Summer is vacation season, and I usually find myself training when traveling. (Ok, I do this when I’m traveling for work, too!) There’s always another half marathon to run, and if you’re training for a fall race, it’s hard to justify skipping an entire week during your vacation.
My vacations usually involve cities, so I try to plan my running routes ahead of time and look for nearby gyms. If you’re training for a fall race (or fall competition), or just want to keep up your fitness routine, here are a few tips for training when traveling.
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Plan a Deload Week
When you travel, especially to cities, you’re walking around a lot. Plan in advance for a deload or “easy” week in your training cycle: less heavy volume, lower mileage. Not only will the shorter workouts save you time, but you’ll also have more in the tank to walk that extra mile or up that extra hill for sightseeing.
Map Running Routes and Nearby Gyms
Planning running routes for training when traveling is probably the first thing I do. On my family vacation to Austin, we stayed in a neighborhood that was “up and coming,” so I kept my running routes to out-and-backs on main roads since I was unfamiliar with the area. For past trips, I’ve also called local running shops to find out where they recommend running in the morning, as well as used my good friend Google.
If you’re a CrossFitter, it’s pretty easy to find a gym to drop in to in any city. I use Google Maps, read the reviews, and then read the website to find out what the drop in policy is. It’s usually between $20 and $35, depending on the city, to get in a good workout.
And if you belong to a national gym chain, check their policy for using their facilities when you’re in another city, and map out where the nearest location is to where you’re staying. This can also be great if you don’t want to run outdoors in an unfamiliar city, or the weather is just ridiculous. (See: Houston, all summer.)
Emphasize Body Weight and Mobility Work
Maybe you’re just planning to get in a couple runs and take it easy the rest of the week, and that’s okay, too. Plan on some body weight work like squats, pushups, lunges, and situps, and do some stretching sessions. ROMWod is one of my favorite apps for this.
You can also bring resistance bands to add some difficulty to bridges and squats, pack a massage stick roller or lacrosse ball to work out kinks, or slip a flat resistance band into your luggage to help you get a deeper stretch.
Bring the Right Gear
Pack light – that’s my mantra. If I’m training when traveling, I make sure to bring items that do double duty: running shoes that are cute enough to be “walk around the city” shoes, a running belt that can also be used as a money belt. I also bring clothes that can be rolled tightly, like lightweight tank tops and shorts. The only thing “heavy” that I pack is a reusable water bottle, because it’s not only better for the planet but saves you $4 every time you’re filling it up at the airport. Adidas has some of my recommended items, including a great backpack that holds everything you need to keep you occupied on a flight and is still chic enough to walk around a city with.
How do you keep training when traveling? Sound off in the comments with your best tips!