Finding Quality Exercise Opportunities, On the Run

I have a personal goal of running around 3.5 miles four times a week. When I’m at home, this is easy, I have a treadmill and live just down the street from a local school track. It’s when I’m on the road, with an unpredictable schedule where I struggle. I don’t know for sure when I’m going to get into the hotel, and when I’m there, the hurdle of finding a place to run is often too much to overcome.

Now if you have no problem working out in the hotel “gym” then this probably isn’t an issue for you. Your biggest struggle is going to be getting your but off the bed/couch and getting to the gym. I personally don’t like using most hotel gyms. As a runner, I prefer to get out and experience the local sites and sounds. And although I think hotel gyms are getting better, there are still a lot that are just too small, smelly, and don’t have enough quality equipment to meet demand.

Here’s how I’ve found some excellent exercise experiences while on the road.

Ask The Hotel

If I’m new to a hotel, or am unfamiliar with the surrounding areas, asking the receptionist during check-in has proven very affective at revealing the very best runs around a hotel. If you take a shuttle to the hotel, ask the driver as well. They are usually from the area, and have first hand knowledge of where to go. I try to find runs that I can, well run to, but if it takes a quick shuttle ride to get to a better place, I’ve found it to be well worth the extra time.

Ask Your Co-Workers

If you have other people in your work group that have been to the area you are going to, do a little research to discover their local knowledge of the area you are heading to. I’ve also found this to be a great way of building relationship with co-workers. When you get back from the trip, thank them for the tip, and report on your experience.

Social Media

A quick search on facebook will reveal multiple running groups with members more than willing to share all about the great run they just discovered. Many of these are closed groups so you have to get approval to join, but this helps to keep out those trying to advertise.

If running is not your thing then try searching for clubs/local groups with workout interests similar to yours. I’ve also found that a quick search on Yelp or Apple Maps will often show running paths or exercise opportunities near your location complete with user’s ratings. These are the two apps I tend to use, but there are many more that will give similar information.

Explore

When I first started running, I would often just walk out the door and start down the street. Many times I would run into paths/streets that turned out to be some of the best runs I’ve ever had. After using the “just run” method, I found that many good runs/walks are located in or next to some common area.

  • When I’m in a college town, and close to the school, I know there will be many great paths on campus. Most schools, even community colleges have campuses complete with paths, bathrooms and drinking stations.
  • Golf courses often have walking/running paths incorporated into their course or around the perimeter of their property. If your not sure if the path is open to the public, just call up the course and ask.
  • Rivers and streams through a city are another great places to find paths. Some of these paths are contained in actual city parks, but many are unimproved walking paths that are less crowded then the paved paths.
  • Irrigation canals are another common place to find paths alongside of or incorporated into utility access roads.
  • Power line access roads often contain paved walking paths or just a gravel road that works great for getting out and enjoying nature. I’ve found some of these to be fenced off, but many are open and available to the public.

Well I hope these ideas have helped. Please comment and let us now what’s worked for you!

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