Training on the Road

We’ve all been there:  You finally find a groove with your workout routine and then you set off on a long work trip or vacation and fall off the wagon.  While I do believe in rest (contrary to what my partner thinks), I find maintaining some kind of workout routine on the go is essential to my physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing.  Here are five hard-won tips to staying fit while traveling.

1. Make sure your hotel has a gym.  Both for safety and logistics reasons.  I much prefer running outside but when you’re in a place with real security risks, or you wake up to a downpour or blizzard, having a treadmill or stationary bike to fall back on is a good thing. 

2. Do it first thing in the morning.  Unless you truly hate waking up early, I find it easiest to knock out my workouts before anything else.  Even if you’ve got early meetings and a jam-packed day, just squeeze in 30 minutes of something right when you wake up, and you’ll be more clear-headed for the rest of the day.

3. Recruit friends.  If you’re on vacation, your friends might roll their eyes when you talk about getting up early to go for a run/swim/spin class.  I’ve been there and it’s easy to fall prey to the peer pressure to “just chill for once.”  But if you’re like me and you’ll be a wreck if you don’t get your blood flowing, try getting your friends to join in, even if just for an easy jog or an invigorating morning hike.  Better yet, gather your active friends for a trekking-focused vacation; your workout is built in. 

4. Check out local running/biking tours.  If #3 is a fail or you’re traveling solo, consider searching for local options on social networking sites like Meetup or companies that specialize in jogging or biking city excursions.  These kind of tours are increasingly popular and a fun way to meet new people, see the sights, and get your heart rate up in the process.  And if swimming is your thing, check out the city’s public pools.  There’s usually a day rate, which has led me to swim everywhere from Paris to Sydney to Prague.  I once did an overnight bike trip in Uganda; admittedly, I was living there, not “on the road,” but visitors also could have found and signed up for it.  It was pretty high on the, uh, adventure scale, but exhilarating to test my comfort zone surrounded by fellow adventurers.

5. Sign up for a race!  This isn’t just an Open World Racing pitch.  I love finding 5Ks or 10Ks at the last-minute when I’m on the road.  One of my favorites was a 10K in London I started with two friends and ended with five; we spilled over into a boozy brunch and it was just the perfect day. 

But if you’re looking for something less last-minute, sign up for an Open World Racing trip!  We guarantee your blood will be pumping, you’ll feel good about indulging in all the local cuisine, and you’ll meet some amazing people!  Upcoming trips include the Royal Half-Marathon in Krakow and adventures in southern Poland this October, a sprint- or Olympic-distance triathlon in coastal Croatia in April, and an Olympic-distance triathlon in Medellin in July (details coming soon).  Sign up for our newsletter for updates and join our global racing community!

Happily flushed after the British Heart Foundation 10K in Hyde Park.  Photo credit:  Passerby.

Happily flushed after the British Heart Foundation 10K in Hyde Park.  Photo credit:  Passerby.

Trekking in Patagonia.  Photo credit: Scott Taylor.

Trekking in Patagonia.  Photo credit: Scott Taylor.

Hiking to a remote beach in Haiti.  Photo credit: Patrick Hardin.

Hiking to a remote beach in Haiti.  Photo credit: Patrick Hardin.

An exhilarating group mountain bike in Barichara, Colombia, courtesy of  Colombian Bike Junkies .

An exhilarating group mountain bike in Barichara, Colombia, courtesy of Colombian Bike Junkies.