If your job is anything like mine, then you may find yourself traveling for work. Sometimes that can be inconvenient for a race or general training schedule.
We are in luck, since running is a popular sport/fitness activity. Because of this, many hotels have accommodations for runners. In some, you can simply ask at the front desk about good places to run. Other places take it a bit further.
The J.W. Marriott resort in Phoenix, Arizona, has this nice map for its guests who are runners and don’t like to be on treadmills. (This is a category I fall into.)
It has routes of different distances laid out in a nice, easy to follow format. I check the distance using my Nike GPS watch, and found it to be pretty accurate.
Running on the road gives you a chance to get out of your hotel room and see the area in a way that you might not otherwise. Of course, you need to be careful about the environmental hazards. For example, the J.W. Marriott is in the desert, so it gets hot quickly. Also, you lose water faster in the desert and don’t always notice, because your sweat evaporates quickly. You need to pay attention.
With the caveats in consideration, I still recommend getting out and running when possible while you are traveling.
On the other side of the continent, the Westin Hotel in downtown Montreal also has a nice map with different routes laid out on it.
The environment was much different here, especially since I was there during the depths of winter. Now instead of heat, I had to worry about cold and ice. In all honesty, I skipped the run on that trip because of the weather.
What was interesting was the the Westin would provide you with New Balance running shoes and a treadmill if you wanted them — for a fee of course, but it was a nice service to offer. Serious runners would not need to miss a day of training, even if they forgot or couldn’t pack their shoes.
I have found my running shoes are worth their weight in luggage, and I am packing them more and more. The key is not to overestimate your free time on the trip and just assume you will run at some point. Plan ahead for your run so that it becomes part of your schedule.
Also, as this post shows, check in with your hotel and ask. They may have a host of services for runners.
I am going to tell you, as a woman packing for travel, the biggest obstacle to “running on the road” is finding room in my suitcase for sneakers. This is typically the case where I am already struggling to limit shoe choices to be cross-functional across various events during a workshop or conference. That said, I did squeeze in some sneakers for my most recent trip, and it was well worth it. I think doing some quick research in advance to locate potential running routes can help you be prepared to get your run plan in action upon arrival. I like the Walk Jog Run website http://www.walkjogrun.net/ which allows you to view routes posted by local runners as well as track your own information to log your stats from anywhere the internet may find you.