Running Abroad

  1. dboisgreat says:

    I'm from the US and I'm doing a study abroad in Germany. It's a little scary to just step out an run since I'm not one hundred percent that I can find my way back, or the general customs/etiquette for running here. I'm not one to run with people either because I need to run slowly and tend to compete if someone else is there. Any advice on keeping up with the running when you're away from home?

  2. maydd says:

    By all means, keep up the running - after a few days of the German diet of meat, potatoes, beer, and more meat, your body will be screaming at you to take action!

    Running in exotic locales has always been, for me, an enjoyable experience. To this day I remember an early morning run in Paris, just as the city awakened, with drowsy-eyed Parisians on their way to work - even when I got lost slightly (note to self: those sharp junctions can be quite tricky), the experience just heightened the thrill of being on holiday in a strange country.

    One way to scout for routes is to take an open top bus tour, watching out for runners and parks on the way. When the runners are scarce, maybe it is with good the very least one can walk/jog to a public park, and then do some hard circuits if that's they way you roll.

    Traffic rules can vary enormously, so it is best not to run with an iPod or Walkman, at least the first couple of times. Go slow, slower than you normally do, as one simply cannot expect pedestrians, cyclists and motorists to behave the same as they do back home - look both ways on crossing a street (I would suggest coming to a complete stop), especially in countries where they drive on the opposite side to what you're used to.

    Check with your hotel or B&B how sweaty runners can be accommodated, as using the public areas and elevators may be frowned upon - maybe there is a back entrance or staircase that can be used instead.

    I don't consider myself an expert on the subject, but I am very much an enthusiast of running abroad.

  3. katygray says:

    Excellent advice from maydd! Agreed on all points...The open-top bus tour of the city is a great "lay of the land" and extra emphasis on all aspects of the traffic rules advice. I would just add to bring a littel street map with you...even if you have mapped/planned out a route ahead of time, you should be prepared to walk or change plans on the fly, as some roads may all-of-the-sudden lack sidewalks half-way through your run (and some European drivers aren't used to looking for runners on such roads) Best of luck keeping up with the running.