Life is about balance. How often do we hear this? While a bit cliché, it holds a lot of truth. Many of you maintain a full-time job, balancing family, other commitments and often times work travel. Toss into the mix us coaches nagging you to ‘get your workout in’ on top of it all, and it can feel fairly overwhelming. While you likely find you have a rhythm and routine when at home, travel is the one factor that can throw a wrench into it all. Yet, it is something most of you cannot avoid with that whole (job) thing. So how do we maintain our sanity and some sort of exercise routine when on the road? Plain and simple – revert to running. You need almost no gear (shoes, shorts, t-shirt), and you can do it almost anywhere; if stuck in a city that isn’t friendly for running, take advantage of the fitness room treadmill. Even if you’re a cyclist, it may be what you ‘can do’ to maintain your fitness while on the road.

On this note, I wanted to toss out 4 simple run workouts that you can take with you on your next trip, wherever your travels may take you.

The Negative Split

This is one of my favorites. As it sounds, the goal is simply to do the second half faster and/or stronger than the first half. You can do this on the treadmill or if outside, an out and back works well. It works for any duration; 30 minutes or 1-hour. Take note of how long you have, and start your watch. Warmup and build into the first half. When you hit mid-run, pick up your pace. The goal is simple, to negative split the run. If on the treadmill, it’s easy; bump down your pace progressively the final half. If outside, simply push yourself as you feel on the day over the final half. This not only gets in a quality workout, but if you are a runner or a triathlete, it helps drive home to you the importance of pacing, and making you stronger over the final stretch.

The Interval Run

This is a fun workout because you can select what you want to do, or need to do, based on your specialty and training focus. Get in a sufficient warmup, then move into a set of intervals. Maybe this is 10×1 min hard with 1 minute easy, or perhaps 5×2 minutes strong with 2 minutes recovery. You can get creative and go with what feels right on the day. If you are on the treadmill, break up your workout by mileage. One suggestion: Warmup sufficiently, then alternate .25 mile ‘fast’ with .25 mile ‘easy’. You can progress your ‘fast’ pace with each round. The goal of this workout is that instead of ‘just running’, you can toss some quality into the run and not only will it make you stronger, it will make the time go faster.

The Hill Run

Does your work trip take you to Seattle? San Francisco? Not a problem! Take advantage of the terrain, especially if you are a flat-lander! Hills are a great way to work on strength, but also add in some intensity without thinking about it. You can opt to choose a hilly route, or if you are feeling the need for something harder, consider doing hill intervals. This workout can consist of a warmup followed by anything from 30 seconds to 2 minutes in duration (depending on the hill and your motivation), followed by an easy jog back to the bottom for recovery. If you are a less experienced runner, keep it conservative; maybe 4-6 x 20-40 seconds ‘up’ with descent as recovery. Depending on the grade of the hill, you can adjust your intensity. Make the challenge more fun by gauging where you start and finish your first effort, and trying to get a little further with each one. Disclaimer: If this is new to you, expect to be sore! But of course, ‘it’s a good sore’.

The Explore Run

This may be precisely what you need if you’re tired, stressed out, and want to shut your brain off and move. Just go and explore. Find a path, a trail, if it is all you have the good old pavement; and get your legs moving. *Good to note, if you aren’t a runner, the Explore Run can easily be converted to the Explore Walk, especially if you are feeling fatigued from travel and work.* Just keep track of the turns you’re making if in an unfamiliar location! We often say to our athletes “something is better than nothing” and The Explore Run (or Walk) drives home this point. Even if you only have 20 minutes, try to get outside, breathe some fresh air and move your body. I guarantee you, even if you weren’t able to ‘check off’ the boxes of the prescribed workout, your body and your mind will feel better for having done this.

So there you have it. Life will happen. Missed workouts will happen. Travel, inevitably, will happen. It’s all good. If you are feeling the need to get some movement in after sitting in planes and through meetings, take it upon yourself to get up and go. Whether it’s hard, or easy; hilly, or flat; on a moving belt, or on a beautiful trail; there are options, if you take advantage of what you’ve got and make it happen.