Racing in different cities all over the world is one of my favourite parts of my job as a professional athlete. Getting to see and explore new places is amazing. But a awesome as travelling to new cities is, it is important to remember that travelling for competitions can be stressful and exhausting. Here are a few of my tips on how to race your best at a destination race and beat the travel stresses!
1) Bring your airplane game.
This means packing your own food and snacks and bringing lots of water on the plane with you; staying hydrated is very important. NUUN hydration tablets are perfect to travel with – you can just pop a tab in your water bottle and you have an electrolyte-filled drink! Also, if it’s a longer flight put on some compression socks. This will help to reduce swelling in your calves and feet. Make sure to get up every few hours on the plane and walk around and do some stretches.
2) If there is a significant time change
Do your best to stick to the new timezone of where you are. Do not think about what time it is back home. I will often take half of a sleeping pill my first 2 nights to help with jet lag. Many people find taking Gravol is very helpful.
3) Don’t do too much the days leading up to your race!
I know it’s very tempting to explore a new city, and while it’s ok to get out a bit and do some walking around, don’t tire yourself out. Remember you are there to race – not to sightsee. If you want to sightsee, stay a few days after your race!
4) Eating foreign foods can be challenging when travelling.
Do your best to stick with familiar food – especially the night before your race. I always pack oatmeal and Clif bars. I don’t mess around the morning of my race. This way I know I will be eating something that works for me.
5) Travel with Insurance!
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You never know what can happen in a different country. I got pneumonia in Australia and had to be hospitalized.
6) If you are travelling somewhere hot
do your best to stay out of the sun on the days leading up to the race. This will drain you even more than you already are from the travelling.
7) If the time change is more than 3 hours
I would suggest flying in at least 2 or 3 days before your race. It is never a good idea to travel the day before a race.