ASK A COACH
TRAINING WHILE TRAVELING
Trying to do a long run on the same day as a five hour flight probably isn’t the best idea. Does that mean you should just skip that run if that’s what you have scheduled on travel day? Definitely not!
Communicate with your coach when you know you may have to miss a run or when something unexpected keeps you from sticking to your schedule. Not completing a workout in isn’t ideal, but progressing as if you did can be a recipe for disaster. Any good training plan is a working document, not something that’s carved in stone. Be totally honest and upfront with your coach in order to make sure your training moving forward is best suited to what you’ve actually done, not what was written on a piece of paper.
Don’t let a holiday be the reason you don't run. Enjoy this time with friends and family while still making sure that you’re working toward achieving your running goals.
If you’re more crunched for time than usual for your run, that can easily lead to slacking on core work or mobility exercises, which are essential to staying healthy. Even if you’re crunched for time rather than risking injury, try modifying your workout. I always tell my athletes I’d rather have them run for 5 minutes less and have time to stretch. That’s much more valuable than skipping supplementary work altogether. In the big scheme of a training cycle, one mile less isn’t likely to mean anything, but not taking the time to properly warm up could lead to an injury, and that is definitely a big deal. Injuries are physically and psychologically discouraging, and they can be big barriers that prevent you from reaching your goals.
Ernest Hemingway once said, “When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write.”
When it comes to running, the same can be true. It’s easy to fall into other people’s schedules if you wait around to do your run. Suddenly, friends want to meet up for lunch, kids want to go sledding, and Aunt Margaret needs you to run to the store and get butter for her cookies. By 3 p.m., the time you planned on doing your run, has come and gone, and dinner is on the table. If you subject yourself to other people’s schedules day after day, it’s likely that running is going to take a back seat.
Even if you are usually an afternoon or evening runner, while you’re traveling for the holidays, make running the first thing you do in the morning. Lay out your running shoes and outfit the night before as a reminder. If you want to make running a priority, this is a great way to ensure that you stick to your training.
Instead of letting your training cycle be totally interrupted, follow these tips for training through the holidays without missing a step.
As Mac Wilkins said in the movie Prefontaine: “I hate Christmas and Thanksgiving and Easter - anything that breaks my routine.” While hating holidays may be a bit extreme, it is true that dealing with travel around a holiday season can put a major hitch in your training routine.
Coach Alexander Lowe is a firm believer in doing all the little things it takes to stay healthy, whether it be strength work, flexibility exercise, or cross training. His goal is to ensure that every athlete he works with stays injury free.
If running is only a priority to the voice inside your head, then it might be easier to dismiss. Be sure to vocalize your training plan to those with whom you’re traveling. Let them know that it’s a major part of your life It isn’t rude or selfish to vocalize the importance of your training, rather, by communicating your training schedule to the people you travel with, you can be sure that your plans aren’t going to surprise anyone.
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