Maintaining Fitness When Away from the Gym

These aren't limited to hotels. If you find yourself out of town during holidays, traveling for work, or snowed in, here are two options you can do from just about anywhere.

do all thingswith love.png

If there's one thing that sums up my approach to training, it's that I'm always trying to get as much benefit out of as little time as possible. 

That is especially true during the holidays, vacationing, traveling, or anytime I'm out of the normal routine.

So when asked about what to do while traveling, my advice is always to keep it short and simple.

....that means short, high-intensity exercises you can do with no equipment, in very little time.

The benefits of high intensity interval training (HIIT) are well-documented. For all of my clients who aren't bodybuilders, HIIT maintains that ideal ratio of strength and muscle mass. Plus, it's quick! In the examples below, we're talking just 4-8 minutes. 

So before stepping out to that holiday cocktail party, put some headphones on bust out one of these workouts. You'll maintain that fitness you've been working so hard for. 


8-minute Circuit

This is a high-intensity circuit program lifted from the May 2013 issue of the ACSM Health & Fitness Journal, in which a pair of researchers designed, tested, and refined a seven-minute workout to maintain strength and muscle in as little time as possible. 

Do each exercise with your bodyweight for 30 seconds, with 10 seconds rest in between:

  • jumping jacks
  • wall sit
  • push-ups
  • crunches
  • step-ups
  • squats
  • dips 
  • planks
  • running in place with high knees
  • reverse lunges
  • T-pushups
  • tabletop

4-minute Tabata

This one comes courtesy of Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo. It's another form of HIIT, designed to improve muscle endurance while simultaneously increasing aerobic capacity. 

Your exercise choices include any one or combination of:

  • burpees
  • mountain climbers
  • jumping jacks
  • kettle bell swings
  • body squats
  • running
  • indoor cycling
  • rowing

Pick one of the above exercises, whatever is convenient and available. Go for 20 seconds HARD, followed by 10 seconds of full rest. Repeat for a total of 4 minutes. That means you'll have time for eight intervals. Open a window or turn on a fan. You will be sweating.


Four things amateurs do to kill progress

Winter is strength training time. And we want to make our time in the gym count. We're not gym rats. We prefer wide open vistas and the thrill of our sport. So let's get in the gym, get out, and get every possible benefit from the time we spent there.

Here are the most common ways people sabotage their training, essentially cancelling the effects of their hard work in the gym:

  • not getting enough sleep, especially after hard training days
  • not drinking enough water during the day, or drinking too much caffeine and alcohol
  • not eating enough protein within 30 minutes of completing a workout, or loading up with too much fat and sugar during the day
  • suffering from too much stress, usually at work, home, or a combination of both

Managing stress, eating well, and rest. It's really pretty simple.  These are things that cost nothing extra, have the most impact on your ability to recover from intense exercise, build muscle, and boost performance.

Sleep

The key to a good night's rest these days is getting away from a screen before bed. Put the phone down. Put the tablet away. Limit your TV time. The blue light from LEDs and computer screens is throwing off your circadian rhythm. If you absolutely must be in front of a screen in the evening:

  • Install f.lux on your computer to dim the screen at night (it's free at justgetflux.com
  • Use computer glasses that block blue light. The best bang for your buck are made by Gunnar Optiks. Unlike others, they provide a small amount of magnification, the lenses are really high quality, and cost about $55. Claim them as a work expense.
  • Set a timer so you're giving your eyes a break every 20 or 30 minutes.

Post workout recovery meal

Within 30 minutes of finishing a hard workout, consume a post-workout recovery meal. We're shooting for at least a 1:4 ratio of protein to carbs. Err on the side of more protein.

If your workout is in the evening, you might need a snack or light meal after work, before the workout so you're not in the red zone on your last set of lunges...then another light meal within 30 minutes of finishing the workout. This is your post-workout recovery meal. Plan ahead so it's ready to go, or available nearby.

If you're traveling, short on time, or just can't be bothered to sit down and eat within 30 minutes of a workout, then at least get a recovery drink. This is a portable, low fat, high protein, powdered drink mix you can take anywhere. It will never spoil or explode in your backpack, and will hold you off until you get a real meal. Most importantly, it provides the essential protein within that crucial 30-minute window. 

Lots of options available. I prefer Cliff Recovery Protein Mix, in chocolate.

If you're looking for the lowest price, I saved you the trouble and included links below. Using these links costs nothing extra, and helps support Rolla.

 

Find Your Greatness: A live presentation with Casey LaFran

Somehow we've come to believe greatness is reserved for the chosen, the ones who were born with it. The truth is greatness is for all of us.

Join me for a quick, intimate look at who I am, what I do, and why a coach can make such a difference in your ability to excel in sport, recreation, and wellness.

When: Tuesday, October 3rd, at 7 a.m.

Where: Westlake neighborhood, see map below

More info: Hit contact below and give me your contact info for all the details

Doors open at 6:45 a.m. and we start promptly 7:00 a.m.

