Due to ongoing work commitments, I have found myself having to travel away from home for periods of time. A lot of people would use this as an eXcuse not to train; see if any of these eXcuses sound familiar:
‘I don’t want to have to pay to go to a new gym.’
‘I don’t know the area.’
‘I’m only away for a little while, I will get back into it when I get home.’
‘I don’t have anyone to train with.’
‘I don’t have any equipment to train with.’
How I Train to Stay Fit and Lean for Free
There is a huge variety of training sessions that you can do, that are free, that can be performed no matter where you are, that don’t need any equipment nor do they need to be performed with a training partner. Over time I will show you how I stay in shape by doing simple body-weight circuits in my hotel room, crossfit sessions at local kids playgrounds, HIIT sprint sessions at a beach or park or simple running sessions.
The free session that I chose to do today was a simple running session. Why? Well the place that I am staying is an area called the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. For those not from Australia, the Sunshine Coast is about 100km north of Brisbane, which is the capital city of Queensland. The Sunshine Coast is a huge tourist destination and is home to some of the best beaches in Australia. I am actually staying at a place called Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast, which is a beautiful scenic location. Hence my choice today was to go for a run along the ocean and look at the views.
When asking yourself if a free running session is a suitable session for you to perform, whether you away from home or not I think you need to answer one fundamental question. Do you like running? If your answer is no, then choose another training session to complete. My reasoning for this is why do something that you don’t enjoy. Obviously if you need to perform running training as part of a sport that you were competing in or you have recently signed up for a fun run, then you will need to include running as part of your training regime, however common sense would dictate that if you hated running then you probably wouldn’t be involved in a sport that included a large amount of running and you never would sign up for a fun run
If you answered yes to the question, as I did, then running, when used correctly can be an effective means to stripping off fat and increasing your cardiovascular fitness. When I say correctly, what I mean is that you running session should be in the form of interval training. I do not advocate long steady state cardio sessions for maintaining a lean muscular body.
To put it in simple terms, when you run for long periods of time (45mins and above), your body will burn fat as you body requires fuel and fat is a fuel source that it will use. But your body can also use muscle as a fuel source and guess what, if you run for extended periods of time your body will use muscle as a fuel source. Have a look at the Olympics and pick out which running athletes have the most muscular bodies, then have a look at the events that they compete in. I guarantee the events they compete in are sprint event and have a guess how they train, yep..HIIT.
How I Incorporate Interval Training Into My Running Sessions
Now my running session today was a constant run without rest. So how did I incorporate interval training into my running session today? I chose a route to run that had hills of various inclines and length. How is this interval training? Well the effort or work period of my run is getting up the hills, the rest or recovery is running down the hills. Think about last time you ran up a hill, my guess is you found it a bit of an effort, you may have also been breathing a little bit harder. Then when you get over the top of the hill and start on the decline, it is no longer an effort and you regain your breath. That is very basically one interval, you have a work period (getting up the hill), then a recovery period (getting down the hill). Repeat this cycle numerous times during a training session and you have an interval training session.
Before my running session I did 5 minutes of warming-up, which included dynamic stretching and a fast paced 100m walk from my hotel, to the point that I decided my run was going to start.
Not a bad effort, it only took 41mins of my day (5 minute warm-up + 36 minute run). It took me minimal pre-planning to decide what route I was going to run, to save on time I pre-planned that my run would start and finish about 100 meters from the entrance to my hotel. It cost me nothing, didn’t require a training partner, and the only essential equipment was a set of running shoes and comfortable clothes to run in.