A year ago Trevor outlined his perfect training day - sounds pretty darn good doesn't it? But alas, we are not all that lucky and maybe that's OK. In this blog he also outlined his approach to training on the road. As I embark on an incredible vacation, I thought I'd add my thoughts.
I love traveling and I'm lucky enough that I get to do quite a bit of it for both my job and for personal enjoyment. Despite my love for traveling, it can pose some serious headaches to a training plan and often leads to a feeling anxiousness that I should be doing more and not letting my conditioning slip.
It doesn't have to be this. It shouldn't be this way.
There are a few things you should come to grips with very early when you're traveling, either for work or pleasure:
- You're never going to stay completely on your "training plan"
- Flexibility is your best friend
- The value of High Intensity Training
- Something is always better than nothing
- You're going to miss even your reduced targets
- Focus on recovery and mobility
You're never going to stay completely on your "training plan"
Traveling is a major disruption to a routine. A good one, but it is a big change to the regular. It is also noble to think you're going to be able to keep up to your training plan despite the 4-5 hours of travel time, possible time zone changes, meetings, engagements, being a tourist, eat, drinking, etc etc. From the get go set your self up for success. Acknowledge internally that you're likely going to miss a scheduled workout or maybe sleep in. THAT IS OK. Reduced volume is not a bad thing and isn't going to set you back that much.
Flexibility is your best friend
We talk about this a lot, but it can't be stressed enough. Be flexible! Not only will it help you get in a few training sessions whenever you can, it will make you a more enjoyable travel companion and your trip all the more enjoyable. Heading out to the beach? Maybe you can run there and back. Sneak in a quick run before dinner. Wake up early. There are always ways to get in a quick 15-30 mins.
The value of High Intensity Training
Traveling is the perfect time to become a friend of HIT sessions. There is a lot of research that suggests that a strong HIT session can have a huge impact on your endurance as well. Make that 30 mins a set of sprints or maybe a weight sessions or bike sprints or maybe a quick body weight session in the hotel room, with no rest in between sets. Hammer out a quick session at high intensity and you'll be feeling great that you got the workout in and require only minimal time away from your planned activities.
Something is always better than nothing
Do something! A set of three push ups, some squats or planks. A short run or bike if you can. Something is always better than nothing. Don't let travel be an excuse to be lazy.
You're going to miss even your reduced targets
Things are bound to come up and you're likely going to miss your planned sessions. Unless you are traveling with training in mind. Go with the flow. Don't miss out on experiences to get a workout in. Let's be honest here. Life is short. You don't want to be the person who misses out on a great night or experience, for a short run. I know which one I'd feel worse about.
Focus on recovery and mobility
This one is a huge one for me. Recovery and mobility work is simple, easy, and can be done anywhere. Stretch. Stretch. Stretch. I often also pack a lacrosse ball and resistance band with me to make sure that I'm taking a few minutes whenever I can to stay loose and hit those hot spots. Steal 5 minutes as much as possible to focus on stretching or mobility work. Do some calve stretches against a park bench or while waiting for someone who is shopping. There are thousands of ways to incorporate this into your day without people even know you're doing it.
As I said I'm about to embark on a trip that I've been planning for years and am super excited. I'll be driving across France and Belgium visiting Canadian war memorials and sites, including attending the 100th Anniversary Ceremony of Vimy Ridge. This is going to involve a lot of driving and sitting around.
Here is what I'm taking as far as training equipment goes:
- Run shorts
- Run Shirt
- Run Shoes
- Compression socks
- Yoga Tune Up Balls
- Resistance Band
Here is my plan of attack:
- Do something every day - every morning I have a body weight regime planned. If I miss the morning, I hope to use the evening.
- Focus on recovery - I've spent the last week going pretty hard on my body, in anticipation of this trip. I did this so I could focus on recovering my body. I plan on sleeping a lot and working my hot spots with my massage balls and stretches.
- Stay active - I plan on moving a lot
- Try and get in at least 4 runs over the course of the trip
Most of all, I'm going to enjoy my trip. The purpose of this trip is not to train, it's to explore and learn. I will switch into maintenance mode and not lose sight of my goals, but they will take a back seat for a few days.
How do you deal with traveling and training? Any tricks or tips? Don't be shy! Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page!