A Runner’s Guide to Traveling
Posted by Stephanie
on Nov 30, 2012 in Tips
I have been traveling a lot for races lately. Just over the past year I’ve traveled to Washington DC, Seattle & Portland, Vermont, Philadelphia, and next week I will be traveling to Rehoboth Beach, Maryland to run a marathon. I never traveled much before I started racing all over the place, it’s become a great excuse for a mini vacation!
Traveling for a race can be a pain – it definitely takes some planning. How much you bring and what you pack relies on what distance race you are running and also, how important it is to you. Are you running an easy 5k or is this a marathon you’ve been training 4+ months for?
I know there are 1001 posts out there about how to successfully travel for a race, but I just wanted to share what has worked for me. I like to keep it simple and I think it boils down to a few key points to keep in mind.
- Transportation. How are you getting to your destination? Car, bus, plane, or train? Whatever the mode of transportation is, make sure you have everything you need surrounding it. Is your car running properly, do you have your bus/train ticket? Prepare this in advance so you don’t have to waste time stressing out about it on your day of travel.
- Accommodations. Where are you staying? Book your hotel or friends couch well in advance! It’s as simple as that.
- Packing List. This one can get tricky, but it’s probably the most important one on the list! I highly, highly recommend making a list before you pack. I tend to make lists 2 weeks before I leave, just so I have extra time to figure out if I forgot anything on the list. I always find myself remembering something random when I’m not even thinking about it.
Here are just a few important things to remember to pack:
- Over pack your running clothes. I’m not kidding. I will pack everything I could possibly wear, who knows if the weather is going to change drastically, it could definitely happen and I don’t want to be unprepared come race morning. I tend to bring shorts, tights, and capris, as well as a long sleeved shirt, arm warmers, and a tank. It’s better to have options!
- Bring your own food. What have you been eating on race morning? Bring that. Don’t rely on buying stuff from a grocery store at your destination. Things can happen and this could lead to unnecessary stress.
- Watch? Do you have a Garmin or other type of GPS watch? If you’re the type of person I am and cannot run without your watch (especially during a marathon), DON’T FORGET THIS!
- Throwaway clothes. What’s the weather going to be like? If it’s cold, wear some throwaway clothes at the start, so you don’t waste energy being cold.
- Running Shoes. Obviously!
Another quick thing to plan for is where and when to pick up your race bib! Not all races offer race day pick up.
Before I leave for a race, whether I’m traveling a mile or 500 miles, I ask myself one question; Do I have everything I need to at least be able to run the race? I always make sure I have my running shoes, my timing chip, my bib, and appropriate running clothes. That’s it. If I had nothing else, at least I would be able to start and finish the race.
When was the last time you traveled for a race? Where is the furthest you’ve gone or would go? What are some of your secrets to make it work and have a good time? Please share in the comment section below.