Ten Tips for Triathlon Training while Traveling

20 02 2014

I hope all your English-major types appreciate my alliteration there! 🙂

My job requires me to travel a bit, not one of those Monday-Thursday deals, but I am on the road (or in the air) at least once a month, often twice per month. I just got back from a conference in San Diego, which is most certainly not a regular thing, unfortunately.

IMG_2131

Training for a triathlon is hard all on its own. Throw in travel and it gets even harder. Early flights, delayed flights, work dinners, work meetings, etc – throw these into the mix and you’ve got fewer hours to yourself to train on the road than when you’re home.  You’re also in an unfamiliar city without your usual training buddies- so how do you make it work?

I’m certainly no expert, but here are a few things that I’ve learned along the way:

1. Your flight’s not until the afternoon/evening? Be sure to get in your workout at home before you leave!

2. If you can, work out in the morning, before work! You never know what might come up at night. A meeting runs long? Team dinner? You will most likely be too tired after a long day to want to go to the gym.

3. Need to swim? Look in to the county/city parks and rec department- they may be your best bet for a pool!

4. Ask the front desk if there are running trails nearby. They might even provide you with a map! Just be sure to make sure the route is safe- and always tell someone where you’re going and how long you expect to be gone.

IMG_20315. If you have a gym membership, research if there’s a location nearby (and that your membership is national).

6. Look for cycling studios, gyms, and yoga studios near where you’ll be spending most of your time. It’s always fun to check out a new class and get a workout in! Sometimes, there will even be first timer discounts:) When I’m in Madison, there’s a cyc fitness on my way to the office- they’ve got a shower too so I can hit up a class and clean up before heading in.

IMG_8610

7. If weather and time permit, rent a bike- it’s a great way to see the city and get a workout in! I’ve done this several times- in Maine, Wisconsin, and California, and rented decent road bikes rather than hybrids or cruisers. It costs a little more, but I felt like I actually got a real workout in while exploring!

IMG_20828. Use social media to find good run spots, gyms, or even a workout buddy! That’s how I got my butt out of bed for an early morning swim when I was in DC. I’m so grateful that Victoria joined me!

IMG_1522

9. Pack your nicest workout clothes (hear me out here!) Most likely they are made of material that dries fast (and maybe even is anti microbial) and you can get a few workouts in without being gross- or just hop in the shower with them on for a quick wash; they’ll dry before your next workout. I always pack for multi-day trips: a pair of tri shorts, a good sports bra, a workout tank, and yoga pants. Then, depending on whether I’ll be running outside or inside, I’ll pack a pair of shorts and a running shirt, and/or some layerable clothing. If I know I’ll get a swim in, I will pack my swim cap, goggles and suit too. Sometimes I will pack one of those super light back packs that you get at races to carry my gear to the gym or pool if it’s off site. Oh, and don’t forget a water bottle!

10. And if all else fails, of course, there’s always the hotel gym!

gym workout selfie

 

Ok readers, what are your best tips for training while traveling?





Krank it Up!

18 01 2013

The other day I was driving down Manhattan Ave. in south Tampa and I saw a sign for Urban Body Fusion. The “O” was a bike crank, and when I looked a little closer at the store front, I saw a sign that said “cycling studio.” I love me a good spin class, so I decided to check it out next time the weather was not so great.

urbanbodyfusion

Thursdays are typically swim night for Team XP, but with temperatures expected to drop into the 50s and half the team having prior obligations, swimming was not in the cards for me last night. So I did a quick Google search for Urban Body Fitness to see if they had a class I could go to, and sure enough there was one at 6:30. It was called Krankfusion®, and I purchased my spot online (love when places do this). Bonus points for the stuido: first time riders pay only $5 for a drop in, instead of the regular $15 drop in fee. I glanced at the class description, but didn’t really pay too much attention to it, since I had to quickly change and hit the road.

I got there a little early because I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, and I was greeted with a smiling face. Dana Urban, the owner and the evening’s instructor welcomed me to her place and told me what her studio was all about.

IMG_5603

Her studio is is not your typical spin studio. All of her classes include kranking on a krankcycle. Basically, a krankcycle is the upper body version of a bicycle. Instead of spinning the gears with your legs, you spin with your arms.

krankcycle(source)

Tonight’s class was Krankfusion, an hour long class where half the time is spent on the spin bike, and the other half is spent on the krankcycle- a great way for newbies like me to ease into the whole kranking thing! I chatted with Dana for a few more minutes before a few other class members arrived.

