I had a question from a recent post on "running while travelling" and thought I would write a post on the question. In essence, how do you prevent yourself from getting lost while running in a new area / on business travel and what about the safety concerns?
To avoid getting lost in a new area, I make notes of key landmarks during my run (especially for every turn I make). In my head, I recall the number of turns I made and also the key landmark at each turn. I try and make as few turns as possible while still enabling an exploratory run experience. I also do an "out and back" approach so as to minimize the possibility of getting lost. This works well for me as I have only been marginally lost once in all my running travels.
From a safety viewpoint, the key element here is trust your gut. At the FIRST signs of the area not feeling right, turn around and head back. I also ask the concierge at the hotel for any safety issues to consider in the area. (Many hotels have running routes of varying distances with easy to read landmarks on these routes). I have run in the downtowns of many US cities as well as Europe and Asia. Get a heads up from the hotel, trust your gut, and look out for obvious dangers and one should generally be OK.