I’ve been fortunate that running has allowed me to see so many places in the world that I otherwise never would have visited on my own. I’ve been all around the United States and to international destinations for races and appearances, and over the years I’ve learned how to deal with the many situations and stresses that travel can create.
Next time you’re traveling to a race, or trying to fit your workouts in on a business trip, keep these tips in mind.
I like consistency, so if I’m visiting a city that I’ve been to before, I try to stay in the same hotel if it worked out well for me before—plus I know there are good places to run nearby. If I am visiting a new city, I will talk to the local runners to find out the best places to run or even have them show me a park or trail where I can train, even if it means I have to slow down a little bit. I enjoy meeting new people and having company when I’m running in a different city.
When I’m at home I have a disciplined training and nutrition routine, but when I travel I need to plan ahead because sometimes I don’t know when I might sit down for my next meal. My bag is always pretty heavy when I travel because I fill it with healthy snacks that help hold me over if it’s going to be a long time until my next meal. If I’m attending a function, I try to find out ahead of time what kind of food they might be serving so we can make alternate plans for dinner if there’s no food or if they’re serving something that might upset my stomach.
Make a List, Check it Twice
Before I take off on a trip, I make a list of everything I need to do and all of the things I need to take with me and check it off as I pack my bags, that way I don’t have to worry if I’m missing anything when I get to my destination. I also keep a schedule on the calendar in my phone and try to stick to it as closely as possible. Things don’t always go as planned when you travel, but try to control the things that you can control and take a deep breath if and when interruptions get in your way.
Hit the Road Early
Whenever I have an early press conference, or I’m on the road making appearances and have a full schedule for the day, I always wake up early and get my workout done first thing in the morning. When I rise early in the morning, even if that means I have to get up at 5 a.m. to run, I don’t have to stress out about fitting in a workout or doing my stretching routine later in the day.
Carry Your Race Kit on the Plane
If I am flying to a race, I always have anything and everything I need on me when I get on the plane. When I was traveling to the 2006 New York City Marathon, I checked my bag that had my racing flats and uniform in it, and it got lost. I’ll never make that mistake again! If you’re flying to a race, always carry on your racing shoes, uniform and anything else you need for race day. Losing them is not worth the stress of trying to replace those things a day or two before!
Remember to Recover!
I am a big believer in compression apparel for recovery and always wear my compression socks and tights on the plane when I’m flying home after a race. Unless it’s 90 degrees outside, I have my socks or tights on, even if I’m wearing a suit! It makes a big difference, especially if I’m forced to sit for a long time.