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Ben Rudson: Locals know best

In his new column, high performance age-grouper and full-time consultant Ben Rudson shares his tips and tricks for balancing training with the demands of everyday life and work.

Balancing a challenging work schedule with the demands of day-to-day life is no easy feat. Add triathlon training to the mix and sometimes it can feel downright impossible. Often it seems as though there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish all the tasks at hand. I get it. I am currently balancing a high-performance triathlon training program with an intense job that sees me spend more time in hotels far from home than in my own bed. While it’s not always pretty, I have discovered many tips and tricks which help me get the most out of my training and my career. Over the coming months, I look forward to sharing with you some of my insights and strategies which you can incorporate into your life. Enjoy my first article below and happy training!

Locals know best: My top tip for planning great run routes while travelling

After a long day of travel, you have finally arrived at your destination. You plop yourself down on the bed and stare out at the skyline of an unfamiliar land. You glare down at your watch and see that you have one hour before your first meeting – just enough time to get out for a quick run to shake off the jet lag. You quickly change into your running gear and head down the elevator. You exit the lobby excited to explore a foreign landscape, but there is one problem – where are you going to run? Back home you have your familiar trails and roads, but here you have no idea where the roads lead or if they are even safe to run on.

Before arriving in any city, one of the first things I do is to check out the Strava Global Heat Map. Strava has established itself as the premier social media network for athletes, with millions of users uploading their activities daily. With this treasure-trove of data, Strava has built the Strava Global Heat Map. By overlaying activities of all the users, the Strava Global Heat Map highlights the most popular swimming, cycling, running and skiing routes in all areas of the world. Before I arrive in a new city, I simply type the address of my hotel into the heatmap and I can quickly see all the popular routes in the area. Then it’s as simple as writing out directions for my run and I am good to go! That way I am able to hit the ground running as soon as I arrive at my destination. I encourage you all to do this before your next trip and report back in the comments below on how it went. Give it a shot at home too – sometimes the best routes are hiding right in your own backyard.

Ben Rudson lives in Calgary, Alberta and works for a global operations consulting firm. When not travelling for work, Ben can often be found enjoying the spoils of the Rocky Mountains. Ben is the reigning National AG champion in Standard Distance triathlon and was named the 2017 Short Course Athlete of the year by Triathlon Ontario. Ben also has an extensive background long course triathlon, having participated in the 2016 Ironman World Championships. You can follow Ben’s journey on Strava, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.