Running in Far-Away Lands: A Traveler’s Guide

Life, Running / Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

Hi Friends:)

I absolutely love traveling, and try to travel as much as possible. I’ve had an incredible past couple of months, where I’ve been lucky enough to jet all over the world! Check out my travel guides for Sardinia and New Orleans if you want to learn a little bit more about my trips.

That said, I love running. So when I jet off to faraway locations, I don’t just leave my running shoes to collect dust while I’m gone. With races on the horizon, taking a week off from training isn’t something I’m looking to do. So I’ve figured out a few ways to make the miles happen while I’m off exploring this beautiful world of ours!


If you’re looking for a reason not to head out runnig when traveling, it’s easy enough to find one. Running in far away locations, and especially in foreign countries, can be really, really nerve-wracking. Not only do you not know the lay of the land, but you’re also eating weird things, walking a lot, separated from your foam roller, and just generally off-schedule.  Running clothes and shoes also tend to take up valuable space in your luggage. Not only that, but the idea of jogging on vacation just doesn’t feel very vacation-y!

Garden jog in England!

But if you look past all that, you’ll see that running is a fabulous way to explore a new place, and to keep your body feeling great when you’re on the go. I love jogging through parks and trails, looping around new cities. I also love keeping up with my training schedules:)

you’ll never see Jackson Square, New Orleans as empty as it is on your 6am jog…

So, here are a few tips for running while traveling!

  1. Wear Your Running Shoes On the Flight. They’re bulky, so wearing them saves space in your bag. Sure, you’ll have to untie and re-tie at security. It’s worth it!
  2. Research, Research, Research. Google “jogging in _______.” chances are, some other runner has traveled where you’re going, and written about safety and routes. Runners World Magazine has a great series on running trails in different cities, with fabulous recommendations on where to go and when, which helped me so much on a recent trip to New Orleans!
  3. Pack Mix-and-Match Running Rear. Let’s be real: we all know which pair of compression leggings smells after one wear, and which we can rock out two or three times before they need to be washed. Choose your gear carefully so you an maximize your workouts without filling your entire bag.
  4. Use Technology to Pre-plan and Scope out Your Routes. I use google maps with street view to figure out where I can run and to assess safety. If I notice a lack of sidewalks, poorly maintained road surfaces, or if I just get a bad vibe from the street view, I avoid that route and figure out a better one.
  5. Turn Your Music Down (or off). I always keep my music super soft or leave my headphones behind entirely when I run in a new place. It helps me to hear approaching cars and assess my safety more accurately.
  6. Take it Slow. I went to Costa Rica when I was training for a marathon. It was 80 degrees by 8am, they had no sidewalks and dirt roads. I found a 4 mile loop, set an alarm for 6:30am each morning, and ran the same route over and over at an easy pace. Forget speed work while you’re traveling; just log some easy miles and enjoy the scenery.

    A scene from a morning run in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
  7. Take a Day Off If You’ve Done a Ton of Exploring. sometimes when I am sightseeing, I end up walking 8-10 miles a day. I’ve ended up injured before when I try to run a few miles on top of 6+ hours touristing on foot. If you’re sore, or blistered, or just exhausted from exploring, be kind to your body! Take a day off!

    A trail with a view in Alghero, Italy!
  8. Stretch and Hydrate. This seems like a no-brainer, but I frequently skip my stretching and don’t drink enough water when there’s a lot going on. Don’t neglect your bodies’ basic needs just because you’re in a new place! Stretch after running, and keep that water bottle full.
  9. Out and Backs Are the Way to Go. Don’t swirl around a foreign city and get yourself lost. Find a straight road, run out, and run back.
  10. When in Doubt, Hit Up the Fitness Center. If you’re unsure whether you can run safely, don’t feel bad just hitting the treadmill at the hotel gym. If you’re staying with a friend or in an AirBnB, you can research local gyms with affordable day passes to use. Running outside is wonderful, but safety comes first!

    Rooftop hotel gym in Olbia, Italy

Hope this was helpful:)

Now let me know in the comments…

  • Do you run while you’re on vacation?
  • Where are your favorite sports to jog…that AREN’T your hometown?

7 Replies to “Running in Far-Away Lands: A Traveler’s Guide”

  1. Love this post as someone who is a runner. I don’t normally go running on holidays but as you say it could be a great way of exploring so I hope to try it in future. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love these tips! Super helpful for fellow runners. For me i dont normally run on holiday but i might give it a go next time.
    Leigh |

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