How Cyclists Can Avoid Losing Fitness While Traveling

Training interruptions do happen and typically
they’re inspired by things like travel, vacations, visits from family members — whatever;
something’s going to pull you away from your training. And at that time it’s nice to remind yourself
that you’re not going to lose a lot of fitness over something as short as 7, 8, even 10 days. In the case of traveling, you have really
a few options. Ideally you can bring your bike and your trainer. Otherwise, a pedal-based power meter is pretty
easily installed on a gym bike in a hotel gym. And then alternatively, if you don’t have
that pedal-based power system you can simply use the gym bike and use RPE, or your perceived
exertion. When it comes to travel bringing your bike
and trainer, if you’re looking for something that’s collapsible and compact, Feedback
Sports makes kind of a mini set of rollers called The Omnium which is super portable,
and actually a really well-built trainer. In the case of bringing pedals and attaching
them to a gym bike, obviously you’re going to need a pedal wrench, or a hex wrench depending
on the types of pedals and a bit of elbow grease. It’s not a bad idea to make note of what
your bike fit dimensions are in terms of reach to the bars and saddle height so that you
can recreate that on the gym bike. For those riders who are constricted to training
with RPE, they don’t have power data, overtime the more power-based training you do the more
informed you become and the easier it is to tie rate of perceived exertion to actual power
output. When you have to travel in the midst of a
training plan, you’ll have to decide whether or not you’re going to try and follow your
plan on vacation or whether you’re going to table it until your return. In either case, if you can train over the
course of the trip, all you’re looking for is maintenance. Nobody goes on vacation or a business trip
and expects to actually increase fitness. We’re simply looking to maintain the fitness
that we had prior to that trip. In the case that the trip doesn’t allow
you to train at all, just recognize that you’re only going to lose so much fitness over the
course of a week to ten days. And there is a lot of science to back up that
the amount of fitness is actually negligible; at least in terms of aerobic capacity and
strength, the things that take a long time to build also take a long time to lose. And then when you return from travel, depending
on what sort of departure you faced from your training, if you couldn’t train at all versus
if you maintained a certain amount of training, you kind of have to ease yourself back into
it. So a total departure from training where you
did very little if anything on the bike means you’re probably going to take it easy for
a day or two, before you jump back into the high-intensity stuff. Whereas if you got in a couple workouts, including
high-intensity, you can probably resume your training exactly where you left off. And when it comes to trying to strictly adhere
to your plan while you’re traveling, just get okay with the fact that you’re not going
to be able to perfectly follow your plan, if you can follow it all. Again, it’s a matter of fitness maintenance,
not fitness improvement. You can pick your plan up when you return.

8 thoughts on “How Cyclists Can Avoid Losing Fitness While Traveling

  1. Also, other options might include walking instead of driving, stairs instead of elevators, training by HR, hiking, and the gym.

  2. Any reason you're using a lightning adapter and ANT+ key at 1:10, rather than using Bluetooth for the Garmin Vector 3's?

  3. Yea, traveling for work in the middle of a training period can be rough. My trips are generally overseas and those stationary bikes in hotels are just awful. I've found the best thing I can do is cycling specific yoga, stretching, maybe some weight work for the core. I try to shift focus to something else and I've never found that my performance on the bike has suffered at all. Yes, the first week back might feel a little rough, but after that I'm right back to where I was.

  4. Love the idea to bring your own power meter pedals to a hotel bike. Keep in mind you'll need a pedal wrench AND TSA won't let you take any metal tool longer than 7" through security… so you'd have to check a bag with your pedal wrench.

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