For many triathletes, racing involves traveling to a specific location. Whether a long car ride, domestic flight, or voyage across the world, approach your travel with as much focus as you do your taper. Here are some tips for before, during and after travel to help you get to the start line in the best state possible.
Before: Boost your system.
Leading up to your departure, consume foods high in Vitamin C or with immune-stimulating qualities. A scoop of honey with cinnamon, an orange, or ginger tea are some of the many options to choose from. Traveling can be an exhausting process, especially if it is a far distance, so getting quality nights of sleep in the lead up to your travel day will help to ensure your body is not under too much stress. Inevitably, airports and airplanes are full of germs, so a heightened immune system from pre-travel preparation can help you stay healthy in the build up to race day.
During: Be prepared for anything.
We all have those stories of running to our connection flight and just missing it, getting stuck on the tarmac for hours, running out of gas in the middle of the dessert, or having a flight cancelled completely. When traveling to a race, be ready for something to go wrong- but respond to it calmly and rationally. I have a bag of items that I have found to be essential, especially if your travel plans go out of whack.
-Snacks & Hydration: Whether you are a picky eater or not, having some food with you will prevent an unnecessary emotional breakdown, cranky comment to your neighbor on a flight, or feeling of sickness from hunger. I always pack some healthy snacks just in case- don't rely on your layover to grab dinner because you may be sprinting to your gate! Since the airplane cups tend to be extremely small, bring a water bottle on the plane and politely (with a smile!) as your flight attendant to fill your bottle with water. Some will say no, but it doesn't hurt to ask.