The class was small, only 6 of us including the instructor, which was totally fine with me because Dana took the time to explain how to set up the krankcycle, and what kinds of movements we would be doing. However, I’m sure if the class was full, Dana would have taken just as much time to ensure I was comfortable. This business is her pride and joy-it was her 40th birthday present to herself to open up the studio! And she is 10,000% invested in it and it is so very clear!

IMG_5606

Loved this mirror on the wall!

When we were all set up, Dana dimmed the lights, turned up the music, and we got started on the spin portion of our workout. I’m a big fan of spinning-I love riding to loud, upbeat dance music. I’m a big believer that the music makes or breaks a spin class. Dana played a good variety of music which kept me happy, especially when we put on the heavy gears. My only problem was that it was a little hard to hear her when she told us to add some resistance, but that’s pretty typical in a spin class.

About 25 minutes into the workout, it was time to switch to the krankcycle. It has a resistance knob, just like a spin bike, so I found my “sweet spot” and followed along as we did various movements- opposite arms (like your legs are on a bike), both arms spinning at the same time, one arm at a time, spinning away from my body, spinning towards my body, standing up, sitting down, and one leg back. The whole time you are engaging your core, and halfway through the first song, my arms and abs were feeling it!

It was a little challenging to get into the rhythm of the kranking, especially when I was doing “splits” (arms at 180°). But I had a great time and I definitely worked my arms in a way I hadn’t in a very long time. We finished up with some more core work and some stretching before saying goodbye.

I really enjoyed the class, and would definitely return. Everything was clean, the bikes were well maintained, and I loved the vibe of the studio. I thought Dana was a great instructor, and she clearly cares about her clients. If you’re interested in checking it out, she’s got a great deal going on until Saturday: a 5 class package, normally $60 is 50% off for newbies! Sign me up!

IMG_5602

And yes, that is her pink spin bike. She actually won it at a spinning conference! Bonus points for a pink bike and that Dana is motivated enough to get some professional development!

Question of the day: Have you ever been Kranking?





SOHO Cycling Studio

10 06 2012

The past several days here in Tampa have been rainy, rainy, rainy. The weather’s made it kinda hard to get in my workouts, since I do pretty much all of them outside. I know I could go to the gym, but the closest LA Fitness is a good 20 minutes away, and the gym at my complex is pretty lame.

So on Thursday when Beth asked if I wanted to head over to the SOHO Cycling Studio for the 7:30 class, I immediately said yes. I remembered reading Mary‘s post about SOHO when I first moved to Tampa, and I made a mental note to check it out, so I was really excited that I was finally making it to a class.

I reserved my spot online for a one time drop in fee of $15. Beth told me that first timers are free, but I think you need to call and make your reservation, which I didn’t. At $15 a pop for a drop in, it can get a little pricey, but they have various multi-visit packages you can buy. I thought it was pretty cool that you could pick your bike number too. They have a diagram of the room, with notations where the instructor sits, where the fans are, and where the big screens are, and then you just click on the bike number you want. Beth reserved bike 14, so I snagged bike 15.

When I walked in, I could tell this was going to be great. I found my bike no problem, thanks to Beth and the little card with my name on it 🙂 The studio was clean, spacious, and filled with bikes. I think there were 3 rows of 10. There was an elevated platform in the front of the room for the instructor, and two big screens playing music videos on either side of the instructor’s platform. Lady Gaga was blasting in the speakers, and I smiled, ready for a workout to kick my butt.

And my butt got a good whooping! The instructor, Jessica, made us work! She mixed the workout up with some sprints, climbs, jumps, changing positions, you name it! There was also one song that we sat up and did overhead presses the entire time; I’m pretty sure it was an EP too, so by the end, my arms were Jello! They hurt the next day!

Jessica’s music choice was great too. She played a lot of dance music that I was familiar with, and threw in a few other songs, like Headsprung. Whoa, college flashback! Oh, and she switched off the music videos and put on some “extreme sport” videos-snowboarding, surfing, mountain biking, wind surfing, etc. I loved having the visual stimulation because it allowed my mind to focus on something other than the pain in my legs! It also reminded me of Bill, who’s an avid surfer and mountain biker:-)

At the end of class, I was drenched in sweat, but had a huge smile on my face. That’s exactly the kind of workout I wanted/needed. My only complaint about the class would be that sometimes Jessica was hard to hear over the music, since her microphone broke. I feel like that always happens though…

I had a great experience at SOHO, and would love to return. But because I ride outside so much, it doesn’t really make sense for me to spin all that frequently. I’m going to keep my eye out for a groupon (that’s how Mary and Beth started going), but maybe will treat myself to a drop in class every now and again. 🙂 If you’re in the area, definitely check it out!