I’ve done a few triathlons close to home, but this summer I will be flying across the country for my first “destination” event. Do you have any tips for competing on less-than-familiar soil?
Race season is upon us, which means traveling to races near and far. Since becoming a triathlete in 2002, I have had the opportunity to travel all over the world for races.
Here are a few tips that I have picked up over the years of being a world traveler.
Whether you’re flying or driving to your race destination, it’s a good idea to get up and move around. If flying, walking up and down the aisles throughout the flight a couple of times will help prevent stiffness. If driving, making a few pit stops along the way to stretch out your legs.
Compression socks and tights
I find wearing these when traveling keeps the blood flowing in the lower legs and keeps legs feeling a bit more “fresh.” They also help keep the ankles from swelling and your toes from looking like little sausages. Just make sure not to wear the compression socks with shorts, as that is a fashion no-no!
Don’t forget to eat
When flying, you just never know if you’re going to be sitting on the runway for a long period of time or have layovers late at night or early in the morning, when everything in the airport is closed. I always make sure I have a couple of snacks packed, such as sports bars, fruit, nuts and, of course, chocolate! (It’s a bit different when we road trip since we are able to take our whole house and refrigerator with us.)
Drink plenty of water and sports drinks throughout the journey to avoid dehydration.
When flying or driving to different time zones, I immediately change my watch to the next time zone that I will be in. Although it’s hard, I really try not to focus on what time it is at home and instead begin thinking about the new time zone to help my body adjust. Live in the moment!
When you travel, it’s tempting to try out local specialties, but do yourself a favor and stick to foods you’re used to. The last thing you want is to have some regional hot dish come back to haunt you on race day. You can enjoy exploring different foods after the race.
No lost-luggage woes
It hasn’t happened too often, fortunately, but my luggage has gone missing on a few occasions. I finally started packing my race kit, running and biking shoes in my carry-on bag, so I have the main essentials I need for racing in case my bags don’t make it to my final destination.
Amy Marsh is a four-time Ironman champion, two-time IronDistance champion, and was named the 2010 USAT Long Distance Triathlete of the Year. Brandon Marsh has been competing in triathlons since 1988, and can be counted on to be a top-10 contender in every event he enters. Got a question about swim-bike-run or sports nutrition for Team Marsh? Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter, follow Brandon @BrandonMarshTX and follow Amy @AmyCMarsh.