Benefits of running while traveling as well as some of the most popular running events across the world you should look to participate in.
Leave the sandals behind and pack your running shoes, it’s time to run abroad.
We often find many excuses not to run, whether you consider yourself too busy, too cold, or you simply can’t be bothered, taking your running abroad is the perfect opportunity to eliminate these excuses.
When the hot weather arrives there’s plenty of time in the day to lie on the beach and get a tan. So, if you’ve got the time to lie down in the sun and sip a few margaritas then surely you’ve got some time for a short run?
Running is one of the most basic, yet both fun and rewarding forms of exercise out there. Regular running will reduce your blood pressure, resting heart rate, improve endurance, and build strength to make everyday tasks easier, such as walking up hills.
The remainder of this article will discuss why you should take up running when traveling the world, including the many benefits of running and outlining some of the most popular running events you should look to participate in.
So, without further ado, let’s get to it.
What are the benefits of running while abroad?
There are many benefits to packing your running shoes, ditching the sandals, and heading for a nice flat beach to run on.
From keeping in shape while traveling to exploring new places on foot, here’s what you need to know.
1. To keep in shape while traveling
Often, while traveling, it’s easy to eat out three times a day, stop exercising, and to spend most of our time glued to a sunbed. However, while this isn’t a bad thing (we all deserve a break from time to time) you are missing out on the fantastic sport of running.
Running, while traveling, is a great way to keep in shape, whether running on the black beaches of Santorini or across the great wall of China, there’s plenty of locations to keep you on the edge of your seat, or in this case the edge of your sunbed.
To keep it fun, we recommend running new routes each and every time you head for a run. Explore the local trails, popular landmarks, and markets – take in everything there is to offer in nature’s simplest form…. that’s running by the way, not naked.
2. Meeting like-minded runners
Whether you’ve traveled alone, with your partner, or a group of friends, running while on holiday or when traveling is a great way to meet likeminded runners.
Consider joining local running Facebook groups to meet up with others, providing a personal tour guide, making new friends, and developing your cultural experience of the country you’re currently visiting.
You never know, you may just make some running friends for life, becoming their top supporter on Strava – an app for runners and cyclists – and giving them kudos for each and every run from now until the day you die.
3. Increased mood
Running releases endorphins, these are responsible for making us feel happy. This is why exercise is known to lift our mood, with those who regularly exercise more often than not being happier than those who don’t.
If you’re looking for the true holiday experience, running several times a week is a great way to lift your mood, putting a smile on your face throughout your entire travels – your travel partners will thank-you later… trust us.
4. To explore new places
There are only so many places you can explore on foot, at least at one given time. Running allows you to cover more than twice the distance, depending on your current fitness level, of course.
This is great for some classic tourist sightseeing, taking in each holiday location for everything it has to offer.
Whether exploring Marbella’s finest beaches or Monaco’s luxurious port, running is a great way to do so.
If possible, as previously mentioned, we recommend meeting up with likeminded runners to show you around – a great opportunity to bond with the locals while receiving a free tour guide.
Read more: How to start running while on vacation
5. To get your vitamins
When your skin is exposed to sunlight, it produces vitamin D. Running is a great way to fix your vitamins with an added bonus: a nice holiday tan.
Spending more time outdoors, especially in the sun and running on the beach is a great place to start – just remember to apply plenty of sunscreen to prevent you from burning instead.
Related: Quick, cheap, and easy plant-based snacks
6. Reduced risk of infection/improved immune system
It’s common knowledge that both flying and visiting new countries weakens your immune system, thus increasing the likelihood of you picking up a disease or virus.
So, why not combat this yourself?
Regular running improves your immune system, reducing the risk of you picking up a cold, virus, or anything in-between.
However, if you do happen to fall ill while abroad, your immune system will be much stronger, your lungs more developed, and your blood pressure lower – you’ll be able to fight the infection much easier.
If traveling regularly, or planning to visit many different countries, regular running is a great way to develop your immune system. However, ensure not to overtrain as this may weaken your immune system – increasing the likelihood of you developing a disease, infection, or virus.
Nevertheless, before running, and this includes when on holiday, it’s essential to perform a proper running warmup. This will reduce your risk of injury – believe us, that’s the last thing you want to deal with, especially while on holiday.
What are some running events you won’t want to miss?
Okay, now that we’ve covered the wide plethora of benefits to running abroad, let’s discuss the many iconic running events you may wish to invest both your time and energy in amongst your travels.
1. The New York City Marathon
The New York City Marathon is the largest in the world, with over 52,000 total finishers in 2018. When running, you will be taken through the five famous boroughs of New York, providing a once in a lifetime experience when the city is completely shut down and you’re being cheered on by hundreds of thousands of local New Yorkers’.
Date: Sunday 1st November 2020
Related: How to stay fit when visiting New York City
2. The Paris Marathon
Next up we have the Paris marathon, another popular choice both for the French and tourists alike.
The marathon is open to roughly 50,000 runners ever year, running through popular landmarks including the ever so famous Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Louvre.
Certainly one for sightseeing you can’t go wrong taking a slight detour to experience the beautiful city of Paris, it’s not like you needed an excuse anyway…
Date: Unfortunately, this event has been canceled due to unprecedented circumstances for 2020
3. Vienna City Marathon
The Vienna City Marathon, in Austria, takes it’s 42,000 runners through some of the most beautiful sites to see including the Opera House and the River Danube.
Expect to be cheered over the finish line by the fantastic support of the Austrian crowd, never one to be missed.
Date: Mid-April 2021
4. Melbourne half-marathon
If a marathon is a little too much, why not try the Melbourne half-marathon? With slightly fewer runners, 11,000 to exact, this picturesque course takes you through the stunning Albert Park, allowing you to soak in the views while running.
Date: October 4th, 2020
5. The Redbull 400
The Redbull 400 has been labeled as one of the most extreme running races that has ever existed.
Certainly not for the faint-hearted, the Redbull 400 is the steepest global 400m up-hill sprint – the average incline angle of this course is thirty-seven degrees, let that sink in for a moment.
Date: Usually September, but still awaiting date confirmation.
6. Safaricom marathon
Finally, we have the Safaricom Marathon, taking place in the Lewa National Park in Kenya. The race will take you through the beautiful wildlife conservation, allowing you to witness nature at its true beauty.
However, the Lewa marathon is recognized as one of the toughest in the world, posing a challenge for many with the hilly ascents and scorching hot heat.
Ensure to train beforehand to avoid disappointment, or worse, injury.
Date: The Lewa marathon has been canceled for 2020.
Running and traveling, the bottom line
There are many benefits to running abroad, whether you’re chasing that ever so perfect tan, trying to stay in shape, or taking in the beautiful scenery running may just become your new best friend.
On your travels, if you’re a particularly keen runner it may be of interest for you to challenge yourself with one of the many popular Marathon or Half-Marathon events.
With such a wide choice of races available, including the ever so popular New York City Marathon or the stunning, yet challenging Lewa marathon in Kenya you’re sure to find something to best suit you.
Regardless of whether you take part in these events or not, we recommend training a little before setting off on your travels.
This will allow you to log many more miles, see many more famous landmarks, and most importantly to have more fun!
Keep reading: How to stay healthy and fit anywhere