Growing up as a three-culture kid amidst the vibrant landscapes of Brazil, Canada, and Italy, my passion for exploring and navigating unfamiliar territories followed me into adulthood. However, juggling a busy schedule, tight budget, and consistent training routine as a full-time Ph.D. student and avid runner forced me to rethink the way I travel. How does one find balance between adventure, relaxation, and fitness to optimize both time and money while staying active during their travels? Enter on-the-run exploring—my personal secret to making the most out of your vacations by incorporating runs into your travels.
I’m training for the Toronto Marathon on May 5 and documenting my journey for iRun. I hope you’ll join me at this amazing race.
In this blog post, I will delve into the why, how, and where of running while traveling, sharing insights and tips that have shaped my approach to discovering the world one run at a time.
When it comes to exploring a new destination, running is an ideal mode of transport. Beyond merely covering ground, running allows you to immerse yourself fully in the surrounding landscapes. From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, running unveils the soul of a destination in a unique and intimate way. By avoiding the crowded traffic around popular tourist spots, you can leisurely wander through local neighborhoods and experience the vibrant essence of a city that’s often missed when speeding by in a vehicle.
Running not only enriches your travel experience but also proves to be a savvy financial choice. Opting for the simplicity of running over indulging in costly hotel gyms, renting a car, or relying on public transport not only trims your budget but opens a gateway to a more profound understanding of your surroundings. This way, sticking to your fitness routine becomes an enjoyable adventure that doesn’t break the bank.
In the whirlwind of travel, maintaining consistency in your routines can be a daunting challenge. However, running provides a reliable anchor. The familiar rhythm of your training routine remains constant amidst new time zones and unfamiliar surroundings, allowing you to uphold your commitment to personal well-being and self-care.
So how best to plan your on-the-run exploring? I’ll break down a few easy tips.
Before You Leave
To ensure a smooth and enjoyable running experience, conduct thorough research about your destination before you leave. Check the local weather forecast to pack appropriate running gear, taking into account temperature, humidity, and precipitation. Understand the terrain to help you choose the right footwear and adjust your running strategy accordingly.
When You Arrive
Upon arrival, tap into local knowledge to enhance your running experience. Ask around for recommended running routes, hidden gems, and safety tips. Take the opportunity to gather a lay of the land, noting landmarks, parks, and scenic spots, and acquainting yourself with local road rules and running etiquette. Importantly, ensure you learn the local emergency contact numbers and familiarize yourself with the whereabouts of nearby medical facilities.
During Your Runs
Prioritize your safety and well-being during runs by adhering to researched routes, sticking to well-lit and populated areas, and being mindful of potential hazards. If possible, inform someone about your plans. Tailor your running accessories to the essentials, considering factors such as distance, weather, and location. A running belt is great for carrying necessities like your phone, ID, and cash, but you may want to consider a small backpack for water, sunscreen, and a compact first aid kit for unforeseen circumstances.
Now, say you’ve done all that, here’s the last step of the process: Where to Run While Travelling
Urban landscapes offer a diverse array of running experiences, providing the perfect blend of scenic beauty and runner-friendly infrastructure. Whether you choose to navigate the picturesque trails of Vancouver, explore the charming side streets of Lisbon, or enjoy the vibrant beaches of Rio de Janeiro, city-running caters to both aesthetic and fitness preferences. Combining exercise with exploration by immersing yourself in the rich culture of a destination, jogging past historical sites, and taking full advantage of the bustling energy of urban environments for an extra boost of motivation.
Running along the beach provides a unique blend of physical activity and natural beauty. The soft, sandy terrain challenges your muscles in different ways, offering an excellent workout. If you find yourself at a resort, consider ditching the overcrowded hotel gyms and embracing the opportunity to discover the true essence of where you’re staying. This not only adds a sense of adventure to your routine but also allows you to fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the beach destination.
Trail running in mountainous terrain presents a thrilling and scenic adventure. Trails wind through forests, ascend peaks, and offer panoramic vistas. If you like challenging yourself, the uneven and varied surfaces engage different muscle groups, providing a full-body workout. The altitude and elevation changes add an extra layer of intensity, making mountain trail running both physically demanding and mentally invigorating. It’s an immersive way to connect with nature while pursuing your fitness goals.
Running in the countryside offers a serene and peaceful environment. Enjoy the tranquility of open fields, meandering paths, and scenic landscapes. The absence of urban noise fosters a sense of solitude and connection with nature. Countryside running allows for exploration of quaint villages, rolling hills, and hidden trails, providing a refreshing contrast to the hustle and bustle of city life.
Running while traveling transcends the boundaries of merely sticking to your fitness routine; it is a transformative way to connect with the world. This harmonious blend of exploration ensures that each stride becomes a time- and cost-effective adventure, maximizing both your travel experiences and personal well-being. So, embrace running on your next journey and allow each step to lead you to new horizons. I can’t wait to see you May 5 at the Toronto Marathon. Happy wandering!