There are times in my job requiring significant amount of travel. While I generally don’t mind, especially when I travel to beautiful cities like Zürich or Hamburg, it always requires little more effort to keep up with the training routine.
The difficulties usually start with packing. I try to travel with cabin bag only whenever possible. It means that I have to fit running and swimming gear along some decent semi-business cloths. In winter the difficulty is the need of warm cloths that usually take space, in summer I usually get some space issues when I want to swim open water and have the wetsuit with me. Luckily for me, my job doesn’t require wearing formal suits, so for 4 nights I just take 4 blouses, 4 underwear changes and 4 pairs of socks and that’s basically it 😉 I still have plenty of space for my sports gear and some healthy snacks.
Eating properly can also be tricky on a trip. One problem are the business lunches and dinners, but the bigger one might actually be the unstructured days with no proper food with a lot of temptations to eat fast food or unhealthy snacks. Why I don’t stick to any particular dietary “religion”, I still try to eat reasonably healthy. That’s why to avoid temptation I try to always have some nutritious snacks (pre-training carb snacks, post-training protein snacks, nuts etc). For people following a vegan, low carb and especially gluten free diet this might be even more essential than for a relatively relaxed flexitarian 😉
I always discuss a trip (especially a longer one) with my coach and try to plan accordingly. When I’m away for a week with a quite tensed schedule, there is no point of having an strenuous training planned for this week.
When I don’t have to take a plane or a train at 6 or 7, I try to fit a training in the morning before (I usually opt for cycling, as this is the most difficult thing to to on a trip). I always plan my running routes and check opening hours of public swimming pools or a distance to the lake in advance. Running is the easiest thing to do while travelling – you can run everywhere. When travelling in winter, I book a hotel with a proper gym, whenever possible – just in case the weather is really not inviting for an outside run. When travelling in summer – especially to Zürich – I try to book a hotel close to the lake, which is both great for running and swimming 🙂
Flight and hotel
That might not be true for everyone, but for me flying (even short-haul) and sleeping in hotels (and interacting with more people than usual) are always negatively impacting my training performance. Nothing dramatic about it – but it’s just good to know it and not to overdramatize 😉 It’s just normal. But it’s still important to keep the training routine – not only because of the progress towards the training goals, but also to neutralize the additional amount of stress that an intense business trip might cause for some of us 🙂