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Are you ready to take the next step and travel for a race? Or are you taking a business trip and need to stay healthy and well rested? Perhaps it’s a family vacation and you want to get in some exercise. Whether it’s a training run, 5K, half or marathon, summer is the perfect time to take your run on the road.
Did you know that travel for a running event is one of the fastest growing travel sectors? According to FindMyMarathon.com, there are 748 marathons scheduled for 2015 in the United States. Last year there were 590,415 marathon finishers!
Have you always dreamed of running a race in Alaska through wilderness forests? What about along the California coastline where they have strawberries at every water stop? The Midwest offers a chance for a PR with the flat course of Indianapolis or the cool fall weather of Chicago. Perhaps you are ready to check the qualifying times and requirements for a once-in-a-lifetime Boston Marathon.
Whether it’s the reason for your travel or a way to stay in shape, here are some tips for incorporating running into any trip.
1. Pack Your Race Day Gear In A Bag That Stays With You
Things happen. Flights change, people grab the wrong case, and bags are left behind. You don’t want to take a chance on your running gear taking a separate vacation. Pack running gear in a carry-on bag or gear bag you can carry with you on your trip. Use packing cubes to easily and quickly identify your race day essentials.
Running Essentials Checklist
- Race Shoes and Orthotics
- Favorite Running Socks
- Running Shorts
- Sports Bra
- Performance Shirt
- Sweatband Visor and Hairband
- GPS Watch and Heart Rate Monitor
- MP3 Player and Earbuds
- Energy Gel
- Anti-Chafing Lotion
- Sunscreen and Lip Balm
- Safety Pins for Race Bib
- Water Bottle
2. A Travel Run Is Not The Time To Try Something New
Have a practice run at home. Before the trip go through your pre-race steps and make sure that your routine is working smoothly. I have pasta for lunch the day before a race and pancakes for dinner. Identify the run-friendly foods that you know you’ll be able to find at restaurants on your trip. My morning-of-a-race breakfast is coffee and a bagel with peanut butter. Peanut butter is not a sure thing on a restaurant breakfast menu, so I pack my own.
Do you have a cool new pair of running shorts that would look great crossing that finish line? Too bad, leave them at home! You heard me, a race is not a time to find out if those great looking shorts cause chafing. Choose your tried-and-true, lots-of-mileage gear. A race is not a time to try something new.
3. Stay Hydrated
You know to drink plenty of water the day before and the day of a race. You have your hydration routine down pat. But it’s easy to forget and not as convenient to hydrate when you’re traveling. If you’re flying, you need to increase that hydration to counter the effects of air travel dryness. Be sure to pack or pick up plenty of bottled water. Usually I’m in favor of tap water, but when you are traveling the qualities of the water may actually make enough of a difference to throw off your metabolism. Stick with bottled water whenever possible. I love to add lemon to my water when I run and I’ve started taking a lemon essential oil in my travel bag. A few drops of lemon essential oil in my bottled water, lets me enjoy the taste of fresh lemons on the road.
4. Get A Good Night’s Sleep
It’s tempting when traveling to stay up late for pre-race parties or sight-seeing, but leave that for after your race. Getting enough rest is absolutely essential to a race time you can be proud of and to enjoying the journey. But sleeping in a new place can be challenging. You’re adding the pre-race nervousness to a new environment that may work against a good night’s sleep. ZzzQuil™ can help! Created by the makers of NyQuil, ZzzQuil™ is a non-habit forming sleep aid designed to help with occasional bouts of sleeplessness – including those brought on by travel. I recently heard a national talk show host list ZzzQuil™ as their must-have for travel.
5. Learn the Lay of the Land
When you travel to a new destination, be sure to check the course you’re going to run. A race course will be published ahead of time – learn the turns, practice sections of the course if possible and ask runners who have done the race before for advice. I ran a half recently and it was a big help to know that there was a “hallelujah hill” coming up at mile eleven. It may have completely demoralized me, had it been a surprise.
If you’re not going to a race and just looking for a route, ask at the front desk of your hotel for suggestions. You want to find a safe, beautiful place to run and the hotel staff will know your best options. If you’re on a road trip and have access to a vehicle, drive the route first to avoid unwelcome surprises. Some of my best vacation memories include sunrise runs. Running can give you a unique vantage point to local vistas.
Lastly, remember Tip #2, why not have your pre-race food today, and get a beautiful night’s sleep with ZzzQuil™ tonight? Fall asleep easily, sleep soundly and wake refreshed – ready to run. Put on your race day gear and take a practice run to make sure you have everything you need. If there’s anything you find yourself using that I didn’t include on my list, add it or cross out anything you don’t use, and you’ll be prepared.
Whether traveling for business or pleasure, you can fit in a run to keep you healthy and in a good mood for the rest of your day. I need sleep to be at my best and the non-habit-forming sleep-aid, ZzzQuil™, from the makers of Vicks® NyQuil™, helps me when excitement for the next day hits.
What are your running #TravelTipZzz?
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