There are so many things to consider when travelling to a race, especially if it involves a flight!Many people do not think about how much toll travel takes on your body or how long it takes to fully recover from travel when you arrive in your destination. A few of the things to consider include:
When we fly, you naturally dehydrate as a result of the plane and the pressure of the conditions in the plane. Therefore it is vital that you drink slightly more than normal, as you will be losing fluid more quickly. This also means that you shouldn’t drink alcohol or caffeinated drinks, as they act as a diuretic. Make sure that you continue this when you arrive at your destination, as the effects often carry over. Additionally, it is wise to add some electrolytes to the fluid you are drinking, so to make sure you are not ‘washing’ them away with a high water intake
This is a bit of a tricky one, which varies from person to person. The way I do it when I am flying is try to get into the upcoming time zone as quickly as possible. This often means that I stay up for longer than normal on the first flight – if flying to America or Europe and then sleeping as much as possible for the next period of the flight. Additionally, when I arrive at the new destination, I find it very important to resist the urge to go to sleep when you ‘normally’ would at home, which is usually in the afternoon and instead make myself stay up and get a good nights sleep on the first night.
As always, it is vital that you eat well while flying. Resist the urge to eat rubbish. Eat as much fruit and veggies as you can and make good choices at road stops or airports. Also, if you can pack some healthy snacks, it really helps when you start to get the munchies.
When you fly or drive for long periods, your calves and feet will swell up due to inactivity and the pressure in the plane. It is a good idea to stand up and walk regularly and keep your feet moving. This results in your calf muscles acting like a ‘pump’, which usually happens when we walk around. Additionally, many people find compression socks useful to reduce this effect.
These are a few tips to help with reducing the risk of travel for your next race or training camp. Do not under estimate the effect that these things can have on your performance.