10 Tips for the Vagabond Runner

Keep grinding out miles and see the world

Stopping and staring at the sights is encouraged. (ferrantraite/iStock)
Photo: ferrantraite/iStock Sara

The beauty of running is that you can do it anywhere—and you should. Here's how to take your habit on the road, two ways: by skipping the tour bus in favor of fresh air and cardio, or adding extra thrill to your race sign-up by taking it to a far-flung locale.

If you’re traveling for vacation:

  • Have a general plan. Pick the sights you want to see and rough out in your mind how you’ll link them up.
  • Give yourself time. Runs around an unfamiliar city take much longer than you think.
  • Carry a map. And a cell phone.
  • Be prepared. Tuck some money in a dry place for cab fare or water. Know the name, address, and phone number of your hotel.
  • Stop. If you see something cool, pause and soak it up.

If you’re traveling for a race:

  • Prep for jet lag. Competing in a distant time zone? Arrive at least 48 hours before the event. 
  • Race-day shoes are a carry-on. If your luggage gets lost, you can replace everything else on short notice, but you don’t want to run a marathon in a brand-new pair of trainers. 
  • Sample exotic local fare after the race. If you’ve got an unusual preference in pre-race food, bring it from home.
  • Don’t count on mile markers. Know your split times in kilometers when competing outside the U.S.
  • Start at the beginning. When racing a point-to-point course, find a hotel near the start rather than the finish. You’ll always have more time after the race.
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