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How to Train for Triathlon While Traveling

How to Train for Triathlon While Traveling

Sometimes your Iron distance training will be slightly interrupted over the course of the macrocycle due to travel for work or vacation. I often have athletes tell me that they don’t want to miss their scheduled workouts, and some actually freak out about this. There is no need to worry. In the big picture, one week of an irregular schedule over the course of 6 months of training is not going to hurt your performance. Promise.

In this article I am going to give you some great options for getting your workouts in while on vacation or traveling for work. There are almost always options, you just have to be creative and motivated to look for opportunities.

Many hotels have agreements with local fitness centers so their guests can work out for little or no cost. You can ask for these options at check in. In most cases, a gym will have a treadmill and exercise bike, so you can get in your mid-week brick. If you have a choice at which hotel you can stay, choose one with a fitness center. Most of them have photos online of their equipment and machines. If there are no bikes and only running is available, then you can look at that as a really great focused week on improving your run.

If you have access to outside running, this is a great way to explore a new city while getting in a mid-week or long run. Use common sense and don’t run if you feel the neighborhood is not safe, and wear something fluorescent if running after dusk.

Most cities have some sort of public pool or YMCA, and you can research this ahead of time. Call ahead and see what the lap swim hours are, and work it into your schedule if possible. Even better is contacting the local triathlon club and getting in on a group ride, swim or run. USA Triathlon has a complete list of triathlon clubs in their directory.

If you are near the ocean or lake and the conditions are safe, spend some time in the open water as long as you have a friend or family member nearby. Use this opportunity to practice sighting, bilateral breathing, swimming in a straight line, and sculling. Stash your swim buoy in your suitcase for added safety.

If you happen to have a track workout on your schedule, check to see if there are any local middle or high schools nearby with an open track. If the location isn’t too far, jog to the track as your warm up and jog home for your cool down. Sometimes Rec Centers or fitness centers will have an indoor track that you can take advantage of.

Most vacation spots have bike rentals, and although this probably won’t be a carbon time trial bike, you can spend an hour or two cruising the island with your family or friends and still get in a ride. Something is better than nothing. Remember, you are on vacation, and rest is necessary for recovery and restoration for when you get back to regular training.

I have seen athletes choose a vacation spot specifically with access to swim, bike, and run. I guess you could call this a “traincation”. This might involve an ocean or lake and lots of great areas for biking and running. A vacation like this is a great way to spend time with your family and also get in some good training hours. Campgrounds and state parks are always great spots for training getaways.

Bottom line, where there is a will there is a way. If you really want to find a way to work in your training, you have many options. The important thing is to give yourself some grace if the conditions are not perfect and remember that one week isn’t going to set you back significantly by any stretch.

I hope you find this helpful.

Mary Timoney

Ironman University Certified Coach

Have you thought about hiring a coach for your next Iron distance event? Click HERE to send me an email message and we can set up a free 15 minute call.


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