Maximizing your time - Planning your run straight from plane to trail to hotel
Given I’m always trying to balance family, work and self I try to be as efficient as possible when planning and executing an ultrarunning destination weekend. Part of that balance is to not take any time off from work and minimize my time away from family. I find that balance by being very efficient in my travel plans. As part of that efficiency I limit the time I’m spending just getting around. As such, one of my preferred ways of traveling is the “plane to trail to hotel” trip that looks like this:
Take a flight out early Saturday morning
Wear my running clothes on the airplane so I’m ready to go as soon as I land. I wear windbreaker pants and long sleeve technical shirt most often since planes are cold.
Only take my running backpack. In my running back pack I carry
One outfit for going out to eat in and a second set of running clothes packed into dry bags
Extra gear for either cold or rainy weather depending on the forecast
Backup phone, charger and cables, battery pack
Travel sized toothbrush, deodorant, etc.
When I land, take a car straight from the airport to the start of the trail via a car service or taxi (pre-planned)
Start running along a trail that heads straight to the hotel. I’ve found that in Europe it’s very easy to find excellent trails just outside the city in places like Rome, Basel, Vilnius, and Belgrade. I’ll be writing more blog posts about each of these amazing running destinations!
My typical ultrarunning destination weekend schedule looks like this…
6am - Take plane to destination
8am - Land, stop at airport convenience shop and pick up Twix, Gummi Bears and 2 liters of water. I’ve found that every airport in the world has a shop that sells Twix bars, Gummi bears and bottled water. I used to worry about getting gels or other sports nutrition, but have found over time that a couple of Twix bars and Gummi bears are enough to get me through a 50k or longer run.
8am - 9am - I like to have breakfast when I land to fuel up, so I’ll have 1-2 coffees along with a croissant. Ideally they either have Nutella or are chocolate filled! If not, I put lots of jam or butter on them.
9am - 10am - Take car service or cab out to the start of the trail
10am - 6pm - Run! I prefer to do a 50k plus run where I stop to take pictures, grab a bite to eat along the way and focus on the nature and the running.
6pm - 7pm - Get to hotel and check in, shower and change. I get odd looks when I come to check in with just my running back pack and more often than not soaked through from either sweat or rain
7pm - 10pm - Go out for dinner and walk around the city a bit
10pm - Call the family and go to sleep!
7am - Wake-up (normally because I’m still super hungry from the previous days run)
7am - 9am - Have breakfast and coffee
9am - 11am - Go for a 13 mile (22k) run around the city or another trail if nearby. Sometimes I’m really pushing the pace to get back if I wasn’t able to get a late checkout, and the run takes longer than I expected (good motivation).
11am - 12pm - Shower and checkout
12pm - 4pm - Have lunch, tour the city, check out any major attractions (power tourist mode)
4pm - Head back to airport, fly back to base!
7pm - Get back to base, put clothes in the laundry, dinner, review work emails, call the family and call it a weekend!
There really is no excuse to not go on an ultrarunning destination weekend. These kinds of trips are possible from almost anywhere you might travel. With so many direct flights (and or in Europe, fast rail) it’s possible to get into and out of amazing destinations fairly cheaply while leaving you enough time for a long run and also a little touring. I’ll be sharing more details about the destinations I’ve visited with this plan and more detail about my favorite gear and clothing!