MIA: Life on the road

As you may have noticed, the blog and podcast have been quiet. The last few weeks have been a whirl of travel to interviews for new jobs. The PhD is nearly done and it’s time to move on…but not from the podcast! However, the travel has made it impossible to get anything done with presentations, meetings and more. However, we shall return! In this post, I’ll touch on the issues of travel and what you can do to reduce the impact on your health and fitness.

I’ll admit it, I hate to travel. It’s turns thing upside down, including training. I estimate that from April 14-25th I will have amassed six flights of 15 hrs plus 10 hrs of driving. In that time I probably trained a total of 8 days with hopefully at least 8hrs; blah! While I’ve lost quite a bit of training rhythm, I’ve lost very little fitness; swim times are actually down! So here are my tips to mitigating travel on your fitness.

1. RUN!

If you travel a lot, you should add running to your program, even if you’re a cyclist. Yeah, its not specific, but the pro’s outweigh the con’s assuming you run consistently (1-2 days each week) even when not traveling. Running is time efficient and a great way to maintain cardiovascular fitness. Since starting running, I’ve found that it has enhanced my riding and let’s face it, a running kit is easy to pack, and finding time to run is pretty easy. I ran once on all three trips. If you’re are a cyclist and a business traveler you must except your limitations and embrace running!

2. Consistency

Despite setting a plan to space out training to hit some key workouts, reality gets in the way and the plans go out the window. If you have to travel for life or business keep in mind that something is ALWAYS better than nothing. Rapid detraining occurs with bed rest, but not daily activity. Will going for a walk preserve your bike fitness? Not likely, but it won’t hurt it and will preserve some basic metabolic and cardiovascular function. Consider doing alternate activities to help revive training when you turn; change is good! Above all else maintain consistent activity. This helps your return to normal training.

3. Go hard when you go home!

Intensity is key to maintaining fitness. Easy anything will do little to enhance fitness, so intensity is key. If you have minimal time and a fitness center, throw in a 5 min Tabata or a few 30 sec sprints on the bike, which will maintain a lot of fitness. Minimal time requires a powerful training stimulus, so harder is best! When you return home, set a block of very intense training to set things right again.

Finally, remember that any lost fitness will be regained within 1-2 weeks. So make the most of the break and be prepared to the return to training!

4. Eat light!

Travel is not the time to eat, drink and be merry. You’ve got to be more rigid on diet. Collect fruit from the hotel, snack often on it, eat a good breakfast and at lunch and dinner opt for the veggie pack salad with protein, rather than the pasta and rice. Carbs are not needed on these trips and just don’t get used. On my recent travels, I managed to drop a pound by eat a lot of veggies and fruit, as well as protein.

Checkout the upcoming Tipcast for more tips on travel!

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