Training for an Ironman shouldn’t dominate your life. It should be a priority, but it doesn’t need to be all encompassing. I’m in Italy for the next two weeks vacationing with family. It’s not ideal in terms of timing with Ironman Mont Tremblant less than 10 weeks away, however there are ways I’m incorporating my training into the trip so I can maintain my fitness in this final lead up to the race.
Workout early, travel later
Scheduling a flight in the afternoon or evening allows you to get a workout in prior to departure. I was able to get a solid brick workout in before heading to the airport. In the past we’d schedule flights first thing in the morning, essentially eliminating any chance I’d be exercising that day.
With the later departure you can stick to your routine.
Schedule a rest week
Planning a rest/recovery week while you’re away is another great way to be successful in vacation. The lighter week means you’re not spending hours away from your company and you can toss in some full days off too without feeling like you’re missing workouts.
This is a low stress strategy and one that provides the most flexibility.
Research / Plan training around activities
Training while out of town takes some planning. Finding a local YMCA or fitness center is a quick google search away. Running you can do anywhere for the most part too. The cycling could be a bit trickier though, especially if you’re not traveling with your bike.
Search around, you’ll most likely find some rental options or even guided cycling trips so when you do set out for an afternoon workout you’re taking full advantage.
I found a road bike rental and tour in Lucca, Italy. It was reasonably priced and will provide more exploring of the Italian countryside and to see sites I otherwise wouldn’t have.
Find opportunities for success
Believe it or not, walking or hiking is an excellent cross-training activity for triathletes. Much like the cycling tour mentioned above, hiking trails are great for exploring while also putting some fatigue into your legs.
You can also pack a surfboard ankle strap and tie the end off outside the pool at the hotel or elsewhere if a YMCA isn’t nearby. This is a convenient way to practice in a pool that might not be 25 yards long.
Most importantly, be flexible. Allowing yourself time to fit in a workout is key, but it might not happen each day or in the way you envisioned. That’s OK! Remember, training doesn’t need to impede your ability to travel and spend time with family and friends.