Marathon Training & Travel: How To Bring It With You

by Andrea Petkovic

Preparing for a marathon (or half-marathon) is something that takes months and months, especially if you are a beginner and training for your first, second, or third race. To be successful, you need to adhere to a schedule and meet a weekly mileage. It requires sacrifice and may seem like your life is brought to a standstill as everything revolves around training.

Training and travel come together on a barefoot run on Australias Gold Coast.
Training and travel come together on a barefoot run on Australia’s Gold Coast. Photo courtesy of Andrea Petkovic

It is even more difficult for those who like to travel and are not ready to give up on either of their two passions: running and traveling. Once you are dedicated to a set schedule, your friends might propose a trip and suddenly you’re torn. Traveling is bound to mess with your training schedule, but that little globetrotter in you just can’t say no!

The good news is that you do not have to give up anything. Training for a marathon already implies that you are a very self-disciplined person and training while traveling just opens up new places on another level.

Plan, Plan, Plan! 

Half of the fun of traveling is having no plans and just seeing where the road takes you. Unfortunately, this is a luxury that a marathoner cannot afford. You need to research and you need to plan. Look for accommodations that are close to a park or affordable gym. Luckily running is becoming more and more popular worldwide and there are websites like athletic-minded traveler that can help runners plan their run.

Help I’m lost!

Getting around a new city is never easy no matter how often you travel. Getting around a new city while running is even more difficult. Sometimes there is no park nearby and carrying a map is never an option (even when you are walking and sightseeing, let alone running). Running 10 miles up and down the street in front of your hotel isn’t appealing either since the goal is to run and enjoy yourself, not die of boredom. What to do in this case? Thankfully, we live in an era of smartphones and there are tons of applications that can help you with this such as MapMyRun. Look up the city to get an idea of the layout and to try and find a good route nearby. But, don’t forget! Sometimes getting lost is the fun part of your travel and the best way to discover a new place.

Marathon runners

I am Tired and Cold!

Yes, the biggest problem could be jet leg or weather change. The key to successful running while suffering from the elements and jet lag is just listen to your body and don’t force yourself. Whether you like it or not, you will have to change your running schedule a bit and adjust it to your destination. Let’s face it, if it is February and you traveled from freezing New York to warm Bangkok, there is no way you will ever be able just to continue with your running schedule without some adjustments.


First of all, don’t forget to pack your running gear in accordance with the weather conditions in the destination you are traveling to. A good back-up plan is to put your essential, basic running gear in your carry on. So in the event your luggage is lost you won’t have to scour the area for new gear and you can also blow off some frustration.

Secondly, instead of trying to rigidly adhere to your schedule, simply focus on running at a good pace and keeping up with your weekly mileage. Don’t forget, you are in a new city, there are going to be many delightful distractions and the last thing you need is to stress about your mileage and workouts. By simply concentrating on quality miles, it is easier to run. Afterall, this is your travel and you don’t want ruin it by stressing about your workout. Just enjoy, run, and discover that new city!

Marathon race

No Excuses! Run and Discover Your Destination!

There are no need to ignore your inner globetrotter while training! Go travel, and use running as a very effective way to discover to a new place! Travel running is a great way to break your usual running routine and make both traveling and training for the marathon more fun.

So the next time travel presents itself in the midst of training, look at it as an opportunity rather than an obstacle. Don’t forget your shoes and get lost in a new place. Your travel buddies will be asking you for directions and you’ll be the person to discover that amazing local restaurant since you’ll have the best view of all on a firsthand tour of the area lead by your own two feet. 

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