The Savvy Running Traveler

Guest Blogger Nancy Cook

What to know before you go….  on a plane, train or automobile you need to be ready, packed and motivated to get all your workouts in while you are on the road. The high heels don’t like to share the bag with dirty sneakers and packing can get tight if you are trying to fit it all in an overnight carry on bag so you don’t have to check luggage. Ask me – I know — I have traveled in my current position for the past 15 years in upwards of 60,000 miles a year. I travel to various places in the United States and stay at many different brands of hotels. The best part about running to me is the fact that you can pack your shoes and clothes and you are ready to run! Just remember you need extra shirts, bras & socks if you run more than one day… they tend to get smelly – especially on those southern trips! 🙂

Judy Reichling & I at the Applefest 1/2 marathon in New Hampshire 2009

Traveling for work can be adventurous and it is always great to meet new runners along the way. I have been known to introduce myself and invite a random runner dressed up “runner style” in the morning to tag along just for company! At work we have email groups of the people traveling to our meetings so it is a great opportunity to let people know that “We” are running and will meet in the lobby at 6:30 am to run and be back to shower and ready for the day. “We” don’t wait for people and are on a schedule so be on time!  In the lobby we either all run as a group or gather by pace choice if there is a large group or naturally break up as the group splits into a comfortable pace.  “We” always have someone in the front to lead (and not get us lost) and someone in the back to make sure we don’t lose anyone.  🙂 Our group of runners has run in some great areas of the country.  “We” have run in Orlando out to Pleasure Island, Austin along the river, Boston along the Charles, Salt Lake City up and around the capital, Dallas in the ice storm and in the middle of the city and Laguna Beach in California along the docks on the water. It is a great way to get outside and see the sights before a meeting and really get to know some of your fellow workers too!

It is important for me to get in my exercise as I am ultimately more productive and can be very happy that I am on track for marathon training and getting in my weekly mileage. The worst part is when I have to catch an early flight — it isn’t always easy fitting it in, but I do my best!

Judy & I at the Chicago Marathon 2010, Becky Lunders & I in California at her 2008 Relay For Life

Here are some great tips while traveling:

  1. Pack running shoes in carry on in case of lost baggage.
  2. Check the weather before you go and make sure you pack the right clothes to wear if you are planning on running outside!
  3. Check out the running opportunities in the area before you leave and use tools like MapMyRun and GoogleMaps to help you build a route and a plan while on your trip.
  4. Always check in with the concierge or front desk for directions and “safe” running locations before heading out on your run.  They can be available to hold your room key so you don’t lose it too! 🙂
  5. IF you are feeling really social you can search online local running clubs that may share routes or even have a group run you can “crash” 🙂
  6. Be safe!  Carry identification or better yet medical information in case of emergency.  If you don’t already have one consider buying a RoadID or 1BandID . Always let someone know where you are going and try to always run with a partner when running while traveling.



Other great websites to check for running routes where you travel:

USAT – “America’s Running Routes”

Did you know that USAT has a searchable database of running routes?  Check these out for travel and even for your home area! Very cool.

Worldwide Running and Travel Guides

Great links to running locations around the world!

Happy Running where ever you go!


Nancy is a top ranked master Marathon Runner, proud mom, & loving wife, Waterskier, avid ski race photographer, Alpine Skiing Development Coach & PSIA certified instructor at Mount Snow, VT. She placed 7th Master in the 2007 Boston Marathon, won her age group at the 2009 Marine Corps Marathon  and in 2010 was 3rd in the New England USAT Trail Running Championships right before being diagnosed with lymphoma.  As a cancer survivor she ran the 2010 Chicago marathon 2/3 of the way through cancer treatment and the 2011 Boston Marathon 6 weeks after having her spleen removed.  San Francisco Marathon will be her 30th marathon, if you count her 4 Ironman triathlons.  She runs with the American Cancer Society DetermiNation program making a difference passionate about sharing her strength, finding a cure & raising the funds needed for research, working toward the ultimate goal of a cancer free world.  You can follow her on Twitter @nanskimtn and read more about her survivor story on “The Toughest Marathon of My Life”

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