Although many people think of vacation as an excuse to stop exercising, I am one of those folks who actually enjoys running while on holiday. It can be a challenge though, since you need to pack some extra stuff and take some precautions in order to run safely in a foreign country. But I think it’s worth the extra trouble. I have some tips & tricks for you to make running while travelling easier and more fun.
Take the right running gear / outfit
When you are a runner, you probably have a fair amount of running clothes to choose from when you are at home. However, you can’t take your whole running closet with you while travelling. Thus, make sure to check the weather in advance so you take the right outfit. Quite obvious, but still important.
Shorts & tanktop in Greece, because it was HOT
I recommend taking an outfit which has a little pocket or something, so you can take your hotel / hostel key. Don’t forget to take some laundry detergent to make sure you can wash your clothes by hand after you are done with your run. Running clothes are usually quick dry, so by the next morning your outfit should be clean and dry.
Running safe while travelling / on holiday
You are in a foreign country with different rules, climate and people. Being safe should be your number one priority. Make sure to take your phone with you. If you run in less developed countries or areas, try to put your phone in a pocket or something. You don’t want to get mugged because your phone is in plain sight.
Before you even depart for your run, save the local emergency number on your phone. Also take a business card from the hotel / hostel you are staying, and take it with you. Don’t forget to take a little bit of cash with you, so you can take a taxi back to the hotel if you are lost or tired.
The perfect route
When you don’t know the surroundings that well, it’s best to take a “boring” back-and-forth route when running abroad. For example, when you do a 5k run, run 2.5k one way, and just turn around and go 2.5k back. This way you can’t get lost, plus it’s the easiest way to make sure you run the exact distance you were planning on running.
Of course it’s more fun to take a scenic route. There are several ways to do so. You can use one of those websites to download a fun route, for example Mapmyrun.com or Strava Local. If you have an activity watch, you can upload the route on your device. This way you won’t get lost.
If you already know the surroundings, you can just wing it. That’s what I did in Prague. We already explored everything on foot, so I knew it would be a very nice running route.
It’s also possible to ask your ho(s)tel for recommendations regarding running routes.
Listen to your body
Also quite obvious, but still important, even more so when you are abroad. Listen to your body. Are you tired? Turn around. Don’t feel safe? Go back. Not feeling well? Back to the ho(s)tel.
You are in a completely different country, maybe even a different climate. It can be hilly, the road can be in a bad condition and the humidity can be different. Also: you probably eat differently (other food and on different times). These things will all have an effect on your run.
So don’t beat yourself up when you don’t reach your usual pace. I ran 6m32s / km pace in Prague, which is about 45 seconds slower than usual. And it was perfectly fine, since it was super hilly.
Make it fun: run with music!
If you are like me, you always run with music. I just can’t stand the sound of my own breathing while running 😛
You might not have an internet connection when running abroad, so make sure to make your Spotify playlist available offline. Or stuff your good ol’ MP3 player with some nice tunes and take it with you.
Are you a runner, and if so, do you run while travelling / on holiday? Or do you prefer to take a break from running when you are abroad?