As far as a travel workout goes, running is the easiest and most convenient form of exercise you can do when you are on the road. If the weather is bad and the hotel has a decent hotel fitness center, you can take advantage of running on a treadmill and staying indoors. That said, I’m a huge advocate for running outside. Here’s why:
- Sightseeing: I’ve had some of my best runs exploring destinations while I was on the road…namely in Switzerland on Lake Geneva, in a small town in the Czech Republic, along the beaches in Santa Monica and San Diego, and along Lake Michigan in Chicago. If you are traveling on business, there is a good chance you won’t have much time for sightseeing. And, if your destination is worth seeing, going outdoors has some great advantages. It allows you to become familiar with your surroundings, find local restaurants for a post-work dinner, and enjoy the local flavor of the destination you are visiting.
- No Excuse Travel Workout: Running on a treadmill gives you many opportunities to quit prematurely. It is challenging enough to fit in a travel workout, the last thing you need is another excuse. Running outside, however, requires that you get back to your origination point, so it is less likely that you’ll quit early.
- Time Goes By…So Quickly: When you are running on a treadmill, you are constantly reminded of the time…or the lack of time that has passed. As a result, a travel workout can feel long and painful. Going outdoors, however, requires that you navigate an unfamiliar area and pay attention to your course. Your mind is constantly occupied and as a result, time goes by a lot more quickly.
- Fresh Air: Whether it is at the airport, on the airplane, in the hotel room or at a client’s office, you are stuck indoors with recycled air a good amount of the time you are on the road. Needless to say, fresh air is probably hard to come by. Running outside allows your body (and brain) to get the fresh air and oxygen they need to work optimally.
- It is More Challenging: Running indoors requires less energy than going outside. This is because the treadmill propels you forward as the belt pulls your feet back and underneath your body. You’ll get more challenging exercise by running outside.
- Bonus Reason – You’ll be Eco-Friendly on the Road: If you are environmentally conscious, you probably know that running on a treadmill takes a good amount of electricity. Running outside, however, requires absolutely no energy, making your workout environmentally friendly.
If you are interested in running outside when you are on the road, here are a few tips:
- Heart Rate Monitor: The one benefit of running on a treadmill is that you can get a lot of information about your session. For outdoors, I highly recommend you get a Heart Rate Monitor to ensure that your travel workout is effective and you can monitor the information you would inside.
- Stay Safe: Always make sure you run in safe areas.
- Get Some Input: Ask the hotel concierge if they have any running trails in the area or if they recommend any courses that might be especially scenic. If the concierge doesn’t have any information, go to mapmyrun.com or mapmywalk.com to pre-map your course.
Do you like running on a treadmill or outdoors more? What do you do when you are on the road?