Monday, February 8, 2010

Workouts and Eating on the Road

If there is somebody that travels as much as I know how hard it is to get a "quality" workout on the road. Lets face it, hotel gyms are NOT setup for the cyclist/triathlete...they are setup for the average Joe with treadmills, an elliptical trainer and maybe some dumbbells or universal weight machine. Even if hotels are setup adequately, their equipment is usually in disrepair or being monopolized by some FAT guy/gal walking 3 mph on the treadmill for an hour or so. So, what do you do? The first thing I ALWAYS do when I check in is to ask what their fitness center is equipped with...then I ask them if they have a deal with a local gym. Most of the time they have an agreement/membership with a local gym that is FREE to its hotel guests. Even if they don't, most gyms will only charge $5-10 for a guest fee...which is not so bad. At least if you go to a gym, there is a good chance you can sign-up for one of their spin sessions.

Ok, back to the hotel. If your hotel doesn't have an exercise bike..don't sweat it. Most of the bikes at hotels are, as I said, in disrepair anyway. And, most are recumbent bikes made by Life Fitness. Recumbent bikes are ok, but I don't think they develop your leg muscles as well as an upright bike does. Whether it's an upright bike or recumbent bike..most hotel bikes don't even have straps to hold your feet in. So, you can forget about doing intervals or any workout which requires a hard effort. This is another reason to seek out a local gym that has "spin" bikes with SPD pedals. Now suppose you're hotel doesn't have a bike, and there aren't any local gyms nearby. I like elliptical trainers. They give you a good cardio workout, you don't get the pounding like you do on a treadmill, and it's probably the next best machine to the stationary bike. Just make sure that the incline setting is set to work your quads and glutes..which is usually one of the highest incline settings. If your hotel doesn't even have an elliptical trainer..most ironically have indoor shallow which case you can get an awesome leg workout by FAST walking the perimeter. If your hotel has neither, (what kind of hotels are you staying at? haha) then I recommend you bring along a thera-band kit (or equivalent) and use that. Lastly, don't forget you can ALWAYS bring your bike along with you if you drive. It's no big deal to pack up your bike and trainer and throw it in the back of your car. I do! The hotels don't care. If you don't want to drag your bike up to your room, you can always workout on the indoor pool deck and store (and lock) your bike in a hotel closet/room. I just did this on my last trip.

As far as food is concerned...the best advice I can give you is: bring as much of your own as you can. Yes, I have a cooler in my car when I travel..mostly because I travel to Maryland and bring back some AWESOME crab cakes. But, on the outbound trip I usually stock it with Gatorade, Water, Quality Sandwich, Trail Mix, Fruit, Energy Bar, etc. BTW, DO NOT eat fast food on the's all crap. If you have to grab something on the road, stop at a Wawa. They have a good choice of sandwiches, drinks, energy bars, etc. to keep you going. Most have gas pumps so you can kill two birds with one stone. Plus, getting out of the car every so often is good for your back and keeps you awake/alert. Oh, don't forget your multi-vits for the trip. Travelling is stressful (especially driving w/ the morons on the road) and you don't want your immune system taking a nose dive w/ the combined exercise & stress.
Lastly, there is nothing wrong with stopping at an Olive Garden, Panera Bread, etc. for lunch or an Outback Steakhouse (or whatever) for dinner when you're on travel. Nothing like a high protein plate of Salmon, Sirloin and Veggies to treat yourself after a hard workout. If you MUST drink a beer (or two- no more) make it a Michelob Ultra or some other light/lo-carb beer. You really don't need the extra calories or carbs this time of year. For breakfast, you can't go wrong with cereal..and EVERY hotel at least offers that for FREE. Some even include a HOT breakfast. Do NOT skip's the most important meal of the day.
TRAVEL SAFE! Cheers Coach Rob

No comments: