2014 was a year full of travel for me. Whether traveling for business or travel, these long trips really hampered my training schedule. I always seemed to take a few days to adjust to jet lag before I could get back into a good long run.
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Mt. Fuji from a 747[/caption]
How do you stay in shape during travel?
I am writing this post right before I board a plane to the Middle East. This time I have a plan to stay in shape that I would like to share:
1. Plan ahead
Travel is going to interrupt your schedule. Understand the weather of your destination, bring your running gear, and know when you will be having free time between business meetings and work obligations.
2. Sleep on the plane as much as possible
Some trips I stay awake the whole plane ride watching movies while on others I fall in a deep sleep. Every time I sleep well on a plane I adjust to the new time zone more quickly. Forget if you are tired or not and do your best to get some shut eye on the train. I will be sleeping on my next plane. Of course, economy class seems to be getting smaller and smaller.
3. Run in your home time zone
Where are you traveling to in the world? Are you just making a local trip or are you going international? If you are traveling to a different time zone, then you should really be running when you are awake back in your home time zone. When I am traveling for work, I have a hard time making this tip work with work obligations.
But let's take this current trip as an example. I am traveling from Japan to the Middle East. Riyadh is 6 hours behind Tokyo. Before work in Riyadh is afternoon in Japan. After work in Riyadh is the middle of the night in Japan. Therefore, I should be running before work while in Riyadh. I will be waking up early and running before work this trip.
Running is not always easy where I am traveling too. I really hate running on a treadmill and will avoid treadmills at all cost. Running to me is all about seeing new scenery, meditation, and having my feet his the ground. Treadmills seem to feel more like work to me. So when I can't run outside, I do pushups and situps in my hotel room. Or even better I will hit the hotel gym and if I am lucky swim in the hotel pool. I hardly have an opportunity to go to the gym back home so cross training can be a unique opportunity for my training program.
5. Understand Local Customs
My first time running in Riyadh, I took off in shorts and a shirt while of course sporting a Runbell. Luckily, I was running in the very early morning with less car and human traffic. However, the local dress code dictates I should be wearing pants while outside. Shorts are a basic no-no in the Kingdom. Oops!
6. Check in with Local Running Stores
During my trip to the US last year, I stopped in a local running store. I introduced myself and asked for any tips. The owner overwhelmed me with local races, clubs, websites, and trail runs. He was absolutely awesome and it felt great to connect with the local running community.
This business trip will last two weeks. I'll check in later with how I managed!
What are your tips? Share them with us!