On Sunday, I had the great pleasure to do my long run along side Elisabeth, a good friend of ours who is training for her first half marathon, The National Half in DC this March. While I won’t be down in DC with her the weekend of her half due to my half in NYC that weekend, it has been a blast to get her excited for the race.
It works out wonderfully that our half marathons happen to be the same weekend as it allows us to do our long runs together since our training plans are similar, at least in regards to weekend mileage.
During our run Liz asked me tons of questions that are normal for someone running their first half marathon. One of the best discussions we had during the run had to do with her upcoming tropical vacation to Hawaii. Like any person who is trying to follow their training plan, a vacation can cause lots of unnecessary stress. She was worried that she’d fall behind in the training plan and return not prepared for her race which at that point will be less than a month away.
My coaching to her was the same coaching and self pep-talk I’ve given to myself over the past few weeks as my training plan has been a difficult one to manage and navigate due to constant travel.
“Focus on activity while you’re traveling versus your normal training run and do your best to front load your training the week you’re leaving for vacation.”
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that every business trip or vacation means it’s time to abandon your training plan. Sometimes it’s even easier to stick to a training plan when away from home because you may have a more flexible schedule or easier access to a treadmill, gym, or scenic running path.
However, when traveling to somewhere like Hawaii where there are many hills, humidity, narrow roads, and so many other activities to enjoy such as hiking to the top of volcanoes, surfing, and paddle boarding those type of things make sense to take priority. It took me a while to learn this lesson but even when training for a half marathon or marathon the #1 priority is to make sure you’re enjoying life and enjoying the process. If a training plan ever causes more stress than good it’s rare that you’ll stick with the plan and succeed.
Life is about balance.
Therefore, my training plan this week is also a bit altered in anticipation of my week long trip to Geneva, Switzerland beginning Thursday.
Sunday: 8 miles with Liz
Monday: Barry’s Bootcamp at 5am (arms and abs)
Tuesday: Barry’s Bootcamp at 5am (legs and shoulders)
Wednesday: 5 miles outside
Thursday: 8-9 mile early morning long run (anyone care to join me?)
Friday: rest day
Saturday: Skiing and attempting not to die in the Alps
Sunday: Skiing and attempting not to die part 2 in the Alps
So while my schedule is a bit front loaded, I was able to squeeze in 2 hard workouts at Barry’s before our National Sales Meeting began today and feel better about both my emotional and physical state this week.
Life is all about being flexible and balancing the things we need to do and want to do.
How about you? Do you take a similar approach when traveling?