Contact me using the button below for your free invite, no later than October 1st.

Location

 

Weather looks good for a group ride tomorrow!

Spring is here!


Several of you training for the Seven Hills of Kirkland and events like STP this summer, join us for a gorgeous ride  around the Cedar River. Details below. As usual, bring food, water, and everything needed to fix a flat. 

Pace will be determined by who shows up. We'll make sure everyone has someone to ride with.

Options -  distances up to 40 miles

94a34ab3-532e-4821-98a7-24bd9dae3dad (1).jpg

The full loop is 40 miles. Anyone preferring a shorter 25-30 mile ride can stay on the Cedar river trail and do a simple out and back. 

Route: Interactive map CLICK HERE

Start & Finish location: Gene Coulon Park in Renton.

Plenty of parking and restrooms available at the park. Meet by the restrooms.

Address: 1201 Lake Washington Blvd N, Renton, WA 98056

Date: SATURDAY May 6

Arrive at: 7:45 a.m.

Wheels roll:  8:00 a.m. 

Ride distance: up to 40 miles with some hills

Pace: 16-17 mph

Forecast: partly cloudy, dry

Group Ride this Saturday!

Gorgeous weather. Scenic Roads. 


Get ready for a beautiful ride to kick start your weekend. We'll gather at Gene Coulon Park from 8-8:30 a.m. Wheels roll at 8:30. You'll have two options: an easy 25 miler, or the hilly 42-mile route. Bring food, water, and everything needed to fix a flat.

This Saturday we'll take a scenic ride along the Cedar River, with the option of tackling several hills on a longer, harder route.

 

Two Options this Saturday -  25 or 42 miles

 

1) Light Option: 25 miles

This is a simple out-and-back along a scenic bike trail. 

Route: Interactive map CLICK HERE
 

2) Hilly Option: 42 miles

The long loop goes through Hobart and Issaquah. Several hills will get the heart rate up.

Route: Interactive map CLICK HERE
 

Start & Finish location

Gene Coulon Park in Renton.
Plenty of parking and restrooms available at the park. Meet by the restrooms.

Address: 1201 Lake Washington Blvd N, Renton, WA 98056

Start time: SATURDAY June 4th - 8:30

Ride distance: 25 or 42 miles

Pace: moderate

Cost: free

Group ride tomorrow - 45 miles of hills and probably some spring showers

Club Ride this Saturday!  45 miles with some spring showers and hills.  HEAVY rain cancels.

Meet us at the Starbucks at Leschi for a group ride through Cedar River and Issaquah.

Make sure you have everything needed to fix a flat and your bike is tuned up. Bring food, water, and layers for the rain. Fenders are strongly encouraged but not mandatory.

Date: Saturday May 21

Meet time: 8:30 a.m. Wheels roll at 8:45.

Start & Finish location: Leschi Starbucks

Address: 121 Lakeside Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

Route: Interactive map CLICK HERE 

Ride distance: 45 miles hilly

Pace: moderate

Cost: Free

Cooler days, and time to ride! Sunday - 36 miles with plenty of hills.

Club Ride this Sunday!  36 miles

Join us for a 36 mile jaunt around Lake Washington and Issaquah. Plenty of shade and cooler temps on Sunday!

 

Meet us at the Starbucks at Leschi. Get there by 8 a.m. and we'll roll out shortly after. Bring food, water, sunglasses, and everything needed to fix a flat.

22cd74d7-2922-455e-9b49-374841383875 (1).jpg

Date: Sunday August 28

Meet time: 8:00 a.m. Wheels roll shortly after 8.

Start & Finish location: Leschi Starbucks

Address: 121 Lakeside Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

Route: Interactive map CLICK HERE 

Ride distance: 36 miles with some hills

Pace: moderate

Cost: Free

Sunday fun day! Cooler temps and plenty of shade on this ride, click for more info.

Club Ride this Sunday!  36 miles

Join us for a 36 mile jaunt around Lake Washington and Issaquah. Plenty of shade and cooler temps on Sunday!

 

Meet us at the Starbucks at Leschi. Get there by 8 a.m. and we'll roll out shortly after. Bring food, water, sunglasses, and everything needed to fix a flat.

22cd74d7-2922-455e-9b49-374841383875.jpg

Date: Sunday August 21

Meet time: 8:00 a.m. Wheels roll shortly after 8.

Start & Finish location: Leschi Starbucks

Address: 121 Lakeside Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

Route: Interactive map CLICK HERE 

Ride distance: 36 miles with some hills

Pace: moderate

Cost: Free

Club Ride SUNDAY - up to 40 miles

Meet us at All-City Coffee in Georgetown for a cup of java before a gorgeous 40-mile ride along the Interurban Trail and Green River. Get there by 8 a.m. and we'll roll out shortly after.

