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.


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.


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!


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?

Mountain Biking Tips From a Newbie

6 09 2013

Ok, so I may have only been once and I my experience is limited to Florida riding, but I wanted to share some of my lessons learned from my first experience mountain biking:

1) Bring nutrition (Gels, powerbars, etc) and carry your water in a Camelback. When I prepare for my normal rides, I pack plenty of nutrition and I bring lots of water bottles. When gathering my things for this ride, it didn’t even cross my mind to grab a Gu or Luna bar- I guess I didn’t think that I would need some mid-ride calories? I definitely could have used a little pick me up in the middle of the ride, and I could tell I really needed it by how exhausted I was at the end of the ride. Water bottles also aren’t ideal for a ride filled with lots of bumps in the road- use a Camelback instead.

2) There is no shame in walking. I was riding with a great group of guys and not once did I feel bad about getting off my bike and walking down a hill that scared me or an incline that would have send me backwards. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

3) If you get off your bike on an incline, hold your brakes, otherwise your bike will want to slide down the hill and take you too!

4) Shift often. When road biking, especially in Florida, I don’t really need to use my shifters all that much. When mountain biking, you are CONSTANTLY adjusting because the terrain changes so quickly. Anticipate the hills, so that the hill doesn’t stop you in your tracks!

5) Stand up and/or stand and hover back on the bike when going down hill. If you’re on the seat or your weight has moved forward, you are at a high risk to flip over your handle bars. And that wouldn’t be good.

6) It’s not as scary as you think.  This is a lesson I’m still trying to learn. Bill reminds me that he would much rather fall while mountain biking, where he’s not on hard pavement and he’s going a lot slower than 20 mph. Good point.


Tips for Your First Mud Run

16 11 2012

Last weekend I competed in my first mud run. I went up to Little Everglades Ranch in Dade City, FL with a few of my Tampa Bay Lady Blogger friends to run the Pretty Muddy Women’s Mud Run.

If you couldn’t tell, we had a great time working our way through the obstacles and getting “pretty muddy.” I could add to the long list of blog recaps from the event, but I opted to take a different spin on my post. This was my very first mud run, so I thought I’d give you some tips from a first timer.

1. Do the event with friends!

(This photo and just about all of the others are courtesy of Meghann)

I’m pretty independent, so I’ve done regular running races and triathlons by myself. Yes, going solo to any kind of race isn’t super exciting, but I think doing a mud run (which are typically low-stakes) alone would be kind of lame.

Going to Pretty Muddy with some of my favorite ladies in the Tampa Bay area was really what made the day for me. We were able act like kids together, help each other through obstacles, and enjoy sharing the experience of a “different” kind of race. We were all there to have fun, and that we did! I don’t think I’ve ever laughed that much during a race!

2. Wear form fitting clothes. (Unless you go the costume route!) I wore some Champion capris (from Target), a sports bar, and an old Victoria’s Secret tank. The outfit worked great, and I wouldn’t have been disappointed if it had been ruined by the mud. (Which, thankfully, it wasn’t!) I also wore some old running sneakers, which worked out well.

3. Don’t take the obstacles too seriously.

All of the obstacles at Pretty Muddy gave you the option of walking around, no questions asked. Going up and over a net not your thing? You could just go around it, no big deal. It’s also a safety thing- if you’re injured, not prepared, scared, etc. don’t do it. No one is there forcing you to do every single obstacle. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t force it.

4. Bring a change of clothes (including shoes!) and several towels! This is probably pretty obvious but critical! Pack them in the bag you check. You don’t want to get back into your car covered in mud or in soaking wet clothes. Pretty Muddy had a hose-off station and changing tents, which were much appreciated!

5. Stop and take photos! Ok, so this isn’t a “must,” but come on, how fun are some of these pictures?

Photos from Meghann:

Photos from PBC Sports Photography, LLC:

5. The most important thing is that you HAVE FUN! How often do you get to play in mud like a kid again?

Don’t be afraid to get muddy! I mean, isn’t that the point of a mud run? 🙂

I had such a blast at Pretty Muddy! I thought it was really well organized and a perfect event for first timers.

I would highly recommend checking out all of the Tampa Bay Lady Blogger Recaps; some of them are pretty funny!

Jess (from a volunteer’s perspective 🙂 )

Do you have any tips for someone doing a mud run for the first time?