When traveling it’s great to bring running gear so you can stick to your existing training schedule, see the sites from a unique perspective, and have some time alone. If you’re heading south this winter to find some sunshine and happiness, be sure to pack some essentials to make sure your faraway runs are comfortable and fun!
Keep in mind that the heat you’ll experience might be different than what you’re accustomed to, especially if you’re traveling from a cold location to a hot one. Here in Vermont, we have very little humidity and typically low UV index ratings. So normally, I can go without liquids for runs less than 6-8 miles. But in other climates, I need to bring something with me for even the shortest runs. I like to bring an 18 ounce handheld bottle like this one from Nathan.If you know that you’re going to put in some serious time on your feet, it’s worth it to take up a few more cubic inches in your bag to bring a hydration belt or vest.
Tucking a few bucks in the pocket of your shorts is a great way to get some drinks while you’re out for your run. Nothing is more refreshing that a cold Coke at a bodega in a big city, or a fresh sugar cane drink from a little stand along a dusty rural road. It’s a fun way to meet locals and it really cuts down on what you have to carry.
If you’re flying, be sure to put your gels in the baggie with other liquids, and to purchase any powdered products in individual packs. While there’s nothing against the rules about flying with white powder in unmarked bags, it’s best to play it safe and be on your merry way than be stuck in a back office at the airport explaining yourself to your new friends from TSA.
You can also stock up at your destination and play around with new products, like dried fruits and curious little snacks. I found these delicious individually wrapped bananas in a Thai market in Houston, Texas!
But overall, if you’re running in hot conditions, put your focus on hydration and electrolyte consumption over calories.
If you’re going to run in a hot destination, you have to bring them, and more than you think you’ll need. Start your trip off by drinking water with electrolytes in the car or on the plane so you have them in your system from the start. Nuun tablets and Hammer Endurolytes are great on-the-go electrolytes, and for a calorie/electrolyte combo, try Hammer Heed or Tailwind. Electrolytes are great for everyday hydration in hot climates too, especially if you’re at risk of traveler’s GI issues or, let’s face it, hangovers!
Shorts — nice and loose to minimize heat-related rashes and irritation
Short Sleeve Shirt & Tank — bring your favorites that wick the best
Breathable Bra – Try a merino bra from Icebreaker for great comfort and wicking
Moisture Barrier Hot, humid weather is the ideal environment for uncomfortable chafing. That’s the last thing you want, especially if you’re at the beach and want to take a salt water dip after your run! Try Glide, Aquaphor or Bag Balm
Other: Shoes, socks, hat or visor, sunglasses, sunscreen, bug repellent.
RESPECTING CULTURAL DIFFERENCES
Research your destination to see what is appropriate to wear while running. I’m heading to Cambodia next week, and searched TripAdvisor forums and asked on the Trail and Ultra Running Ladies Only Facebook page about acceptable running clothes for women. I learned that while a lot of Western runners wear whatever they want, it’s pretty offensive to run around in shorts and tanks. I found a Skirt Sports skirt and capri combo at a local consignment shop for $14.99. It’s great because the capris cover the thighs and the skirt part covers the tight part of the tights (I’m a runner, not a writer. Bear with me). I know that it’s going to be uncomfortable to run in the heat with all of this on, but it’s the least I can do to show respect to the people I’m visiting!
Enjoy your runcation!