Working out on tour. Training for an Ironman whilst on tour!


It’s officially summer! The guns are out, and if you’re British, the pale skin is also out!! I digress. Summer always brings more motivation for working out, everyone wants the summer beach body. It’s definitely inspiring seeing everyone out and about in the sun, running or cycling, etc. But how do we stay fit when we are on tour?

In 2018 I managed to train for a half Ironman whilst being on tour. For those that don’t know, a half Ironman is a triathlon consisting of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride followed by a half marathon. I obviously didn’t come at this from scratch, I had been running quite a lot leading up to it but deciding to train for this knowing I was going to be on the road was quite the challenge. So how did I do it?

Running is obviously the easiest of the three to do on the road. If you really want to be fit or complete a training plan, that means getting up early and running before load in (usually the venues will be open before load in so you can shower), or maybe even a run post soundcheck. I’ve done this a couple of times and it is actually pretty nice!

Days off are the best… you can fit in a workout even with a lie-in! My best days off are those that begin with a late start, followed by a run that ends at a coffee shop and finding a healthy spot for dinner. I definitely feel fulfilled on those days!

Next up is cycling. This is definitely a challenge.. it’s not very easy to carry your bike on tour, although I have toured with crew who have brought fold-up bicycles and stored them under the bus. This is a great way to see every city, but you need a full-on road bike for my kind of training. That option was out the window. I happened to ask in a store about bike rentals in different cities and they told me about a company called Rapha. Rapha is a cycling brand that has a membership that allows you to rent really high-end road bikes in different cities all over the world at a discount. The stores are called “clubhouses” and are very sharp looking, most with cafes inside too! (When I joined they would give free coffee at each clubhouse, they’ve since revoked that perk! Boo!!). These clubhouses would pop up maybe every couple of weeks on tour, so I would make sure to take advantage and get some good rides in when I could. Aside from that, I would use a stationary bike in the gym. Definitely not as good, but better than nothing.

It turned out that the swim training is actually pretty easy to do. Most Ironman races are in open water (lakes, ocean, etc) but the reality is, most people train in a pool. Every major city has a pool, and generally, the venues or hotels aren’t that far away from them. Also in a pinch, a hotel pool will do… for a pre-lobby call workout. The bonus on tour is that if you’re staying in hotels, you’ll usually have access to a gym and sauna, etc. Great for strength training and recovery.

I managed to train enough to complete the half Ironman and had no injuries and even enjoyed it! There really is no excuse for not looking after your health on tour. If you’re interested in seeing some workouts I’ve done whilst on tour, you can follow my “not-so-secret” Instagram @rocknrolltriathlete

Next month I’ll discuss how to eat well on tour. Equally important to overall wellness.


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