How to Fit in Running During Business Travel

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By Dominique Burton

Preparing for a work trip always includes a lot of pre-planning and it can become a very hectic thing for me, even before the plane has left the runway. As a stress reliever and a way to stay consistent with my exercise and training regimen, I include running in my itinerary when traveling for work.

Now, to run each day I am gone is my INTENT. But, let’s talk about my reality.

Due to the nature of my job, when doing site visits or at a conference, my days typically begin around 5:30 am and end around 7:00 p.m. Yet in my mind, I must run! Far too often, I find myself on the “struggle bus” a few days into my trip due to jet lag and too much eating out.

in·ten·tion

inˈten(t)SH(ə)n

noun: a thing intended; an aim or plan. Ex. "She was full of good intentions to run while on travel for work."

Despite having packed enough running outfits for each day of my trip, I soon realized I hadn’t logged even one mile. Frustrated, I’ll then push myself to get in at least a 5K on one of the days, but it never ends up how I want.

During my last work trip to Orlando, Florida, I promised myself that I would dig deep and workout. No matter what, I was determined to hit the pavement. This time, I planned ahead which day, time and route I planned to take. This allowed me to successfully keep my intention past the pre-planning stage. Each morning, I woke up, reviewed my work schedule and available free time. I used that to plan out visits to local attractions, dinners out, etc., and added in exactly when and where I would have time to run.

For example, I knew I wanted to write my reports as soon as my work duties were done each day of my trip, but before going out to dinner or visiting that cool new wine bar, I prioritized getting out for a run. Planning to run for a set amount of time instead of a certain mileage was another key way that I could make sure to stick to my schedule.

It's entirely possible to keep up with your running regimen while on a business trip, however, It just takes planning, discipline and a modified schedule which I am just getting the hang of.

Still not convinced to get out and run on a work trip? Check out these tips:

Run With Co-Workers

In the article “Why Running During Work Travel is Good for Business“, TripIT  points out, “People engage differently on a running path than they do in a boardroom. Something about movement makes ideas flow more freely, and I think people share thoughts more readily when they aren’t sitting face-to-face. Running with a colleague or client can cement a relationship through the bond of a shared experience.” What better way to build a relationship and get to know those in your network than to run together? It’s a great way to get in that conversation you’ve been trying to have at work, but couldn’t make happen.

Find a Local Run Crew

Ryan Delany of runallthetrails.com suggests finding a local running group to join during your travels. “Many running stores have mid-week social runs in the evenings and in my experience, they are always welcoming to visitors...You may also belong to a gym like Lifetime Fitness which does Tuesday Night group runs and Thursday Morning Dawn Patrol nationwide, so make sure you check to see if your gym has any locations nearby with any group activities you can join.” Bridge the Gap is a running movement that features a network of urban running crews all over the world and is another great resource to find great crews where you’ll be visiting. Find a crew and make some new friends in a process.

Sign Up for a Race

Many major cities constantly have races and other fun runs. Check to see if the city you will be visiting for work also has a race during your free time or after your schedule for work is complete. You might even be able to get your employer-sponsored health benefit or wellness program to pay for the race signup! (Doesn’t hurt to ask).

Use Your Run to Sightsee

Visiting a cool new city but don’t have time to do a full-on sightseeing tour? Running through the city is a great way to explore and hit key sights throughout a city without having to dedicate a full day to a bus or walking tour. Runner’s World also points out that an early run can be a great way to get an early peek at the local “sights before the crowds and make note of where you want to return to later.”

The aforementioned local run crews can help you find a great route, or check out sites like MapMyRun, which allows you to create a route or choose from publicly saved routes in nearly every city you could visit.

Do you run while on work travel? Share with us your favorite tips and tricks in the comments below!


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Dominique Burton

Co-founder and Chief Partnerships Officer