How to train while on work travel


Oh my gosh another work trip. How am I going to get this in my training schedule? Oh my god, are they going to have a pool? Are they going to have a bike? What am I going to do? Guys, I travel for work a lot, I’ve got you. I can give you some great tips at how to fit it into your schedule.

Okay, so let’s talk about traveling for work and trying to train for a race. I’m going to say this in the context of running and triathlons, since there’s a lot of athletes who do either or, or both that are watching. Obviously running sport is probably one of the easiest ones to fit into any sort of travel. All you need is a pair of shoes and a treadmill, or a sidewalk. That can be prohibitive though sometimes depending on where you’re going to go on your business or family trips of where you’re going to run, because you want to make sure it’s safe. You may not know the paths necessarily, you may not want to run alone, or the timing doesn’t necessarily work out.

For me I travel a lot for work because I speak at different conferences. And so if I have a full day conference schedule, I may have to get up before light, and get back to the room after light. And I don’t want to be running as a lone female by myself outside. And it’s often times to find other people who want to go for like a 10 mile run with me, right? And so oftentimes I’m finding myself just digging into the hotel gym. Now, hotel gyms. Let me tell you something. Even the best hotels in the world that I’ve stayed at, now again, these are just “best” meaning within my budget range. They’re not these huge five star, they’re decent. Decent hotels. Some of them have really crappy gyms. So I always will foreplan as much as a can, look to see what’s in the fitness center, the pictures always look better than what is available. And I plan at least to be able to run. If they have some sort of bike, that’s great. That’s even better. So I put that in order. Running, biking, and then how can I fit into my swimming. Because oftentimes hotels are not going to have 25 yard pools. If they have any pools, which I have a story about that here in a second. It’s like a 10 yard, 10 meter pool, which by the time you take a stroke, you’re at the other end, right?

So I always check out to see run groups, run paths, or how the hotel gym’s going to go for running. And I always take at least running equipment with me. And then, again, like I said, I check to see if there is a bike, whether it’s a regular sit-up bike, spin bike, or sometimes you have the sit-back recumbent type bikes. All of those are not optimal, but they are better than nothing. Because I’m not going to necessarily be able to travel with my bike, especially if I’m flying, and I’m just in and out at a conference, it’s too much work, it’s not worth the money. And I can try to structure it so I do majority run and maybe just a little bit recovery of riding on a recumbent or a spin bike in a hotel gym.

And lastly like I said, I don’t really try to ever bank on swimming. There has been a couple of times where like when I’ve gone to Vegas. University of Nevada Las Vegas has a phenomenal swim facility. So I’ll stay on strip where the conference centers are, and then I’ll Uber or taxi out to the Las Vegas pool at the University of Nevada, and swim there. Kind of hard to fit it all in, sometimes you’ve got to get super early before the sun even comes up, got to be safe. But if it’s really important to get the swim in, then I will go there and do that. If none of those options are feasible for me, this is what I try to do.

No matter what, I always take run stuff. Because I know that I can at least try to run outside, there will at least probably be a treadmill, but if anything else, then I have those workout clothes to do a couple of things. One, I can do, and this is not a play for Beachbody. I’m not a coach, I’m not going to sell you anything. Beachbody is one of the ways that I started to help lose weight before I started running. I love the Beachbody discs. Now they have their Beachbody On Demand stuff, but they don’t have all the same programs that are on the disc. So I still travel with a CD drive with my run clothes, because that’s what I can use for it, the CD drive, and my disc. I especially take things like T25 that’s only 25 minutes, because I can get a big hit workout done in the comfort of my room, in my run clothes, and I get in and out and I get it done.

You can also utilize the Beachbody On Demand or if there are even YouTube videos, whatever you want to use, I just really have some specific programs of Beachbody that I really enjoy. So I always take those as a backup. Even if I’ve identified run paths or run clubs or availability of treadmill and bikes. I still always take my run clothes and these in hotel room available exercises to be able to do on my own.

Now. All of that is still in a perfect world. All of that and you may not be able to fit into your work schedule, so what I strongly recommend is making your heavy days be right before you leave. And I’m not a coach, I’m not a professional at this, this is what I learn from my experience. Typically with my scheduling, I’m going to have a big bike day, a big run day, and then I’m going to have a recovery day. Whether it’s an active recovery, or a rest day. Those next two days are typically active recovery or rest, depending on which one comes either. So if I’m getting ready to go on a trip, I can reduce the amount of days I have to try to fit in training time by doing my heavy days the days leading up to before I leave.

So especially when we go to Disney. It is so hot and humid, I’ve got to help get the kids ready, there’s no way I’m probably going to get a morning run done. Sometimes I do, really good supportive husband. But, some days it just doesn’t happen, and some days you just don’t get up because you’re so tired from seeing the Mouse, right? So, what I’ll make sure is before we go on the trip, I’ll do my big bike, my big run, and then still take my Beachbody and run stuff just in case for those days. Keep in mind, you also need to give yourself a little grace. If you’re working, especially if you’re working by yourself and you’re not working with a coach. For me I’m one of those people if I have a schedule and it’s a training plan, I’ve got to stick to it. I’ve got to power through. Guys, I have hurt myself in Ironman Training Plans doing that, I was overtraining, and I was tired. I was more prone to injury. You’ve got to try to fit it in the best you can. And I think giving yourself grace and understanding that life happens is probably the most important tip out of this entire video.

Sure the whole logistics things are great, the whole getting up early, the contingency plans, but having and giving yourself grace is what’s most important. Because one thing to consider too, like I showed up in Boston one time. I had checked online, there was this beautiful pool. Well, guess what? That wasn’t a 25 yard pool. It was like a 10 yard pool. And the sign told me how many laps I was going to have to do for a mile, and I was so intent I was going to get my swim done. I was getting motion sick and sick from the amount of laps that I was having to do. Two strokes, take a flip turn. Push off the wall. Two strokes, right? And it really wasn’t actually conducive, it caused more stress, and I really wasn’t getting much effort in practice or any return out of it. I’d have been better throwing on the towel, throwing in the towel, and throwing it on and just giving myself grace and adjusting the circumstances.

So I hope these tips have helped you guys. Front load your heavy days. Always forward plan. Always take your run stuff. Make a contingency plan. And make sure that you always give yourself grace, because life happens. We’re not professionals. We’re just doing what we can with what we’ve got. Give yourself the permission to skip or to modify if you need to. Just moving a bit is better than nothing. Hope these tips help you guys, and please feel free to leave any comments. If you travel, whether for work or for pleasure, of how it may help other people to be able to stay on top of their training and fitness as well.