Blog

7 Tips for Travelling Well

by Jasper Blake 

Traveling can be one of the hardest things to do while trying to maintain fitness and overall health.  The general stress of the journey combined with time changes and jet lag can really throw a wrench into your performance goals.  Considering a large percentage of multisport athletes are business folks and avid travelers it’s important to establish some good travel habits so you can maximize performance on the road.

1. Plan Ahead

Planning ahead is a simple way to avoid unwanted mental stress when you are traveling.  If you are traveling overseas it’s good to assume your destination may not have all the usual supplies you regularly need and use.  This includes things like the nutrition you are used to, essential equipment and even facilities to use.  Always take what you need in terms of nutrition and equipment and research training venues online before you go.  It will save you time and energy when you get there.

2. Compression Gear

Compression gear is essential when you are traveling, especially during flights.  Sitting on a plane for hours with altered air pressure can cause major swelling in the lower body especially the ankles.  This problem becomes even more apparent post race or post hard training.  The body is already in a state of breakdown and flying only ads to the physical stress.  Compression gear is a simple way to limit swelling and help blood flow, which ultimately aids in recovery and performance.

3. Smart Luggage

Investing in a proper carry on suitcase can save your shoulders and back when doing long haul trips that require lots of walking and standing in line.  Heavily loaded backpacks can put strain on your shoulders and lower back.  They are also not as space efficient.  Often items disappear into the abyss of the bag and are frustrating to find and get out.  Smaller carry-on suitcases have plenty of room so you can take a few extras with you on board to increase your comfort level and they usually have a set of wheels that takes the load off your shoulders and lower back.

4. Comfortable Clothes

Bringing a change of clothes for really long flights is a great idea.  If you are going to sit on a plane for 10-15 hours why do it in a tight pair of jeans?  Bring some loose fitting track pants and a warm sweater so you can really chill out.  Little things like this go a long way to decreasing travel stress.

5. Hydrate

You’ve heard it before and it’s true, flying can be a major source of dehydration.  The air is often very dry.  In fact, the cabin of an airplane can get down to 1% humidity, which is significantly dryer than most deserts.  Hydration and electrolyte loss can be a major factor in performance and recovery.  It’s almost a good idea to treat long flights like a race.  Regular consumption of water and something with electrolytes is a great way to stay on top of your body chemistry.

6. Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol can and does have a stronger affect on the human body in flight.This is primarily because the lack of moisture in cabin air causes you to absorb any fluids faster.  When your body needs to perform or recover, the negative affects of alcohol can seriously hamper your ability to do your best.  Avoiding alcohol on flights altogether is good practice.

7. Sleep and Rest

Sleep deprivation can have detrimental affects on performance and recovery and nothing deprives you of sleep more than travel does (aside from perhaps children).  Sleeping on the plane is often difficult with limited space and a foreign environment but if you can manage it on long haul flights it’s a very good idea.  It’s also a good idea to avoid really hard intense workouts the day after traveling.  The combined affects of sleep loss, dehydration and stress can leave you close to the health tipping point.  Make sure your training and racing schedule allows for as many recovery days post travel as possible to ensure you actually recover from the travel.