Are you going to be running when you’re away from home soon? Without the right approach, getting your run in away from your humble abode can be difficult. In this article, we’ll explore 5 useful tips for running when away from home.
I, like most runners, do most of my running workouts when I am based at home. I take for granted how easy it is to go for a run from the comfort of leaving my home and heading around the local area.
I have all my gear to hand, I know the local area and I tend to know what the weather conditions will be like on any given day.
My experience of running when away from home
I am in a rock band (The Gallerys) and over the last week we have toured the UK. This meant travelling to 6 different major cities in 7 days. We travelled to Southampton, Exeter, Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester and Glasgow in a week.
Of course, this meant that I was away from home and my daily running routine would need to change. In the lead up to the week on the road and during each run in a different city, I learnt a few handy lessons for running when you are away from home.
In this article, I’ll be sharing the useful tips I have learnt so you can run away from home being fully prepared and confident. I hope they help.
1. Pack your running bag for the correct time away and different situations
This one may seem obvious at first but it’s surprising how many of us take all of the gear we have at home we have for granted. It’s easy to run when we’re at home and have all our running apparel nearby and ready to use at a moment’s notice.
When we’re at home we may wake up in the morning and slip on the running shoes on the shoe rack, chuck on a top and some shorts from the wardrobe and head outside, only to quickly return for a jacket on the coat hook due to heavy rain outside.
However, when away from home we don’t have any of this convenience. Instead, we need to pack for running in a variety of different situations and for the appropriate time we are going to spend away from home.
Firstly, it’s important to pack enough running gear to last you the duration of your time away. Secondly, it’s important to pack a mixture of clothing and shoes to ensure you’re prepared for every situation.
Think about how long you are going to be away from home for and prepare accordingly. The last thing you want to do is wake up whilst away from home and realise you’ve not packed enough of the right type of clothing.
Imagine bringing only one top for a week away to a hot place and by day three you find that you’ve ran out. Unless you have a washing machine and are on the ball with the washing, your top is probably going to smell bad the next day and you won’t be able to run in it, meaning you’ll be unable to run when away from home as planned.
Similarly, imagine going to a mountain hut in the woods for a holiday and forgetting to bring trail running shoes. It would be unpractical and unsafe to try running in normal road shoes, meaning you’ll be unable to run when away from home.
Think about how long you are staying away from home for and what the conditions are likely to be like. Pack accordingly and you should be sorted for every eventuality.
2. Know your starting location and plan routes in advance
When we’re in our everyday environments we take for granted how we know the local area like the back of our hand. We know exactly where we are starting from (a house, flat, bungalow maybe) and have a good knowledge of the local area. The odds are you getting lost are virtually non-existent and you navigate your way around the run route with ease.
However, when away from home we don’t necessarily know the exact location of where we start a run from and may not have a good idea of the route we intend to take. Not knowing either of these things means you can be at risk of getting lost whilst on your run away from home. Not ideal at all.
Instead, make sure you know where your starting location is in advance and try to plan the route ahead of time.
Write down the exact address of your accommodation in your phone notes so you can ask for directions should you get lost.
Have a quick look on Google maps at the streets and surroundings around the accommodation and plan a route as best you can. This doesn’t need to be complicated and can take a few minutes to do. All you need to do is make note of a few road names and points of interest on route (shop, pubs, train stations maybe) and check them of as you run to know you’re on route.
The last thing you want to do whilst away from home is to get lost so be sure to know your starting location and plan running routes in advance.
3. Bring a mobile phone with you
I always recommend bringing a mobile phone on runs, regardless of when you’re at home or away from home. Having a mobile phone means you’re able to not only listen to music, podcasts and audiobooks but can contact someone in case of an emergency.
Imagine going out for a run on the outskirts of a city you have never been to before and you fall over, seriously injuring your knee and can’t walk properly. Unless there are people around, you will struggle getting in contact with someone for help.
As you don’t know the local area, you don’t know how far you’ll have to travel until you see someone. However, having a mobile phone means you’re able to call someone and let them know you need help.
Also, mobile phones come in handy whilst in places you’re not familiar in the event of getting lost. Whenever I get lost in cities I’ve never been to before (which happens on occasion), I open Google maps and chuck in the address of the place I am staying. I follow Google maps until I’m confident I know where I am going.
Bringing a mobile with you whilst running somewhere away from home is a necessity. Make sure you bring yours with you!
4. Bring water and some snacks
When we run from the comfort of our own front door, we know where the local shops are, and we also know when they will be open. This knowledge is usually gained from years of living in an area.
However, when we’re away from home we don’t have the same insider knowledge of the local area. Therefore, it’s hard to know exactly where we can purchase food and drink at what times which could cause problems for runners like dehydration and a lack of energy.
To eliminate the risk of this happening, bring your own water and snacks with you for every run away from your home. Take a running backpack, wear a sports waist belt or hold your snacks and drink in your hands.
By doing so, you’re guaranteeing yourself access to food and drink whilst in a different environment you’re not overly familiar with. This means you don’t run the risk of becoming dehydrated or having virtually no energy and can run safely, with confidence and the correct supplies.
5. Run during daylight
By running in the daylight, you increase the chances of your run away from home being safe and injury free.
When we run in the dark, we’re less aware of our surroundings and cannot see as well as during the day. We’re also less visible to people around us and to cars who may be passing by. Whilst this may be fine when we’re in our own area, which we know like the back of our hand, it won’t be fine in a brand new location we know nothing about.
The last thing you need when you’re in a place you’re unfamiliar with is to sprain your ankle by tripping up or to run into someone or something.
Instead, make sure you only run during daylight hours. By doing so, you’ll be able to see clearer and will be less likely to experience an injury. You can see where you’re placing your feet, are more aware of people and cars, and can recognise your surroundings easier.
Daylight running when away from home means you can run with more confidence and won’t be concerned for not being fully aware of your surroundings. You’ll be able to see clearly and the risk of injury will be very low.
There you have it. 5 practical tips for running when you’re away from home. They served me well whilst I was on the road in the UK with my band and I hope they can help you too.