running routes. Explore online platforms, such as Strava or local running
communities or even AllTrails, to discover popular trails or scenic paths frequented by
local runners. On Strava, for example, using the Maps feature allows you to find popular
loops and filter by distance and surface. Another favorite discovery route involves
reading blogs or watching vlogs from fellow runners who have explored the area. These
are fantastic because they can usually provide a deeper level of insight into the terrain,
landmarks and anything noteworthy to consider before setting out on your run.
While planning your routes, consider the distance, elevation, and accessibility. Opt for
routes that align with your fitness level and running preferences. Remember, a new trail
or route often takes a bit longer as you’re unfamiliar with the surface and navigation.
Whether it's a coastal trail, a city park, or a mountain path, choosing routes that resonate
with your interests ensures that each run becomes a memorable exploration of your
In the midst of packing your suitcase with travel essentials, don't forget to prepare for
your runs. Aside from your trusty running shoes and moisture-wicking attire, consider
the specific needs of your destination. Take a look at the 10-day extended forecast to
make sure you’re well-equipped to hit the trails regardless of what Mother Nature throws
Carry a compact water bottle to stay hydrated, especially if you're running in unfamiliar
areas where water fountains might be scarce. Investing in a lightweight, portable phone
holder can be beneficial for navigation and capturing moments along the way. Being
prepared with the right gear ensures that your runs are not only comfortable but also
safe, allowing you to focus on the joy of the experience. Remember, safety first
especially when navigating unfamiliar routes and terrain!
Embrace the Adventure
Running in a new location often means encountering unfamiliar terrain, and that's part
of the adventure. Embrace the opportunity to explore different surfaces, whether it's a
sandy beach, a forest trail, or urban pavement. Adjust your pace and expectations based
on the terrain, and be mindful of potential obstacles. Note the elevation gain & loss of
your route prior to setting off as well. Strava can be helpful for this, but sites like On the
Go Map offer manual solutions as well.
If you're unsure about the safety of certain areas, seek advice from locals or your
accommodation. Many cities have runner-friendly paths or parks that offer a blend of
safety and scenic beauty. Checking out Street View on Google Maps can help you plan
your route with a bit more specificity. If you’re concerned about navigating high-traffic
areas, Street View can help you ensure sidewalk or run path access along your route.
A Unique Perspective
Running while traveling isn't just about physical activity; it's a cultural immersion. As you
weave through the streets, parks, or countryside of a new destination, you become part
of the local rhythm. Pay attention to the sights, sounds, and smells around you. Running
provides a unique perspective, allowing you to absorb the essence of a place in a way
that other modes of transportation might not. Like you would in your own community,
remember to give friendly smiles, waves or head nods towards fellow runners.
Consider joining local running groups or events if they align with your travel schedule.
This not only introduces you to the local running community but also provides an
opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals. Engaging in conversations with
fellow runners or passersby can offer valuable insights into the culture and lifestyle of
While having a plan for your runs is beneficial, it's equally important to remain flexible.
Travel plans can be unpredictable, and your running routine may need adjustments. Be
open to adapting your schedule based on weather conditions, time constraints, or
unexpected opportunities that may arise.
If you happen to have a specific event or race coming up, incorporate a mix of training
runs and leisurely explorations to strike a balance between preparation and enjoyment.
Remember, running while traveling is not solely about achieving personal records; it's
about savoring the experience and relishing the freedom to run in diverse and inspiring
Every Run is an Adventure
Running while traveling transforms each workout into an adventure, allowing you to
connect with different landscapes, cultures, and fellow runners. With a bit of research,
the right gear, and a sense of curiosity, you can turn your runs on the road into
unforgettable experiences. So, as you embark on your next journey, lace up your running
shoes, hit the pavement or trail, and let the rhythm of running guide you through the
wonders of new destinations.