When Olympian Colin Quigley plans a vacation, his thoughts aren’t just about which tourist sites to visit. Instead, she focuses first on where she can get her two daily workouts in and where she can find the nutritious foods she needs.
Even in the offseason, the Team USA track and field star, who finished eighth at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and holds the world record in the four-to-1,500-meter relay, must prioritize training. “‘Offseason,'” he said, “means I’m always training, but I’m not competing.”
“There’s always that little bit of stress about where I’m going to get my training and when I’m going to get it?” Quigley said. On a recent 10-day trip to France for her 30th birthday with her fiance, Quigley was overwhelmed by places to bike, run and swim in Paris, Lyon and Versailles. “I have to work two hours every morning and we start tomorrow and go to a museum or go to lunch. Before we can be tourists, I have to work.
When her fiancé searched for hot restaurants, Guglie made sure she had healthier options than croissants and cassoulet.
But as Quigley prepares to qualify for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, Quigley finds a journey that combines a yen for travel and her training needs. She recently took a solo trip to Sensei Lanai, a secluded wellness retreat at the Four Seasons Resort. Quigley was invited by Hoop (a company that makes watch-band-like health trackers) to participate in Sensei Lanai’s Optimum Wellbeing program. As part of the five-day-minimum program, two weeks before your visit you will receive a hoop device that allows the tracker to learn about your body so that your sensei guide can better design a personalized itinerary.
“The person who says I want to do this and that! And I’ll jam out my day, but I’ll also have to train my coach,” he said. “I try not to be like that.” For that reason, Quigley’s mentor didn’t overbook her, while forcing her requests to focus on one-on-one classes in yoga and meditation.
His mentor set up a session with a heart rate variability specialist who showed the runner different breathing techniques. “Heart rate variability is basically your parasympathetic balance, which is your resting and digesting, calming, restorative part of your autonomic nervous system, and then your sympathetic nervous system is your plane or flight; to work; go go go; Your extended; The stimulated part of your nervous system,” Quigley explained. “For athletes like me, we live in the sympathetic nervous system, where it goes, go, a lot of go. We have to be good at switching between the two.
The guide added a surprise to the itinerary, aquatic body work, something she had never heard of before. In a watch pool, Quigley lay on her back with her eyes closed while an instructor led her through rhythmic movements. “It reminded me of creating a floatation tank with salt water at the same temperature as your body,” he said. “Float and meditate. It feels like you are at sea. She also soaks in 10 secluded rock-cut soaking tubs in the Lanai Hotel’s onsen garden, open to all guests. “I go after dinner and take my little Beam Dream CBD sleep drink in there and I’ll do a little 10-minute hot tub,” she said. “They’re magical at night, but you have to bring a flashlight because it’s pitch black.”
In addition, Quigley received a massage and then free time at the spa Hales (“ha-lays”), the sprawling villas each have their own infrared sauna, steam room, bathroom, shower, Japanese Oyuro tub, outdoor onsen pools, and alfresco rain showers. “Spa Hales was crazy. You can have private access where no one bothers you for an hour. I’ve never seen anything like it before. I’ll never go to a regular spa again,” she said with a laugh.
Of course, Quigley also maintained his workouts. Sensei Peloton offers a great gym with bikes, weights, treadmills and ellipticals, but he ran around the tiny 141-square-mile island. “I can put my headphones on and go down any of these roads and see where they take me,” he said. “One day I went out of the hotel and to the right, which took me two miles, and got a wonderful view of the whole ocean.”
Quigley also fit in other activities, including snorkeling trips and hikes. He also rode the complimentary shuttle to visit sister property Four Seasons Resort Lanai for a beach day (Sensei Lanai sits upland from the ocean). “It’s definitely a different vibe,” he said. “It felt more like Mexico and more like Cabo. It’s 11 a.m. and people are drinking mimosas and getting after it, whereas Sensei’s is very small and quiet. It’s adults only.” The athlete also dined at Four Seasons One Forty Steakhouse.
In Sensei, Quigley dined at its only restaurant, Sensei by Nobu. Although she avoids alcohol during training, anything else is off limits, including sweets. “I’m a big advocate of enjoying good food,” she said. “I definitely don’t eat everything I want, but I try not to be so restricted that I’m miserable.” Nobu, he said, made it easy with its healthy and satisfying fare. “Even though I got oatmeal, it was really good. The steel-cut oats were the creamiest,” she said. “Food quality is very important to me and having Nobu at your front door for every meal was amazing.”