Running abroad

For my work I’m staying abroad at a hotel this week.
It’s not all that far away from home (2.5h drive without traffic), but just far enough to not go back-and-forth every day.

This isn’t a lot of fun, seeing as this means leaving The Girlfriend and The Daughter behind, but preparation is everything, so off course they will be fine.

Preparation is also everything if you’re suddenly running on unknown terrain. I wasn’t able to go running until it was dark, so I’m glad I made a map beforehand.

Running with a map in your hand isn’t always easy, so I made a lot of extra notes with street names, landmarks etc. Basically this meant I had to look a lot less at my map than I expected, because I had studied it quite often the days before…

If you look at the pictures of the plan vs the actual route I’d dare to say I did very well. My heart rate suffered sometimes as looking around all the time and searching for street names, … can be distracting. But it was a very good run.

My preparation map
My Strava map

As long as I’m here (this week Monday until Wednesday, next week Monday until Friday) I’d like to make the best of the situation and go running as much as I can. Really max out my mileage for once, training my body to become really fatigued and recover… That is, if work won’t intervene off course…

If you go running on unknown terrain, do you print a map as well? Or use your phone? Or just go for some local laps so you can’t get lost?


  1. tamsynsmith says:

    For me it depends on whether I think I’m in a safe are and whether I can speak the language. When I am in Cornwall, which is where I was brought up, I may look at a map to get an idea and then I’ll set off as I have an idea of villages that I might head towards. When I was in Paris, I would happily head out on runs knowing that I could retrace my footsteps if necessary, I felt quite safe and I can speak French well enough to get directions and ask for help. When I was in Coventry, I knew that it would be easy to get lost in a less safe part of the city, so I headed towards a part that I was familiar with, ran there and then just ran round and round it. I could have taken a map, but my map reading skills are not great. I usually carry a phone, so that I can look up directions, if I need to.

  2. I have such a terrible sense of direction that, when I’m away for work, I will often run on the treadmill if I can’t find a local running group to run with! The exception to that is cities that have running paths along large bodies of water…I seem to be able to run along those without getting (too) lost! LOL!

  3. Beckett says:

    I use Runkeeper to plan a route in advance. For example I was recently in Barcelona, staying in an Airbnb. From looking at Google Maps I could see the apartment was not far from Parc de la Cuitadella, which is not far from the coastline. So I put this search string into Google: cuitadella

    The results showed a lot of saved routes in the vicinity from other Runkeeper users. I selected a route with a start and end point fairly close to the address where I was staying. From the earth view in Google maps I could see there was a boardwalk along the beach just a bit further beyond the park. There’s a bit of trial and error in figuring out how to adjust points on a saved Runkeeper route, but I ended up with this:

    Once you’re out on a run, if you’ve selected that route as your current workout you can see if you’re going off course. This helped me to find the way to the beach on the first day of my stay. I liked the route so much that I ran the same course several more times over the week that I was there.

    I definitely agree with 50statecanuck above that running along a body of water makes it easier!

  4. rundoodlerun says:

    I don’t print a map, per se, but I do stalk the location like crazy on google earth and print out route sheets (with street names and distances) for various distance routes. I may or may not have just done this and laminated several of them for my upcoming vacation 😉

Leave a Reply to tamsynsmith Cancel reply