Running While Traveling
A female, running, outside, alone, in a new city. Sounds dangerous. I am yet another reminder for you to be careful. But I am also encouraging you to not let fear get in the way! While traveling, I believe the best way to get to know a place is to run the streets, hear the sounds, and (sometimes I can pleasantly say), smell the scents of the town. So let us be not afraid! Whether it is the rain of Seattle, the snow of Utah, or the lack of sidewalks in the middle of nowhere Texas, I’ve ran in it all due to traveling for work. There are many challenges to be a consistent runner while on the road. So, let me advise you on how to get your run in while traveling.
Safety first. Be aware of the side of town you are on. Drive to the side of town that is more likely to have a busy bike path or at least people that are outside and like-minded. It is worth the drive. The more people that are outside, the safer the environment is for you to be running and taking in your surroundings rather than listening carefully to check if anyone is following you. One way that I find places like this to run is the REI app called Hiking Project. Download the state trails on the app before you go. It mainly shows trails and tends to take me to the outskirts of town into the hills, but they are usually the more popular routes. It tracks location (even without service), so you can see where you are on the map and have confirmation that you are not lost, you are exploring!
Find a running group. Most running shoe stores will have a weekly meet up for a group run, or at least know of one. This is the best opportunity to avoid getting lost and to feel safe no matter the place or time of day. Usually the locals know the best places to run and then you can meet new people. I have even gone as far as signing up for a race while visiting a city. You don’t have to train for a race to sign up for one, it can be a training run. Either way, do some research before your trip to see if there are any running events you can join while in town.
Just pack your shoes and some running clothes. Luckily running is one sport that all you need are shoes and your own beautiful body. Yet, getting out of the door of your hotel is a lot easier when you are dressed for the weather. I never leave on a trip without my shoes and a light jacket for running. Once I tote them with me, I feel it is necessary to make use of them. Enabling and encouraging.
Final words of advice for running in a new place: take your guardian angel with you. Run, but not in fear. Run with faith, your awareness, maybe your smart phone, and hopefully with new friends!