Efficient training program for cyclist who travel for a living


I just finished my first year of road cycling with the L’etape Las Vegas this past weekend.

As a flight crew member I have found it tricky to keep in my workouts throughout the year given the unusual schedules and inconsistent access to TR compatible equipment.

Anyone out there has a traveling job out there have any good hacks for keeping a solid cycling training Program given the unique life situation of being on the road 50% of the time.

Many thanks!


I don’t but my tip would be to take power pedals with you and a spanner/hex key to apply to hotel exercise bikes.


This is something I’ve thought of.

I dont travel a TON, but I do go on work trips. I mean the easiest thing for me is adjusting my schedule. For example…I went to Boston this week for 3 days…I just put in a big weekend with a group ride where I pulled on the front Saturday, then got 4 hrs of endurance in Sun. Then just took Mon-Wed off the bike. I’m guessing that would not be realistic for you though.
The two others things I’ve thought about/done - just go into a gym. They all have excercise bikes. It’s not ideal, but just load up the workout on your phone and go off rpe or heart rate. I’ve done this…and the only real issue is heat…I had a swimming pool of sweat under me at the end of 60 minutes.

Other ideas I have not done, but have sort of committed to if my travel increases a bit - power meter pedals to slap on a gym bike, OR - folding Brompton bike with a power meter to take with you on flights (or brompton with PM pedals you can swap to a gym bike for indoor work. I think is probably the best possible solution).


Some decent info if you haven’t seen it yet:


Get a bike set up on the plane and take a new meaning to the Train High/ Sleep Low Mantra :hushed:

I dont travel myself, but if I couldn’t take a bike with me I’d do training sessions on an RPE basis. I don’t think I’d go to the hassle of swapping pedals. Ive saw on Farcebokes mates toing that then finding out the hotel gym bike’s pedals are stuck!

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A couple of ideas - take a long some power meter pedals as someone has suggested - that may be the easiest. Then, depending on your time off the plane and where you are, maybe invest in a Brompton folding bike.

If you have a regular set of destinations that you travel to you can probably figure out what type of equipment you would need to pack for each location. What cities do you normally fly too and how long is your typical layover?

I have 25+ years flying 121 and this is probably the most frustrating aspect about what we do that I can think of. To cut to the chase I highly recommend hiring a coach to help design, follow and amend a training program.

In the absence of a coach, I design an annual training plan using Training Peaks. After base I use training plans from a well known coach and import them onto TP once I start specialty/interval/race specific training. When I get each months schedule I spend time moving sessions around work. For base I try and ride 5x/week and hit TSS target to raise CTL. Once I switch to intervals I do no more than 2 interval sessions/week and fill the rest of the week with easy riding.

I don’t ride on the road. I use hotel time to recover as I do a lot of 3 day 2 duty period trailing red eyes. I get a good session the first day and an easy spin in the afternoon after I return from the red eye and wake up from nap #2.


If you can’t toss a Ritchey Breakaway on the plane, spin bike and pedals are your next best bet.

Are you flying to the same places? Maybe drag around a 4iiiii trainer (17lbs) and leave a few cheap bikes here and there. If you’re crafty, you can cut up a bikes frame and turn it into a crankset stand

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Interesting. I will be commuting starting this month so the foot print of my trips will be 4-5 days. I like the idea of getting it all Ina t home and resting on the road especially with what sounds like those flip flop redeye “3 day” pairings. Absolutely brutal but small ish foot print.

I’ll have to, at the very least, consult with someone to build a sensible plan to do with the lifestyle. I am senior enough to have pretty decent control over my schedule so I can be consistent.

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I’m traveling more for work now but most trips are one to two nights at a time. I rearrange my training to do endurance rides while staying in hotels. I do these based on HR and RPE, so no power pedals needed.

Peloton has a hotel finder, but most Hilton hotels have them. This is somewhat complicated by the recall, though. For me, the biggest challenge is lack of fan / cooling. I’ve toyed with bringing a six-inch clip on fan but that’s starting to seem excessive.

This past week I’ve been on the road since Monday but it coincided with a recovery week. While not restful, doing the endurance rides on hotel spin bikes worked.

For entertainment, YouTube channel BikeTheWorld has Peloton-like videos if that’s your jam. A tablet is a very convenient device for hanging over a peloton screen, setting up on the floor, running TR, etc.

Another option would be to get a gym membership at a nation-wide chain that offers 24/7 access. This would be more about having access to a spin bike, though.

Best of luck!

You might get some value out of this short podcast.

Just my two cents: people throw that power meter pedal recommendation around but I gave up after trying on a few trips and never really finding an exercise bike where the pedals hadn’t seized on. I mean I’m not a strong guy but that’s my experience.

As someone who spent 4 years in a job where I was on the road 60% of the time and now building my own company so also am gone 3 out fo 4 weeks, even if you have no interest in racing triathlon, run and swim on the road if you can. Gear is small and easy to pack and you can find routes on Strava and public pools in most places. Obviously it’s less specific, but for increasing your overall aerobic base, it gives you options


I travel every couple of weeks but usually to the same places. I have found hotels that have Peleton or spin bikes and then just try to mimic a planned ride as best I can. It is not perfect but does a work out and keeps some fitness. I think there is a market for hotel gyms to get decent training bikes and advertise appropriately, it is the deciding factor for me when travelling.

For sure. I will pedal using rpe and heart rate to guesstimate power zone etc but the inner geek will feel like I am not getting credit without the numbers lol

I would pay hood money to access a smart bike in the road for sure

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This guy’s a pilot and takes his bike.

Also consider spin studios where you travel to….most have “drop in” rates and don’t require a membership.

I usually grab a bike in the back and just do my own thing vs. the actual class.

Most of the hotels I stay at have either a peleton or spin bike of some kind. If not I can usually find a gym nearby with a spin bike. None of the equipment around though, talks to Garmin or other TR compatible app.

At the end of the day if I am just doing zone two base rides out in the road it really isn’t a big deal

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Good video but he says he’s only done it once, most of the vid is the reasons he doesn’t :slight_smile: