I spoke with a few of you at the training tri on Saturday (which was great - thanks volunteers). Sad story - I was told on Friday that I needed to travel for work for an indefinite period... probably right up until the July 26th NJ Tri race day.
I have been diligently training and felt good at the training tri... what are your throughts... is it possible to keep training while on travel.
Specifically, I can't bring my bike with me... will it seriously affect my success if I have to use a stationary bike? I can probably rent a bike on the weekends.
I am in Cleveland, if your aware of good rental places... running routes... or lap pools, I'd appreciate advice!
It's possible to travel and train. Your situation is a little more complicated obviously. Look at some of the other triathlete websites (slowtwitch, trifuel, trinewbies, slowtwitch) for training on travel ideas.
Running you'll figure out pretty easily. It may not be perfect, but you can almost always just hit the pavement and go.
Biking on a stationary bike is just fine. You lose out on the feeling of your bike some, but you can maintain and improve fitness. if you can do a bike rental on weekends, that'd probably be great.
For swimming, ask the hotel you're staying at for pool recommendations. They usually know of at least one nearby, and may even be able to hook you up with a pass.
As far as success - unless you're an elite age grouper vying for a podium spot or you just stop training, you'll probably be just fine. Try and have fun with a new routine and see what works, but don't stress out too much.
Re swimming, one good source I've had in other cities is the US masters swim membership. Membership gets you discounts at affiliated pools around the country, and you can find local masters teams to swim with through the organization. http://www.usms.org/
Hey Rachel although difficult its definitely possible to keep training while on travel. Although if it is actually going to be several weeks you may want to think a bit more about taking your bike with you. I am not sure what the rental fees are in Cleveland but bike rentals or daily use gym fees can add up in a hurry. Although shipping and flying with a bike has gone up as well. Most airlines charge $250 round trip now although I think Southwest is a mere $100 round trip. You can run anywhere and its usually a great way to explore a new city (I always use mapmyrun and favoriterun and search for runs in the area). I have been on the road 2 of the last 3 weeks so I can feel your pain. I usually use travel as an excuse not to swim...although I use a lot of things as an excuse not to swim.
Also check out the information in this post on Ray Maker's (a fellow DC Tri Club member) blog. He trains more while traveling than I do staying put at home...or ever will train for that matter. I swear I get worn out just from reading about his training.
Thanks for the posts above. I'd like to know if anyone has experience/tips for training in remote, non-western countries? I'll be in rural India for about 3 weeks to a month starting in mid-Aprilish. This means I arrive back at the end of May -- a month before my goal race, the DC Tri in June.
The temperatures there right now are 98-101 degrees as a high (lows are in the 60s). I'm not going to kid myself on being able to find a pool where I will be, I may be able to find a bike, and might be able to run.
If you have, I'd love tips on:
- exercises to do to keep body strong for swimming, even without a pool? (swimming is my weakest sport)
- tips for females training in communities which are a bit more male dominated?
- tips for training in intense heat?
- other training while traveling tips?
I'm signed up for the Olympic, and have my heart set on it (I'm a newbie here) and would like to avoid changing to the sprint if I can help it.
Don't know if you saw this post from a clubber from Bengladesh who does races there in South Asia:
I don't want to say that I've trained in third world countries but I have exercised in quite a few third world countries with India being one of them. From my personal experiences, India has very few pools unless you are staying at some really high end hotels or resorts. Swimming in rivers and lakes are not advisorable due contaminations. Even beaches are quite polluted. Treadmills and stationary bikes are also difficult to come by unless you are in really high end places.
You might be able to find a pool and sneak in if you are near a major university or resort. I've always found that they police natives a lot more harshy than the fair skin visitor. Of course, a few ruppees to whoever is guarding the door always make the problem go away :)
It will take you at least a week or two to get acclimated to the weather. I've been to India, Thailand, Cambodia, Indoneasia, and Vietnam during periods of my life when I thought that I was in top notch running shape and couldn't handle the heat and humidity when trying to jog when I first got there. If I could run anything near an hour at a time, that would be a near miracle. The problem with running in third world countries, at least in Asia, is that there are lots of airborne pollutants/dirt. What this means is that as you sweat that stuff clings to your skin and makes you itch. However, I think that your body will adapt over time ... mine did.
I've always found that the best time to run was early in the morning as the sun is about to rise. The dirt and pollution seem to be at a minimal. Folks over that neck of the woods get up really early in the morning to start the day. This means that if you run on along major routes, you should feel relatively safe due to the amount of people walking around.
You can buy a cheap bike and ride around if you want to bike. You can donate that bike to an orphanage after you leave India. However, I'm not sure if I would bike around on roads in major cities (traffic not too friendly to bikers). In the rural area, you can probably get away with it. I have a friend who brought a bike from the U.S. and biked all over India with it. He's also a triathlete/marathoner. I can put you in contact with him if you want. Just drop me an email at email@example.com
All I can say is carry a lot of cold fluids with you. A sports drink is probably best since you will be sweating a ton. The trick that I have is that I carry a slushy/frozen bottle of fluid. It will melt pretty quickly. I would run to the half way mark and find a local store to buy another cold bottle. Stuff gets warm pretty quickly and water or Gatorade at 90 degrees F does not taste too good. The heat and humidity over there is way way way worst than here and you compound that with pollutions ... it can be a pain.
They do have a marathon in Mumbai that attracts quite a few runners so it's doable. Just make sure that you bike and run slower than you would here at home.
Chloe - the most important thing is to stay healthy and safe. I assume you'll be taking antimalarials. If you're using Malarone, I'm not sure how that will affect you, but I've used doxycycline, which is an antibiotic as well, which means that your aerobic capacity takes a hit while on it (including the post-exposure time you need to still be taking it). Doxy also makes you very sensitive to the sun, so another thing to think about. (Though it's cheap.)
When biking for a few days in Cambodia, I didn't worry about trying to find some Gatorade variant, but just drank lots of bottled water and ate lots of Pringles, more for the salt than the potatoes. Traffic safety is a real concern, though, depending on how "rural" your area will be. I would not worry about swimming over there -- it's just too risky -- just add some yardage onto what you're doing while you're here and it'll all work out. For running, if there are British expats around, there's bound to be a "hasher" group that you can join. You'll get faster, and find the cheapest beers in town as a bonus. (If you don't know what hashing is, google "hash house harriers".)
Big picture advice is don't worry about training too much while you're over there. You'll have a month to cram when you get back, which is doable if your goal is to finish an Olympic. You'll be walking miles and miles and miles while over there, so it's not as if you'll be starting from square one again. The DC summer will seem like a cool refreshing spring. Just be safe, do good work, and have fun so we can hear the stories when you get back.
I don't want to be overly negative, but I'm not sure that training beyond basic fitness is a great idea for this trip. Maintaining training in Cleveland is very different than rural India! Between the air quality (the diesel fumes and airborne particulates are not friendly to breathing deeply), temperature (holy crap!), and personal safety issues (my running clothes have been called "dangerously inappropriate" in certain parts of the world) you might consider just maintaining an active life, which you most certainly will, and get back to focused training when you get home. Stay healthy, try to get out for a few runs, and worry about biking and swimming in DC.
Besides, as above, this means you can focus on your work and the experience guilt free! I'm sure there are a lot of triathlons in your future, don't sweat it! Have a great trip,
I can't say I'm not really surprised that no one suggested this - dry land training. Even if you can't get on a bike, strengthen your legs with lunges and squats, strengthen your core with planks, and increase your upper body strength with something as simple as push ups. You use all those parts of your body to swim, bike, and run, so why not make them stronger.
And if you don't have access to a pool, try to use some Thera bands or (even cheaper) an old bike tube as a ghetto Stretch Cords http://www.trisports.com/strecwitpad.html. And here's a quick 'how to' on the cords - http://www.byrn.org/gtips/swimcords.htm. Cut off the stem and tie the ends to make a couple loops for your hands. Wrap the middle of it around a doorknob and you're set. It's not a complete replacement for swimming, but it will help get your shoulders stronger and familiar with the swimming motion.
Hope this helps. Good luck!
Thanks for the great advice. I have my travel dates and location nailed down now so have been able to digest your comments.
I'm going to bring a jump rope and some running clothes and hope for the best.
@Trisha, it's true, I shouldn't worry so much, and will basically just jump back into more training when I get back.
@merlinkim Thanks! I hadn't thought about anti-malarials affecting training so much, and am looking into which I will take with me.
@Tuan, good point on it taking a while to get used to the heat. Since I'll be in a pretty rural area, I am less concerned about pollution, but still doubt running will be easy.
@Ed Thanks for that link. I have been reading her blog and it is really inspiring.
Thanks again all!
Oh, and thanks, @Jen_ your advice is what I needed in terms of basic things to do to keep up. Much appreciated!