I’m lucky enough to be doing a job that takes me right the way around the world. In the past 14 days I’ve traveled up and down Taiwan, and come home via 4 days in Madrid. It’s great, and I totally love it, but it does mean that I spend more time than I’d like training in strange gyms, and needing to cope with only 1 pair of trainers for each activity. Add to this travelling long distances throughout my time away and training becomes… tricky. It’s purely luck what the hotel gym has, and you need to learn to be flexible with fitting in a workout around funny work hours.
Although I’m still a relative newbie to the whole work/life/travelling balance, I’m slowly figuring it out, and here’s what I’ve learnt so far…
- You will end up taking more workout clothes than work-in clothes. You have to be OK with that, and just embrace it! You can always wear gym clothes out and about sightseeing to save room.
- Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to do exactly what you planned. You might have a great gym in the hotel, with great equipment, or you might have a sh*tty little gym with one bike and a mat, or you might not have a gym at all. Just work hard and just do whatever you can do – whether it’s dips on bed or intervals on the one bike with barely any resistance.
- Try and get outside to run-plore: but only if you feel safe! I’ve only run outside a handful of times whilst I’ve been away and only when I’ve scoped out a route the day before. I always let home know that I’m going for a run, and the route I’m going to take – better safe than sorry.
- Have an emergency indoor circuit ready to use if you have to. There are some good ones online – here’s one I’ve used before:
- Remember that sometimes it’s OK to admit defeat and be too tired to workout. Long haul flights can mess you up, and that’s OK. For the first couple of days on this trip, I was completely wiped, and skipped the gym altogether. Sometimes we all just succumb to tiredness – and that’s OK! Go for an easy swim instead if there’s a pool, or just sit in bed and watch Star World with room service.
- I always try to walk absolutely everywhere, and for a nice long time. If it means getting up super early to explore the city before a meeting then so be it. Hunt out a ‘city hike’ if you can, or a tall building you could climb. Look up where your meeting or event is, and see if it’s walkable, rather than taking a taxi or the metro. You’d walk 20 or 30 minutes at home somewhere, so do it whilst you’re away too.
- My fuelling tips are: drink lots of water and eat ALL the breakfast.
Most important of all though – embrace being away. Don’t forget you’re in an amazing country with lots to see that you may not have seen before – and it’s part of your JOB (I’m still getting used to that one), so don’t spend all your time in a hotel basement trying to get your training plan all ticked off. If I want to go to the gym, I always go as soon as it opens, so that I can a) have loads of time to eat my way through the breakfast buffet and b) enjoy the rest of my time away. If you have a morning or afternoon off, speed walk your way round the city rather than spending hours in the hotel gym. Your mind, body and Instagram followers will thank you for it.