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Ditch the Mandatory Fun and Find a Pool

I don’t know about you, but my life does not take a pause when I travel for work. My training plan doesn’t care if I’m home with my bike trainer or staying in a hotel without any gear. I’m currently prepping for Ironman Vitoria-Gastez on July 12 and that date ain’t shifting, so I better be ready! Given those factors and my frequent travel, I’ve developed a few habits to help keep up my training while on the road.

I find a good running route – When possible, I use AllTrails to find a good trail run. The free version of the app lets you find routes sorted by proximity to you and it provides important information about the route with a GPS compatible map. Trail runs can often be more challenging than road type routes and can be considered cross training. I find the air much cleaner in the forested and green areas where trails are often found, rather than alongside busy roads or in stuffy hotel gyms. I’ve found great routes near Budapest and outside small towns in Germany. I’d be willing to bet you can find a good trail to run near where you will be traveling next.

Trail near Landstuhl, Germany

I love hitting the pool – Some of my more adventurous activities on work trips involve tracking down the local pool, figuring out how to get there (via public transportation if I can), and navigating the various norms and rules that come with swimming in a new place. A few quick tips that’ll never let you down: don’t forget your swim cap; stick with flip flops in the changing area; and keep your head up for non-linear swimmers coming at you. I’ve found that most countries of the former Yugoslavia have great public pools, as does Russia and many other countries in eastern and central Europe. Leave a comment and let us know where your favorite pool is.

Public Pool in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Good luck cycling – This is by far the most frustrating, logistically challenging, and time consuming aspect of trying to get my triathlon training accomplished during work travel. I’ve pedaled away on bikes in crummy hotel gyms and unsuccessfully searched for spin classes before opting for some form of cross training. I would happily try something like if I were traveling in the States, but overseas, forget about it. I dream of the day when quality road bike rentals are easy to find and safe and paved lanes for riding are numerous! If you’ve had any positive experiences renting a quality bike on a work trip, drop a note in the comments – we’d love to know!

You can always cross train – The good news is that you can call just about anything cross training and in its simplest form, doesn’t take anything more than your body weight to enjoy. A small bouldering gym in Kaiserslautern, Germany offered some great cross training for me this past week. I hadn’t climbed in over a year, so my effort was fairly pathetic, but I did get a decent workout in. If Crossfit proper is your thing, you don’t need me to tell you that a Google search will likely reveal a number of gyms in your area given that the Church of Crossfit is spread far and wide.

These are my go-tos when I’m traveling and need to stick to a workout schedule. I rarely get all the workouts in I need, but any effort is better than nothing. Plus, tracking down a pool or going for a run offers a great excuse to ditch the mandatory social time often associated with work travel. So, get after it whether you're at home or on a work trip. And if you want something to train for, check out our upcoming trips!

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