Training While Traveling

by Nov 19, 2013Health, Travel

Training While Traveling:

For about five years I would be gone 2-4 days every week for work. It drives me crazy when I hear people give excuses about not working out on the road. I trained for two Ironman triathlons during my heaviest year of traveling. The key to training while traveling is making it a priority and researching where you are going. My first priority is staying in a hotel with a fitness center. I won't settle for the pictures on the website. They are always taken with some kind of lens that makes them look 10 times bigger than they are. I call the hotel and ask them what equipment they have, if it is working and what time the gym opens. Opening at 7am is not helpful for business travelers – HELLO????? My favorite hotels are the ones with no fitness center that give you a guest pass at a nearby gym. Score!

I always carry exercise bands in my bag. This way, if there isn't any equipment, or the gym is so tiny that 10 people are trying to use 3 machines, I can do strength work in my hotel room. A travel yoga mat folds up easily in my bag and I use a yoga DVD or Yoga videos on the computer for flexibility. Plyometrics is a favorite of mine. If I am on the ground floor or in a hotel that feels pretty ‘sturdy’ I will do plyometrics in my room. Of course, I take care not to jump up and down out of respect to the other guests if I think the floors/ceiling are thin. Sometimes I will do them in the parking lot with other calisthenics like lunges, bear crawls, mountain climbers etc. Do I get strange looks? Of course! But who cares? I don’t know them.

I love when I am in cities where it feels safe to run. Some hotels have routes mapped and if not, I always ask them which direction is the best place to run. Yes, I have gotten lost a couple of times but eventually found my way back. Now with smartphones it is even easier to map my run. I always wear my Road Id and take something from the hotel with the address on it. One two-week period I was staying in a hotel near an outlet mall. The hotel had a teeny fitness center with one treadmill. In order for me to get my long run in I had to run outside. It was right off the exit of an interstate and not really anywhere to run so I ran 12 miles around the parking lot. Thank goodness it was a large mall! A few years later I moved there and found out I was about 3 miles from a 6500-acre state park. I was a newbie at that point and never thought to ask the hotel. I have also run 20 miles twice on a treadmill while training for Ironman. This required superhuman self-entertaining abilities and a serious mix on the IPod. There wasn’t even a television to watch – ugh.

Trying to train for multi-sport while traveling is tough, but it usually means prioritizing cycling and swimming while at home and running and strength training on the road. If desperate I'll ride the stationary cycles, but they are nothing like riding a bike and I really can’t stand them with their ginormous seats that make your legs go numb. Training and traveling can be a challenging situation but there is almost always a way to get your sweat on no matter where you are or what kind of hotel you are staying in.

 

 

Your Weekender Snapshot and Tim Ferriss’s Five Bullet Friday are my favorite emails I receive.
jim west

Principal and Managing Director, GFF Architects