by Dave Latourette
When travel becomes a necessary part of a dedicated triathlete’s schedule it “disrupts” the delicate balance we have created in our everyday life routine. I know the conversation that goes on inside most people’s heads when they look at an upcoming trip that in return takes them out of that routine. With a little creativity it’s not difficult to manage your training and fit it around travel schedules.
I have a handful of athletes who travel anywhere from one time per week to one time per month. As long as we know the travel schedule ahead of time -- and quite often we do -- it’s a seamless process both mentally and physically to make it work. Consider implementing into your own schedule some of the following:
- If at all possible don’t schedule any travel the last eight weeks before a key race.
- Plan your training such that travel weeks are intended to have a lighter training load.
- Don’t try to cram in all seven days of training in four days before your three-day trip. I’ve seen that (and tried it) and it doesn’t work. Travel is stressful no matter what. Don’t get on a plane or take a trip wrecked from training -- it’s a recipe for illness.
- Prioritize what you can do when you are home versus when you travel. Most often the thing that suffers when we travel is cycling. If that’s the case, book-end your travel with your cycling sessions. For example, if you have a trip scheduled Tuesday -- Friday, then schedule your cycling sessions for Monday, Saturday and Sunday of that week.
- Make it less stressful on yourself when traveling with easy to manage sessions. For almost everybody that starts with running. It’s darn easy to pack your shoes and clothes and run almost anywhere… including the treadmill or hotel stairs (I’ve done the hotel stairs in place of a hill workout and it was good “fun”).
- If you plan to swim when traveling then research the options before you ever leave for your trip. If you are already on a tight schedule, you can’t afford to be on a scavenger hunt for a pool. SwimmersGuide is a good start.
- Don’t stress over or plan key sessions when travelling. Sometimes it’s better to keep it simple and just “do something” every day.
- Eat as healthy as possible when on the road. This can take some work but it’s doable!
As long as you plan ahead and stay active when traveling, your fitness doesn’t need to take a hit. In actuality I think taking a short break from the routine allows you to return more motivated and appreciative of the system you have in place at home.
Think ahead, be creative and travel safe!
Dave Latourette is a full time triathlon coach living in Santa Rosa, California, who works with athletes from newcomer to elite. His top athletes have won USAT Age Group National Championships and raced in World Championship events that include the ITU World Championship and the Ironman World Championship. You can learn more about Dave and follow him at: TrainToEndure.com, his blog, or on twitter @dklatourette