There is no shortage of advice on how athletes should prep for travel. From avoiding swelling on long flights and stretching every 45 minutes to avoiding jet lag and adjusting to elevations, there are tips abounding to any athlete with a search engine. So, rather than completely rehash what is only a click away, we’re going to give you the five best travel tips we found around the web. Then, we’ll give you our top five tips we think everyone else left off.
- No new equipment in the luggage – You don’t break-in new shoes on race day, so don’t pack them for a race trip. Bring the gear you are most familiar with.
- Make a list and check it twice – To avoid purchasing new equipment on race day, make a detailed packing list and mark items off as packed. Then, double check yourself.
- No new dishes until after the race – Travel can do a number on the GI tract for some folks. Don’t make matters worse with foods you aren’t accustomed to.
- Expect the unexpected – It isn’t always cold in North Dakota, wet in Seattle, or sunny in Florida. Plan for the unexpected.
- Remember the details – Factor in time-zone changes, travel to/from airports and hotels, elevation changes and acclamation times—these and a hundred other small details can make or break a race trip.
These tips will get you far, certainly. But, here are our suggestions for some truly great race excursions.
- See more than the course you came to compete on – Many of the races you’ll travel to are in great cities. Explore them. Make traditions with your travel partners. Try new things.
- Plan a trip to be a spectator – We love our sports, but there is also something great about watching and cheering for totally committed total strangers. Check the course map and plan your spots, then run, taxi, or Uber your way along the course to cheer on the racers.
- Make connections – As important as what you’ll bring to the race is what you’ll leave with. Connect with other athletes and stay in touch. Community is the most important part of being and athlete, and it enriches our experiences.
- Journal – This can be as organized or back-of-a-napkin as you’d like, but keep a journal of your destination competitions. What makes Arizona races different from northern California races? Training tips? What do they have in common? Where was the bagel place with the wasabi spread?
- Branch out – So you love the beach? You hate the cold? Well, how about a March competition in Colorado? Look for ways to surprise yourself and expand your horizons. Varying your experience can also give you greater insight into how you can improve your game.
What is the best travel advice you’ve been given as an athlete or just as a traveler? How do you make the most of your travel while competing?
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