Often the best way to see a new city is to explore it by foot, preferably during a run. But, training while traveling can be tricky, especially the farther you get from your normal routine. Half the battle of running while you are out of town is making sure to pack the right items to help you feel at home.
If planning to run on your vacation, consider packing two pairs of running shoes. When staying in a hotel you won’t have the option of placing your sweaty shoes outside to dry, and if you plan to do a lot of exploring by foot, you may want to wear your running shoes later in the day, which can get uncomfortable (i.e. sweaty!) if you only packed one pair.
A simple formula for determining how many pairs of socks and underwear to pack is the following: 1 pair for every day + 1 pair for every run + 2.
Many runners over-pack in this category because of potential weather variability. A good rule of thumb is to pack clothes for the normal weather for the region and then take one additional item for inclement weather, such as one rain jacket, one pair of tights, and one long sleeve shirt. Don’t forget your sunglasses or hat, either.
Wearing a watch is essential when you are out of town in order to avoid getting lost. If you have multiple watches avoid the urge to bring more than one, but don’t forget the charger!
Don’t leave it up to chance whether there will be water fountains on the trail (or even that the water will be safe to drink). Your best bet is to pack a hydration flask and bring it along.
If intending to race on your vacation there are a number of extra items you will need to bring. Be sure to include the shorts, singlet, racing shoes, racing socks, hat, sunglasses, etc. that you plan to race in.
Check and double check that you have your bib number or any confirmation items you might need in order to pick up your bib at the expo or on race day.
Never leave it up to chance that you will be able to find your favorite gel at the race expo or at the aid stations. If flying to your destination place the gels in your toiletries kit as they are considered a liquid.
Part of the reason that traveling can make us feel lousy is that we don’t follow the same nutrition plan as we do at home, often going hours longer than normal between snacks or meals. Pack plenty of healthy post-run snacks to ingest immediately after exercise. A good rule of thumb is to bring twice the number of snacks as you think you will need. For instance, if planning five runs during your trip, bring a total of 10 protein bars.
Electrolyte Replacement Mixes
Hydration during travel is difficult; don’t forget to pack any electrolyte replacement tablets or powders that you regularly use!
Gift Card for Healthy Options
Eating healthy on vacation is tough. Before you embark for your trip, buy yourself gift cards for healthy fast food options or grocery stores so that you are not tempted to eat out at a greasy restaurant every night.
Try to keep your routine as normal as possible. Pack any multi-vitamins or nutritional supplements you regularly take by placing one pill per vacation day in a small baggy.
Pack any small recovery items you might use on a regular basis, but leave the larger ones (i.e. foam roller) at home. A stretch band, pair of compression socks, and a tennis ball can go a long way.
A running belt is extremely helpful when running in a new city. Pack identification, a snack, your phone, a credit card or cash, and your hotel key when you explore.
Small First Aid Kit
Nothing is worse than blisters when you’re on vacation. Pack a small kit with band aids, second skin, toenail clippers, and antibiotic ointment so that you aren’t sidelined if blisters occur.