Suffering for the Professional Traveler

I have a job that requires me to travel up to 17 days per month, in stretches of 3-6 days at a time. When I’m home, however, I’m completely home: no desk work, nothing to do but train and catch up on honey-dos. My schedule changes month-to-month, so I can’t build a three-month plan that accounts, in advance, for dates and lengths of trips.

To adapt to this, I shift Sufferfest bike workouts off of my “trip days.” This loads me up on the days I’m home. When I’m on the road, I do the yoga (nearly every day), run, and lift in hotel gyms using an app called Fitbod (I really like Fitbod. It builds workouts based on muscle fatigue and the equipment I tell it exists in a given gym.).

For the collective, and especially the coaches, is this the right approach? Should I, instead, simply ignore the on-bike workouts scheduled for my travel days (instead of moving them) and accept that I’ll always complete roughly half of a given plan?

Goals: on KoS training plan now. Cycling partly for general health and fitness, but mostly because I simply enjoy riding bikes. I will probably never enter a race; I ride a Long Haul Trucker with panniers and I’m not aware of any races that would encourage me to dismount and snap photos when something catches my eye.


Could be an interesting new cycling discipline: your final time is discounted by the quality of photos you collect along the way…


Disclaimer - I am not a coach.

I would be careful about doubling up workouts when you shift workouts you’ve missed to the days you are home. It’s probably reasonable to move the key workouts to the days you can do them, and delete others. But there will be a limit to how many hard workouts you can do in a row and still get reasonable training benefit without risking fatigue or injury.


Nice! I think Robert Gesink would probably dominate the peloton in this event:

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Or a variant of cyclo-cross where you put your bike on your back and take pictures as you go.


I’m quite interested in this question as well. I think our jobs might be quite similar. But what I tend to do is move harder workouts to my off days, and “easier” rides on the days I’m in the hotel. And I try to do them on the bicycles in the hotel gym’s. Probably not the same but I tend to think I do the workout adhering to the general idea behind it. But then again jetlag often gets the best of me and I do not meet the targets, or I skip them altogether. Although for now I have to admit trips are very very few and far in between.

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I have actually found that exercise helps overcome jet lag, but even in my case I do not have an overwhelming sample size.

When I travel for work or play, I take my planned activities into account. If it’s a long trip, I’ll just take my bike along (a lot of airlines now categorize bikes as “sports equipment” like golf clubs rather than “oversized”). Mostly, though, I ensure there’s a gym at the hotel and I call to ask them what they’ve got. I’ve got The Sufferfest app on my iPad and if the on-site equipment doesn’t have a Watt meter, Ijust go by heartrate and perceived effort. I’ve also found Sufferlandrian embassies and other spin studios.

But really, just try to match the effort with the workout. I’ve totally substituted treadmill and supersets for Revolver, much to the horror of my fellow business-class gym rats.

The kind of racing I think you’re looking for aren’t UCI-sanctioned. Brevets and endurance gravel events often reward “most fun”. In one race, a friend and I took some time off the bike to just hang out in a field to look at the stars. When we finished, she was the official Winner of the race. She didn’t come in first, but she got the most out of it and exemplified the spirit of the event.


Where did you find an embassy?
The relevant web page from the gives a 404 error:

Aha. Given the fact that I haven’t traveled in about a year and a half and they were already winding down the program, I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that they’ve recalled all the embassies.

Kinda a cycling biathlon.

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Since you’re not interested in racing, I wouldn’t stress about it too much. I don’t see any harm in rescheduling most of your cycling workouts to be done at home, but if you feel like it takes a couple of rides to get back into the rhythm of cycling when you get home, then I’d try to get one short to moderate aerobic ride in while you’re traveling, just for maintenance/consistency sake and to keep the legs in the cycling rhythm. If you feel ok doing what you’re doing, then probably not much reason to change things.


Fantastic. Thanks for the advice, Coach.