|Effective though it is, most of us can take only so much of the hotel workout, and after several days you'll be craving the outdoors. The trick is to find friendly pastures for your chosen pursuit. Know that exercise may require a compromise in your normal routine. "The key thing," says triathlete and frequent flier Ray Browning, "is to leave the compulsion at home and enjoy the chance to see someplace new." Here are some strategies to help you get your running, biking, and skating fixes while in foreign places.
Score a map. You won't be the first jock to ask, and your hotel may keep on hand maps that include nearby running, cycling, and skating routes. The American Running and Fitness Association also offers maps of runs in more than 200 cities.
Get the local scoop. Bulletin boards at coffeehouses and sporting goods stores are great sources for club events and races.
Mix it up. If you're running at a track, alternate laps with bleacher-running. If you're winging it on the streets, follow an out-and-back strategy to avoid getting lost.
Think time, not distance. Without your familiar landmarks, you probably won't know how far you're going, so use your watch to gauge your workout.
Pack it. Traveling can be hell for cyclists who dare bring along their equipment. The Bike Friday, however, is a blessing: a high-performance folding bike that packs neatly into an airline-checkable suitcase, preventing extra charges and risk of damage.
Rent and ride. Big bike shops rent bicycles — usually mountain bikes, which means riding knobbies on pavement. The shop can steer you to good routes, however, and it'll rent you a helmet.
Skates fly free. If you're checking luggage, skip the rental grab-bag and tote your own in-line skates. You might avoid slaloming crowded sidewalks by cabbing it to your destination.