We've all explored new places on foot, but are you the type of traveler that likes to see sights on the run? If so you wouldn't be alone. Thousands of runners from all over the world will be descending on New York this weekend for the New York City Marathon, a race that is close to 42,000 runners strong. I love that running lets me cover more ground, check out places for further exploration, and balance out all that great food I eat while traveling. Call it multi-tasking, a regular routine, or just plain crazy, here are three different ways for you to get off the boring hotel treadmill and get outside.
1. Map Your Route
Are you the independent type? It's always helpful to ask at your hotel or plot a route online in advance. Your concierge may have a couple different routes to recommend based on your preferred distance. Local parks are always a great bet but even non-runners can usually recommend other good places for navigating on two feet.
Tip: GPS tracking Web sites like WalkJogRun and Gmaps Pedometer are helpful for planning a route at home and away. You can plot your own course, save information, and also view other runners shared routes.
2. Run with a Partner/Guide
Do you like to explore new ground without the stress of navigating strange streets? We're all familiar with walking tours, but running tours are a great option in some cities—no matter your speed. Not only do you get your own guide with insider knowledge, you can leave your map at the hotel and focus more on the scenery instead of worrying about getting lost. Unlike traditional city walking tours that can be crowded, you may be surprised with a small or private group. But you will pay for this personal attention, running tours start at around $60 for a six mile tour.
3. Participate in a Race
Do you need a competition for motivation? Consider scheduling a trip around a race of any distance. Sure, the biggest marathons require registration months in advance (not to mention months of training) but what better way to explore a city then with crowds cheering you on? And don't discount a 5k charity run—it's a great way to mingle with some running locals and often you can sign up on the day of the race.
Tip: Search Web sites like Active.com by date and location to find your next race.
Photo credit: istock/Steve Geer