A blog by runners. For runners.

On the road: fitting in runs while traveling for work

Fitting in runs when you're traveling for workIf you travel frequently for work, getting in key workouts – or running at all – can seem like an epic battle. In my days as a market manager for a software company, I did my fair share of jetting around. I’d stand at trade shows for 10 hours straight and be with clients into the late night hours. The days were long, the hours for alone time were short, but I still managed to sneak in short bursts of exercise that helped keep my mind sane and my body healthy.

The best thing about running or walking is that you just need a pair of shoes and yourself to get going. But a little planning does go a long way:

  • Perfect perks: When I made my hotel reservations, I worked with our travel people to ensure I’d stay somewhere with a treadmill. Navigating the roads around business hotels can be tricky, especially when they’re clustered near airports and other busy highways. If I had a treadmill, I could wake up early and give myself at least a good half hour of safe, uninterrupted running or walking time before starting the workday’s responsibilities.
  • Map ahead: If I had an extended stay somewhere, I’d be sure to research my destination ahead of time and identify any parks or good running routes nearby. That way, if I had a break or spare bit of time, I didn’t need to waste any of it figuring out where I should go or – alternatively – getting lost in the process. If you have questions about your destination, be sure to consult hotel staff, like the concierge, for smart and safe suggestions.
  • Short, steady: If you know you’ll be traveling on some prime running days, consider shifting your hard workouts to accommodate your schedule. Keep your runs while you’re traveling short and purposeful. Since traveling for work can also mean little separation between work and personal time, I made good use of my spare minutes. I picked up my pace and did intervals to get my blood pumping just a bit faster than slower slogging of junk miles. Here are five short and sweaty walk/jog workouts and another five 20-minute running-only workouts to get you going.
  • Skip running altogether: We all know we don’t need to walk or run to get in a good workout. Cross-training is something runners often neglect, and it’s great it fit it in whenever possible. Plus, with cross-trianing you can work up a sweat right in your hotel room. Sneak in these “at-home” workouts in your home away from home.
  • Damage control: When all else fails, keep your eats healthy and wholesome. No late-night junk food fests or extra drinks at happy hour. Drink plenty of water and resist trips to the vending machine for sugar rushes. Also: move your body as much as possible, even if it’s just a 10-minute spurt (brisk walk) during a break. (Related: Benefits of running only 6 miles a week)

Written by Ashley Marcin.