Fitness Traveling

My running shoes are always the first item into my suitcase. It’s just the way a runner packs.  My running shorts and sports bra always follow them in.  Socks are always tucked into the shoes with my favorite Nike hat nestled into the zipper pouch.  This is how a runner packs even with for a business trip.  Truth is, I see more of the towns I visit from the sidewalk than I do from cab windows.  I like to believe that by packing my shoes first, I am convincing my body that I can maintain my healthy lifestyle even while on the road.  It seems to be working because for years, I’ve been logging miles on the road.

One of the main reasons I took up running, besides the obvious health benefits and the desire to finish a marathon (which was 23 ago), I realized that I could run anywhere. It didn’t matter where I traveled; I could always throw on my running shoes and get some exercise (see # 5 for my backup plan).

During my many years of business and fitness travel, I’ve developed a few rules for the road runner.  I thought I’d share some of them with my fellow business travelers:

1)      Always leave a note in the room with your running route. Even in the safest areas, things can happen. In case of an emergency, I want to be found so I jot down my intended path on the hotel notepad.

2)      Always make sure that someone sees you leave the hotel. The doorman is often the most knowledge person when it comes to traffic patterns, safety and preferred running routes. He is also the last person you see when you leave. Again for emergency reasons, I always at least say hello to the doorman at the hotel before I leave.

3)      Use running to discover out of the way restaurants, green markets and unique boutiques. This tip might not work for fast runners but my pace allows me to window shop and scope out a place to eat later.

4)      Plan business trips around running events like weekend marathons. Most runner magazines list events via geography six months prior to the event so you can plan business trips on the Friday before.  It’s fun to run in a new place and clients enjoy seeing you support their community.

5)      Select hotels with fitness centers in the event of bad weather or extreme cold. Don’t let weather ruin your fitness travel.  If you aren’t sure if the hotel has a fitness center, call ahead.


One Response

  1. Love this post Maria! As a fellow runner, I can totally appreciate your suggestions on safety, especially when traveling in different cities. It’s funny though, I actually do #1 and #2 as a habit even when I’m at home – leaving my route open on my laptop in case my husband needs to find me and always saying “hello” to passerbys as I run by. Point is, I want to be remembered and I also want to remember others. People call me a safety freak, but better safe than sorry!

    Maybe we’ll bump into each other on the road one day. 🙂

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