Staying Fit While Traveling

          Kinney Multisport has many athletes that travel frequently for work which can have an impact on training and recovery ability due to a physical, emotional and hormonal effects that throws you off guard. Regular exercise habits get interrupted and you might tend to overindulge on business dinners, overall poor food choices and receptions resulting in extra pounds coming back from the trip. Read More...

          Having an unpredictable and intense travel/work schedule, often across different time zones, requires your coach to address and integrate into the hectic athlete’s lifestyle.  The coach’s goal is to reduce the athlete’s stress level rather than squeezing workouts into an already busy agenda, as most people tend to do when training on their own. Why is that? Many athletes ignore the negative impact of traveling by either forcing in workouts or trying to catch up when they return. They disregard the demanding effects traveling might have and don’t synchronize their lifestyle with the training schedule. 

         If an athlete’s work schedule is challenging – whether it be from frequent traveling, long commutes or simply long work hours – take advantage of your coach and mange instead of ignoring those tension factors. Control your stress and aim to miss as few workouts as possible. Having the right foresight and willingness at the same time, you can incorporate a healthy and functional routine while away from home. Some tips are listed below to make your life easier and feeling good about your overall training and upcoming races.  

Tips around your workouts:

1.     Business travel does not equal a break/vacation from your workout schedule

          It comes down to attitude. Some people switch off as soon as they are away from home.  They tend to excuse themselves and think that being separated from their usual routine the same training and lifestyle rules no longer apply. Don’t get into the temptation and favor business trips as a break that keep you away from your ongoing goal of performance improvement and well-being.   

2.     Prepare in advance by doing the following:

  • Communicate with your coach to reduce the stress of planning out your training and to avoid key sessions on the day of travel.

  • Stay active when you arrive at your destination and complete an easy run (or walk), spin, even a swim if the location and time permits. You feel much better after a short workout before heading into a meeting. Some athletes also favor sprints combined with longer rest intervals to wake up the neuromuscular system after several hours on the plane or in the car.

  • The day following travel you should focus on endurance training, Zone 2-3 efforts and ignore intervals. You most likely will be fatigue and don’t want to overdo it, especially if you have crossed time zones.

  • Acknowledge and accept that you may miss a (key) session. Think about your long-term goals where your overall training consistency will benefit you most. Be flexible, but committed, & stay in contact with your coach if alterations are necessary on the fly.

3.     Do your research in advance

          Utilize the Internet to explore the location you are visiting. If you cycle, see if the hotel gym has decent indoor bikes or if a nearby gym offers cycling classes you can attend to maintain your workout schedule. If you prefer to run, check out popular routes in your temporary new environment via Ride With GPS, Strava, Map My Run, etc. If swimming is critical, go online and research public pools nearby. Note that most hotel pools are not conducive to lap swimming. Also look for hotels that are affiliated with a gym nearby that may offer free, or reduced, pricing for the duration of your stay. Bottom line is: Plan. What’s holding you back for the most part is your mental battle. 

4.     Bring portable fitness equipment

          There are locations and instances where you can’t access a gym. In that case reach out to your coach and ask for strength exercises that require little or no equipment. In addition, there is a wide range of portable exercise equipment available, from jump ropes and resistance bands to TRX suspension systems. All of those options are portable, even if you plan on carry-on only.

5.     Don't overdo it at business dinners

          Maintaining a healthy diet during a business trip is a challenge, no doubt. Many times, there's little opportunity to prepare your own meals and most of the eat-out options will rarely flatter your physique. This, combined with a corporate expense card, easily turns into a recipe for trouble. Instead of adding more stress to your life, try this: Don’t count calories, rather look at your plate and visually compare your fist with your carbohydrate section, they should be the same. The size and thickness of your palm equals the amount of protein you should consume. Have healthy, 100 calories snacks with you to ensure you eat small amounts at regular intervals such as chocolate milk, mixed nuts or trail mix, homemade protein bites and no baking required (1 1/2 tbsp. nut butter, 3 tbsp. oats, 1/2 tbsp. honey, 1/2 tbsp. dark chocolate chips, rolled into balls: 8 grams’ protein). You prevent yourself from overeating at the end of a long day and keep your blood sugar level steady. It is about not getting hungry. Don’t starve yourself and skip meals because you think it is going to help, it does not, especially when you are travelling.

Train smart!