How To Run While Traveling (Without The Hotel “Dreadmill”)

Running While Traveling. Incompatible?

Image Courtesy C. Jill Reed

Keeping up with your training while traveling can be difficult.

If you don’t do adequate research, you could find yourself stuck in a hotel gym. And if you try to keep your regular training pace, you’re facing a burn out nightmare.

Whether you’re traveling for work or for pleasure, these tips can help you get the most out of your out-of-town running.

Have a Plan

Before you leave, investigate the local running clubs at your destination. Many clubs will allow you to drop in for a quick training run for no or minimal fees.

In addition, many clubs and running stores will list good, local running routes (including mileage) on their websites. If you’re still having trouble finding places to run, sites like MapMyRun can provide you with a few good options.

When it comes time to pack, think about how much running you really plan to do while on your trip. As with preparing for traveling races, make sure that you bring all of the supplies that you’ll need for the amount of running that you plan to do.

Think about the climate in your destination when deciding what to bring along. Remember the 20° rule.

Finally, though it probably seems obvious, don’t forget to actually pack everything. If you’re as paranoid as I am, make a list and check things off as they get packed, then consider reviewing the list just to be 100% sure you got everything.

Scale it Back

One of the biggest obstacles to running while traveling is overcommitting. Especially if you’re traveling for vacation, trying to do any intense training can feel overwhelming. If running starts to feel like an obligation, you’re substantially less likely to do it.

There is plenty of time for hill repeats, interval training, and long runs. However, that time is generally not while you’re traveling.

Allow yourself to take it easy. You only need to run enough to keep up the habit and reinforce your conditioning.

Try leaving the Garmin in the hotel room (or, better yet, at home), and just head out for a short run.

Allow yourself to explore your new surroundings, but try not to put any parameters around it. You’ll be amazed what a difference not “having to” makes.

Make it an Experience

If you really have trouble motivating to run while traveling, consider signing up for a race in the city you’ll be visiting. Not only does having a race give you a reason to run, but race tees make great travel swag.

Sites like are a great way to find races in your destination city.

If you’re traveling for recreation and you want to be really hardcore, consider basing your vacation around running. For instance, if you wanted to check out China, you could plan a vacation around the Great Wall Marathon.

If you’re more of a cruise person, you’ve still got options.

Or take my upcoming move to Boston as an example.

I’m leaving Seattle on July 17th for my pilgrimage eastward, and plan to stop for a run in every one of the sixteen (16) states that we pass through on the way. Bonus for you, Midpack Readers: I’ll be blogging about it all next week.

On that note, if you happen to live or run near I-90, leave me a comment with your favorite running spot and you may just find yourself and your route featured here next week!

So, readers, how do you motivate to run when you travel? Are you a “treadmill in the hotel gym” runner? An “out on the town” runner? Leave me some love in the comments.


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