Travelling can be a nuisance when you're an athlete. It can get in the way of getting the rest you need, mess up eating patterns and your diet, as well as disrupting workout days. This previous weekend was one of the busiest I have had in quite some time.
Friday evening I was wrestling in North Shields, got home at 1am. Woke up at 4:30am to be taken to Manchester airport. Flew out to Paris. Taken to Montereau, wrestled, back to Paris for 3am. Up at 6:45am, flew to Glasgow at 9:45am, got to my hotel for 3pm. Slept for an hour. Wrestled that night, back to the hotel for midnight and finally got a good nights sleep. As I write this I am on my 5 hour train journey back home.
Literally a nightmare when schedules are like this. I deal with busy summers, but in the UK, where I know I can get to gyms. Friday and Saturday were fine in regards to eating correctly as I could pack food. However Sunday and Monday see the diet suffering as you can only get what is accessible in shops (especially when you're being conscious about how much you spend).
That said in living this lifestyle for over a decade I have picked up a few tips that may prove helpful to anyone in these circumstances:
- Don't totally write off your diet. It is going to be tough and you will most likely have to cheat on your diet. But this doesn't mean you have to go nuts and just eat whatever you like. Be smart. If ever a day that you track your macros is needed these are them. If you try your very best to still eat every 2-3 hours and keep it within your macro range, the day is not that bad of a cheat on your diet.
- Prepare for this. If you know you have a busy schedule where the diet may take a hit, swap your cheat meals. Take one out. For example, perhaps every Sunday you give yourself a cheat meal. But you know next Sunday you're travelling is going to stand in the way of eating well, then cut out that cheat meal and do the same the following week. Give it at least ten days before and after. This also applies to your training days.
- Beware of protein bars. Protein bars can be really helpful when on the go. However, don't replace actual meals with these. They are snacks. Nothing more. I'm a huge advocate of eating REAL FOOD! As much as I enjoy a carb killer, I will never have it in replacement of an actual meal. I'll have it as a dessert to supplement the meal or as a light snack between meals (perhaps whilst transferring trains/planes) Ask any professional bodybuilder or athlete and they will tell you that real food is always best.
9/10 times you'd be best off with a pack of Tesco chicken and a salad (or pasta salad depending on your goals/training) than having a protein bar.
- Lastly, working out. I'm fortunate that my career demands me to be performing in a physical capacity, that allows me to still burn calories and use my muscles. However travelling may sometimes just be that, travelling with no outlet for exercise. If you have the time, try track down a gym. Failing that, they are plenty of videos on YouTube that give you free at home workouts. Or be smart, use your brain and create your own body weight workouts. They may only be 20 minutes but those 20 minutes count.
Until next time!