Tips for the Traveling Triathlete

Q: How do you maintain fitness while traveling?

Brandon Marsh answers:

A: This is a great question from the Twitter-sphere, which in itself proves just how fast-paced our world is today. I remember when I was fresh out of college, working for an engineering company, and thinking that I traveled a LOT. In hindsight, that was nothing compared to what many of my athletes undertake on a weekly basis. They are truly go, go, go! If you’re also a triathlete that travels often, I have a few tips to help keep you fit and focused while out of your element. First, I want you to remember three things:

 1. Consistency is key to maintaining and improving performance. Try to limit the number of days you take off, and remember that doing something is better than nothing at all.

2. When training at home (or in your element), make it count. This is the best time to push hard, so you can reduce the intensity when you hit the road.

3. Prepare for what to expect when you arrive at your destination. It will help you to know if you’ll have access to fitness facilities, bike-friendly roads or protected running paths.

If you’re fortunate enough to travel to the same place each week, it can be pretty easy to establish a training routine. It may pay off to join a local gym in your destination city, or to find a convenient recreation center or park. In fact, some recreation centers offer a punch card system that lets you purchase a certain number of visits with no expiration. This can save you money, because you’re paying only for as much as you use.

But if you’re traveling to a variety of locations, it’s most important that you scope out local pools or fitness centers. Many gyms offer short-term or reduced rates for visitors. If your visit is only a day or two, ask about a day pass. With these, you can usually access the gym multiple times within that day, allowing you to take an early morning spin class and return for an evening swim.

In your search for hotels, prioritize access to a fitness center. Some hotels have exclusive deals with local gyms, while others have fitness centers on location. Capitalize on these when you can. Even though hotel gyms can be cramped, run on the treadmill or hop on the spin bike. (As I mentioned in my last blog, be sure to have your bike measurements handy to adjust the seat.) For an effective swim workout in a small hotel pool, pack a swim tether or a pair of stretch cords.

No matter where you go or how often you visit, plan your workouts well in advance and make the most of your time, space and equipment. And, please, do not forget to plan your nutrition. Your diet on the road is just as important as it is at home. Look for familiar restaurants and grocery stores. When you’re really in a bind, control portions and “hold the mayo.”

Amy Marsh is a four-time Ironman champion, two-time IronDistance champion, and was named the 2010 USAT Long Distance Triathlete of the Year. Brandon Marsh has been competing in triathlons since 1988, and can be counted on to be a top-10 contender in every event he enters. Got a question about swim-bike-run or sports nutrition for Team Marsh? Email them at ask.the.triathletes@gmail.com. “˜Like’ them onFacebook  or follow on Twitter: Brandon @BrandonMarshTX and Amy @AmyCMarsh.

About Team Marsh

Amy Marsh is a four-time Ironman champion, two-time IronDistance champion, and was named the 2010 USAT Long Distance Triathlete of the Year. Brandon Marsh has been competing in triathlons since 1988, and can be counted on to be a top-10 contender in every event he enters. Got a question about swim-bike-run or sports nutrition for Team Marsh? Email them at ask.the.triathletes@gmail.com.

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