A triathlete shares how to choose a best route, whether you’re jogging from home or traveling.

By Sherrie Negrea

Twice a week, Graham Bailey ’88 hits the road at 5 a.m. to run six to eight miles around his neighborhood in Riverside, Conn. By 7:45 a.m., he’s at his desk at Citigroup Global Markets in Manhattan.

On the weekends, he’ll log 10 to 13 miles on a route that parallels the coast of Long Island Sound. With a goal of hitting a pace of eight to eight and a half minutes per mile, his weekend runs take nearly two hours.

While Bailey follows the same paths for his short and long runs, the routine doesn’t bore him. “Every day, it looks and feels a little different, but often it’s dark,” he says. “I’m really in my thoughts more than anything else.” 

As a triathlete, Bailey also spends three mornings a week working out on a stationary bicycle and two days swimming at the YMCA. 

While he’s been training for six years, Bailey has been running off and on since graduating from SUNY Geneseo. After an eight-year hiatus when he and his wife, Donna, had twins, he started back slowly, gradually increasing distance. His inspiration, he said, was a will to get in shape, and the knowledge “that if I didn’t make a change, it would be harder the older I got.  Once I started to get into shape I truly felt better and more energized every day. It made it easy to build fitness into my daily routine.”

As a runner, Bailey also exercises when he travels to meet clients in Montreal, Toronto and Boston. If he is visiting a city for the first time, he plots a route on the website Map My Run.

Bailey has found that selecting a core route and adding on different segments, based on the mileage he wants to achieve, is the most effective strategy. He also says running first thing in the morning is helpful, before work commitments pile on.

While he began triathlon training so that he could keep up with his kids, Bailey says working out has changed his life in multiple ways.

“For me, that one hour of running, hour and a half of cycling or 50 minutes of swimming in the morning clears my head and it gets my blood moving,” he says. “I feel awake and alive the whole day.”

Graham Bailey’s Tips for Making the Most Out of Your Run — Anywhere

1. Map a route using an internet-based program, or use a smartphone or watch app.

2. Check your schedule before hitting the road to determine the best time to run and the duration of your run.

3. Use a core route and add on segments to hit your desired mileage or time.

4. Check the weather. Scope out options to run indoors or on a treadmill if weather is a barrier.

5. If you don’t know the area, spend a little time mapping the run.

6. When in doubt, ask the hotel’s front desk for a recommended route. Hotels often have preprinted route cards.

7. Run early in the morning, when it is cooler and you’re less likely to be interrupted by work or tasks.

8. Know your comfort level. I run on a treadmill when it’s too cold  (below 15 degrees Fahrenheit).

9. If you’re a beginner or are returning to running, start with short distances and very gradually increase your distance — a 10 percent increase per week and allow for time for recovery. This will reduce risk of injury.

10. Be safe. Don’t wear headphones, particularly when you’re in a new environment, in the dark, or alone. Listen for cars and other people. If it’s dark, wear bright clothes and a headlamp to see and to ensure others see you.

Graham Bailey '88 on his running route.

By Sherrie Negrea | Photo by Keith Walters ’11