Traveling is an enriching experience, just like running. Both actions ennoble the mind, lift the spirit, and broaden horizons. Imagine what benefits you could reap for your mind and body if you started running while traveling? 

If you are seeking concrete reasons for running while traveling, it comes down to several simple aspects: the joy of exploration, living in the moment, and relishing the beauty of a location. The adrenaline produced through physical activity makes every experience even more intense, including seeing a new location.

Do your research

First of all, you will want to do research into whether a location is a good spot for running. Some destinations are particularly well-suited for runners, while many are cramped cities that have a problem with air pollution or protected sites of national importance such as UNESCO-protected sites.

Once you have determined whether or not your destination is an ideal running environment, you can decide to compete in a race or to explore a city in your own time and pace. Many tourism board websites offer walking or running routes for those who want to see a new location in that way.

running while traveling laurine bailly
Photo by Laurine Bailly.

Sign up for a race and pack accordingly

One of the best ways to experience a new location and that doesn’t require you to have to set your course yourself is signing up for a local race. Many cities host a number of types of races and use them as a way to introduce tourists to its highlights. You might want to check online before you head to a new spot to see if there might be a race available while you are there. Of course, you’ll have to pack accordingly: your running shoes, favorite snacks,  and a first aid kit that includes anti-inflammatory medicines, an analgesic heat rub, and bandages.

Destinations great for running

Some places are better for running than others, but some are truly extraordinary. Here are some ideal spots to strap on your running shoes and get lost in the scenery of a new place.

The Scottish Highlands

The great expanse of the Scottish Highlands simply begs to be explored by avid runners. The rolling hills are spectacular and almost otherworldly with their combinations of colors, including greens, browns, and grays.

In this area, you can embark on some renowned and well-trodden tours beginning from Inverness (which is a special treat for the fans of “Outlander”) to the Isle of Skye. You can even get a chance to see Balmoral Castle and Loch Ness along the way.

The Italian Dolomites

There’s a reason the Italian Alps are such a special spot. While this mountain range is one of the most glorious and famous rugged locations in the world, it is better known by lodgers, skiers, and mountain-climbers rather than runners. However, if you want a serene running experience, the mountain ranges of the Alps are a perfect backdrop as you jog your way through a stunning landscape.

sydney opera house liam pozz
Photo by Liam Pozz.

Sydney, Australia 

The “Land Down Under” offers a number of coastline-based cities that might just be up your alley when you’re looking for urban spaces to run. However, the one that is always recommended to first-timers is Sydney.

It’s one of the most eco-friendly cities in the world and urban planners have taken the needs of walkers, runners, and bikers into consideration. While you’ll want to run along the Pacific Ocean at least once, the entire city is interconnected with trails and lined with trees and parks.

The Caribbean

Another spot with ocean views, the Caribbean islands like Barbuda, Antigua, and the Caymans are great options for joggers. Each island has its charms and offer different challenges and scenery for runners. All you need is a significantly long beach and a sunset as your backdrop to get the ultimate runner’s high.

Running while traveling might be one of the most invigorating habits you can pick up away from home. The world offers us breathtaking landscapes and awe-inspiring cities that are the perfect playgrounds for runners. Running on your travels is an enticing way to stay in shape and truly savor the smells, culture, and textures of the places you visit.

Have you run a race on any of your travels? Where was it?

Header photo by Andrea Leopardi.