0ad138ac-916d-41f3-9205-14c83dd7e34c.jpg

 

Options

This ride can be shortened to any distance you're comfortable with. Riding the full distance makes it 38 miles round trip. Feel free to turnaround early and trace your same route back for a shorter ride.

Date: Sunday June 26

Meet time: 8:00 a.m. Wheels roll shortly after 8.

Start & Finish location: All-City Coffee in Georgetown

Address: 1205 S Vale St, Seattle, WA 98108

Route: Interactive map CLICK HERE 

Ride distance: up to 40 miles - flat

Pace: brisk

Cost: Free

Hilly 40 mile ride this Sunday

Time for some hills!

94a34ab3-532e-4821-98a7-24bd9dae3dad.jpg


Several of you training for STP and other events this summer, join us this Sunday for a hilly training ride down around the Cedar River. We'll meet at 8:00 AM at Gene Coulon Park. As usual, bring food, water, and everything needed to fix a flat. 

Pace will be determined by who shows up. We'll regroup at the tops of hills and split into two groups after the warmup.

Options -  distances up to 40 miles

The full loop is 40 miles. Anyone preferring a shorter 25-30 mile ride can stay on the Cedar river trail and do a simple out and back. 

Route: Interactive map CLICK HERE

Start & Finish location: Gene Coulon Park in Renton.

Plenty of parking and restrooms available at the park. Meet by the restrooms.

Address: 1201 Lake Washington Blvd N, Renton, WA 98056

Start time: Sunday July 10th at 8:00 a.m. 

Ride distance: up to 40 miles with several hills

Club Ride Saturday - 26 or 40 miles hilly

Gorgeous ride with some rolling hills around Mercer Island and Lake Washington

1bf9b026-3351-49e1-abab-164de00c395b.jpg

 

Meet us at the Audubon Center in Seward Park, next to the restrooms. Get there by 8 a.m. and we'll roll out shortly after. Bring food, water, sunglasses, and everything needed to fix a flat.

OPTION 1 - Riding the full distance makes it 40 miles with several rolling hills around Mercer Island.

OPTION 2 - Take the shortcut across Mercer Island and you've got a 26 mile ride with only a few hills.

Date: Saturday July 2nd

Meet time: 8:00 a.m. Wheels roll shortly after 8.

Start & Finish location: Audubon Center in Seward Park.

Address: 5902 Lake Washington Blvd S, Seattle, WA 98118

Route: Interactive map CLICK HERE 

Ride distance: 26 or 40 miles hilly

Pace: moderate

Cost: Free

Club Ride SATURDAY - 20 miles technical skills practice

Father's Day ride and skills practice

Join us for a shorter ride on Sunday, and a chance to practice some handling skills on a short loop we'll do near Seward Park

Meet us at the Audubon Center in Seward Park, next to the restrooms. Get there with enough time to be ready to roll by 8 a.m. 

Date: Sunday June 19th

Meet time:  Wheels roll at 8.

Start & Finish location: Audubon Center in Seward Park.

Address: 5902 Lake Washington Blvd S, Seattle, WA 98118

Ride distance: 20 miles approx.

Pace: mixed

Cost: Free

Club Ride Sunday - 26 or 40 miles hilly!

Club Ride this Sunday!  26 or 40 miles

Meet us at the Audubon Center in Seward Park, next to the restrooms. Get there by 8 a.m. and we'll roll out shortly after.

OPTION 1 - Riding the full distance makes it 40 miles with several rolling hills around Mercer Island.

OPTION 2 - Take the shortcut across Mercer Island and you've got a 26 mile ride with only a few hills.

Date: Sunday May 8th

Meet time: 8:00 a.m. Wheels roll shortly after 8.

Start & Finish location: Audubon Center in Seward Park.

Address: 5902 Lake Washington Blvd S, Seattle, WA 98118

Route: Interactive map CLICK HERE 

Ride distance: 26 or 40 miles hilly

Pace: moderate

Cost: Free

How to buy cycling apparel

Padded shorts have come a long way! The latest chamois more closely  conforms to the body. Bib shorts use shoulder straps (worn under the jersey) to hold the chamois firmly in place. This reduces friction, sag, and the dreaded padded diaper look. Expect to pay for it though. A good pair of bib shorts might cost $100, but the difference in comfort, cooling, and confidence is worth it.

Read More

Club Ride Sunday - 45 miles

Meet us at Tully's on Mercer Island for some speed play. All abilities welcome. Options include 13, 27, or 40 miles of rolling terrain.

Date: Sunday July 17

Meet time: 8:30 a.m. Wheels roll at 8:45.

Start & Finish location: Tully's on Mercer Island

Address: 7810 SE 27th St, Mercer Island, WA 98040

Route: Interactive map CLICK HERE 

Ride distance: Options for 13, 27, or 40 miles

Cost: Free

As always, make sure you have food, water, everything needed to fix a flat, and your bike is tuned, ready to ride.