Best option away from bike?

Hello all! Hoping for some good guidance. I work a job that is based on an ‘on call’ rotation. We do environmental emergency response and will often find myself away from home (and my bike) for 1-3 weeks at a time. Taking the bike simply isnt an option.

What would be my best option while on the road to try to just maintain current fitness? Running i would assume, but longer efforts? Intervals? How many runs per week? Weight training? All the above?

We almost always have decent gyms in the places we stay, but usually no spin bikes unfortunately.

Maybe im over worrying about losing fitness in that time frame, but i feel like ive worked to hard for any gains and don’t want to let anything slip away just because of a silly thing like work!

Thanks in advance!

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Can you look into rentals when you are away on call?

If you have more than one bike, can you just have one always packed and then ship it to whatever location you are going to? You’ll miss a few days, but better than missing weeks on longer abscences.

I’ve always found rowing to be the next best thing. Seems to be a good cross over training effect, and assuming those gyms have rowers with power then you can just adapt your bike workouts (albeit your FTP will be a bit lower). Most half decent gyms have a concept 2 in the corner.

If you have access to any kind of indoor bike then a set of power meter pedals would be useful as well as would enable you to do some kind of meaningful structured training regardless of what kind of bike it was.


Most of the places we end up are in areas with no bike rental opportunities. That definitely crossed my mind though! As for having one packed…we use a small company plane many times for emergencies and we are typically so loaded down with testing equipment that they end up having to ship our long stay luggage to us.

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That was what I meant…have it shipped out. If they are shipping out your long-stay luggage, can you piggyback your bike into that?

Potentially could ship it…major problem would be getting it back honestly. We usually never know how long we will be on site. Could get the call on a Saturday night to be back on a plane sunday morning first thing which would leave no time to ship it back. Checking it not really an option bc it would likely be my 5 or 6th bag and start getting stupid expensive at that point.

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Packing running gear is easy and light…


Definitely running with some weights in the gym. Depending on how physically or mentally strenuous these emergency responses are you may want to limit the intensity. But running will let you get similar aerobic adaptations and at the very least will be a maintenance activity. It’s not perfect 1:1 and you may feel like you lost a bit when you get back to the bike but that would probably mostly be from muscle coordination and you’d get it back pretty quickly.

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Yeah, based on the restrictions you have, I think running is going to be your only option. Basically, adopt a triathlete mentality and use those away periods as “run focus” periods. You’ll lose some high-end power, but should be able to maintain your base fitness just fine.

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I always carry my running shoes and gear on ALL my trips…
Wife hates it, but I always run when not at home…
I would have run from the hospital when my kids were born, but my wife didnt let me.

Back when I was running, it was always a great way to see the cities / places I was staying in.

So embrace the opportunity, I guess and go discover areas where you are staying that you might otherwise miss!!


Exactly. I go on business trips a lot and even though there usually are some simple bikes in hotel gyms, I always have my running shoes ready to explore the city and upset local runners with stealing their segments :blush:


I always carry running shorts and shoes when I travel.

If you have access to a stationary bike, power pedals are an option. But I would still have my running stuff.

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Appreciate all the help!

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