Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Life on the Road

I spent the last five days in Las Vegas talking about HealthVault at the CES Silvers Summit.  It can be tough to get your training in while traveling but I have some rather lofty performance goals this year so I made my workouts a high priority.  I also worked with my coach to set up a schedule that would be manageable while on the road -- no bike workouts but a bunch of runs, plus swims in the hotel pool and some strength work at the hotel gym.  Here's a run-down of what I did:

Wed 7 Jan:
90-minute treadmill run in Redmond before heading to the airport.  Luckily my flight was just late enough in the day to make this possible without getting up ridiculously early.
* I wore compression socks on the airplane.  My friend Ben first recommended this to me before we went to Seoul, and I believe that he originally got the idea from Matt Dixon, who is now my coach.  Rather circular, eh? 
* 30-minute shake-out run on the Las Vegas Strip after checking into my hotel but before the keynote.  The legs were *heavy* and I didn't love the paved surface... but the people-watching in Vegas is second to none.

Thu 8 Jan:
* woke up early despite being out a bit late the night before ... well, late by Pro Triathlete standards, or by Redmond standards.  Rather early by Vegas standards.
* strength work, core work, a 30-minute build-up treadmill run and a yoga class at the hotel gym
* a busy day on the trade show floor
* easier 40-minute evening run with a co-worker.
* got to be *early* (before midnight!) and caught up a bit on sleep

Fri 9 Jan:
* late morning swim in the Venetian pool.  The hotel's web site said that the pool opened at 9am during the winter... but in person I learned that they open at 10am.  Of course this really meant 10:15, or whenever they feel like opening the doors...
* more trade show action
* evening 60-minute easy run.  I went off the Strip a bit b/c the crowds are just too dense on a Friday night. 

Sat 10 Jan:

* strength, core & treadmill at the hotel gym
* trade show, anyone?

Sun 11 Jan:

* swim session in the hotel pool. late afternoon flight home.
* a final session at the trade show

The workouts were a bit lighter on Sat & Sun so those days were a bit lower-stress than Wed-Thu-Fri.  Sort of the opposite of a week at home, when Sat & Sun are the high volume days!

Key Learnings:

  • There are a wide variety of hotel gyms out there.  The one at the Venetian was quite nice but it was uber-expensive.  You can't count on having a decent treadmill at your hotel gym but at least running is the easiest sport to do without equipment -- just bring your shoes and head outside!
  • Working out with a co-worker is fantastic!  You have a bit more accountability to actually get out there, you're on similar work/dinner/etc. schedules, you get some company... if you're ever traveling with co-workers, try to set up at least one workout session together.
  • Try to get to bed as early as possible when traveling for business.  This can be quite difficult at times (especially in Vegas, eh?) but you need to be conscious of it b/c you're usually pulling long days.
  • If you want to run the Strip in Vegas, you need to do so in the morning when *nobody* is out.  I knew this from past trips, I just selectively ignored it a bit this time around.

I have some other stories to tell about working out during business travel, but that should probably be another blog post -- getting lost in a not-so-great part of a big city, putting my wetsuit in my carry-on bag so that I could do an ocean swim in San Diego, signing up for a triathlon the day after a big business mtg and combining work and play a bit ...

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