The Road to Vancouver – Part 4

Beer and treadmills in Europe and Asia.

Hello friends, it’s been a while.

I always thought that starting a new job with a heavy international travel component would make training for this Vancouver marathon a very different experience from last year, and so far this is very much proving to be the case.

Since I last updated the  blog, I’ve spent  eleven nights in Europe (Prague, then London), and I’m writing this particular update having just spent a week traveling to, and in Bangkok, where I spent a few days in the company of the Colliers team in Asia.

I’ve always enjoyed the international component of the various job roles I’ve had in the past. I like meeting colleagues / clients / partners face to face – I find it really helps from a relationship standpoint, it builds understanding and taking yourself out of your comfort zone into different cultures and situations certainly keeps you sharp.

That said – tearing myself away from my beautiful family is always a challenge and I’d also be the first to admit that dealing with jet-lag isn’t getting any easier. And then there’s the beer.

In London, going out for a couple of swifties after work is pretty standard, and with a combination of work dinners, a pub quiz and meeting up with old friends, there was more than a few opportunities to throw down a few scoops.

In Asia, well, it was a work conference, there was food , there was drink, whatchagonnado?

Treadmills is what you do.

Treadmills

I have to come clean here –I absolutely hate running on treadmills, primarily because it’s SO BORING. Plod, plod, plodplodplod….time seems to stand still, there is nothing to look at, it’s just rubbish. I know most gyms have TV’s attached to treadmills these days, but I for one just can’t watch TV when I’m running. It feels like if I’m concentrating on what’s on the box, I’m not trying hard enough – like those people who bring books to the gym and read them while they are stepping or cycling.

That said, I will acknowledge that treadmills have been the savior of my training program this past month.

In Prague, it was too snowy to go run outside – so the treadmill came in handy. In London – a combination of jet lag and schedule meant that I had to make the most of snatched opportunities in the hotel gym and Bangkok – well, let’s just say a combination of the 91 degree heat, humidity, traffic pollution and general weight of population on the streets had me wimping out in the hotel gym.

In between these two trips, I pleased to say I nailed a 40+ mile week back home, and I’ve just done the same this week.

It doesn’t change the fact that as I said at the top of this post that this training program has been the toughest to date. I know there are a few of you road warriors out there, so here are a couple of tips to keep you running on the business roadtrip.

  1. Pack your running gear. Sounds obvious, but you need to prioritize it and leave something else at home if space is tight in the suitcase. It’s easy to justify to yourself why you won’t have time – but a few days out of training on a business trip and it becomes easy to lose the plot on your training. Also, pack enough running gear. Hotel laundry prices always make me feel like I’m in the wrong business.
  2. PLAN. Factor in your runs to your itinerary. Make them a priority
  3. That said, grab the chance to run whenever you can. Business travel itineraries are an imperfect science, and if you are lucky, you often get impromptu opportunities to meet with colleagues, partners or clients, which you’d be foolish not to take. What that means for your running is you need to take whatever chance you get to get a run in.
  4. Don’t underestimate jet lag. If you are flying half way round the world, chances are you are going to feel it. Everyone reacts differently, but my best advice is to try and assimilate into your host time zone right away, and go for it from there.
  5. Be prepared to put in some make up time on the back end of the trip. Whatever your best intentions, there is a good chance you won’t have been able to have run as much as you wanted to when you were out, and you know full well that the course will not give a damn about that come race day.

I’m not going to update my running stats this post. Too much time has passed. Suffice to say, I’m sorta, kinda on track. I banged out a half decent 15 miler yesterday, after doing a quick 9 miles on Saturday, and as long as I continue to make progress on the weekly long runs, I’m going to feel good about life.

This week’s upside:

Spring is in the air. It’s been a bit chilly, but nice to see a bit of sun this weekend.

Low lights:

Consistently finding new places I forgot to apply BodyGlide. Ouch.

Playlist song of the week:

With all this traveling I’ve been doing, how about Oasis and “Up in the Sky”?.  I defy anyone not to run quicker listening to this classic. Turn UP the Volume.

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