Running Away From Home

Posted by Filed Under: Health & Fitness, Running Tips

running tipsOn a recent trip to North Carolina, I was reminded how easily travel can affect my running routine—my hydration, nutrition and sleep were all affected simply by being in a new place. As if that wasn’t challenging enough, I also had to think more carefully about when, where and how I would run. Foolishly, I did little to plan ahead, and wound up running alone, on a rather boring stretch of road.

Here are some resources I should have utilized:

The Running Blog Family

A simple post on my blog about my travel plans *before* the trip would have garnered at least one response from a runner who lived near the city I was visiting. I lost the chance to not only meet up with another RBF member, but to also get inside information on where to run. If you don’t have a blog, there are various online running forums that could provide the same type of local connection.

Local Running Club

An internet search for running clubs in the area, or a call to a local running store will probably generate at least one contact name. Some running stores host weekly runs, so be sure to ask!


If you are traveling to visit non-running friends/family, be sure to ask them if they know any runners: from work, neighbors, church, gym, etc. Even if this person doesn’t run with you, they can give you advice about where to run.

Hotel Staff

If you are staying in a hotel, the staff can usually point you in the right direction for access to an interesting running route. For example, a couple of years ago while vacationing in Florida, the front desk staff directed me to a road that ran parallel to the ocean. I had an unforgettable run, watching the waves crash on to the beach as seagulls swooping down to grab a snack.

Most hotels also have at least one treadmill in their “fitness center” which will be useful if you discover that your lodgings are in a less-than-desirable part of town.

Plot Your Own Route

Use Web sites like or to plot out your own course. (Consider reviewing your route with someone from the area to make sure the roads still exist and are in “safe” areas.)

Local Track

Can’t stand the thought of running inside but not crazy about running on unfamiliar roads or trails? Or perhaps you have a speed workout planned? Then be sure to find out the location of the local track—middle school, high school, university.

Local Gym/Fitness Center

If all else fails, there is always the local gym and the trusty treadmill (or indoor track). While this may not be the most fun option, if you are uncomfortable running with strangers or have limited time available, this will insure that your run happens.

Finally, Just Relax!

Unless you are in the middle of training for a big race or major event, give yourself permission to be flexible with your running while you are away from home. Travel doesn’t have to disrupt our schedules but we can also try new things while we are away from home—run barefoot on the beach, go kayaking, go swimming, or skip the taxi and walk around to explore!

About Dianna

Dianna, also known as the Running Chick with the Orange Hat (Running Chick for short) moved from being a periodic gym rat to a runner in January of 2003 during a botched New Year's resolution. Her newly rediscovered fondness for running quickly blossomed into a full-blown obsession. Within a year and a half, she went from suffering through two miles on the treadmill to running a marathon. Cotton was discarded for wicking fabrics and gel was no longer something she put in her hair. Since then, she has continued to challenge herself, first with achieving her Boston Qualifying time, then running a PR at Boston and doing an occasional sprint distance triathlon. Future endeavors include a trail marathon and longer distance triathlons. Dianna has been blogging about her running adventures since April 2004, even getting an article 'published' online at Runner's World as well as capturing the attention of a local news channel. She can discuss all things related to running, swimming, and biking, at great length, without ever getting bored. In her free time, she enjoys pina coladas and getting caught in the rain, with her husband and multi-racial canine in Connecticut, U.S.A.

  1. Andrew on January 2nd at 11:30 am

    You could also try, they have a mapping feature where you can search other route in the area that have been shared by other users. Also a fantastic running log.

  2. Anne on January 2nd at 11:44 am

    Great advice, some of which I’ve used in the past to wonderful results. I would mention one thing about using school tracks: Be sure to check and see if you need permission to use a school’s track or if another group’s reserved certain times of the day. A growing number of public school tracks no longer allow unsanctioned visitors due to liability issues.

  3. Dawn - Pink chick on January 2nd at 4:42 pm

    I used similar advice when moving to a new city. Through signing up online to a running group in my city I arrived here with some ready made running friends. Four years later I’m still running with some of them and a couple have become my best friends.

  4. Jeanne on January 3rd at 6:14 pm

    The toughest part is packing! On my trip to europe I needed a separate bag for running clothes–hot, cold, medium. maybe i went a tad overboard..?

  5. krista on February 17th at 7:16 am

    i need some tips to run away from home because i leaving for good but i need to know some things first… i am going to try to put another hole in the wall yaah… i hate it where i am living and i need some help… help me get out of this hole…please help me i hate it here…

  6. michelle gilmore on January 29th at 2:03 pm

    i hate the place i live in i am always being mistreated and i dont like it because it makes me feel like nobody loves me or cares for me ive lost my mother and my father and sometimes i wish i could lose my grandmother as well because she doesnt love me and she dont take care of me se doesnt want me to live with her and she always try to put me out the house and i really dont know what to do