Make or Break Your Race by Planning Right for Travel
A big part of the success of your race comes from planning and preparation. For months you look after training, life details, nutrition and recovery. After managing all that, a piece of the success puzzle that is often overlooked is your plan for travel to your race.
It’s key to map out your plan with your travel and logistics to have things run smooth leading up to race day. Being prepared with this will allow you the time to really recoup and be ready for your event.
I often ask my athletes to write out a detailed timeline for the three days leading into their A races. This includes their packing lists, rest/relax time, nutrition, day-to-day plan, travel, activities and training. Having this all written out and on the table for yourself and everyone traveling with you to see helps things run stress free.
Be sure to know your destination logistics:
- Are you traveling across a time zone? You may need to allow for enough time to adjust to the new sleep pattern and digestive time lines.
- What are the training conditions? Do you have access to the course and safe roads? You may want to look up a local gym or bring a smaller turbo trainer. Pack swim cords if there is no water access.
- Is there a big change in climate or altitude? Going up and down in altitude is different for everyone and a well thought out plan that takes altitude into account should be dialed in. The same goes if you are changing to a very hot and humid race location from a cold, dry place — you may need to allow time to adjust.
- Do you have access to your normal foods? Plan to pack some familiar foods in case you don’t have access right away to the foods you need. We always pack 5-10 sports bars from home in our case.
- Can you drink the water? Know if the water is good before you go.
- Will there be gear available on site (a bike shop for example)? Some foreign races don’t offer the same help as all North American races. You may need to pack your tools and a couple spare tubes and tires so you’re self-sufficient.
- How far apart are the things you need and do you need a car? Know the commute time between the places you need to go. How far is the race venue? The grocery store? Training sites?
I can remember traveling all the way to Asia to realize there was no access to a pool or the swim course and trying to make do with swim cords pre-race. If I were to do it again, I wouldn’t go so early so this wouldn’t be an issue.
Have a plan well in advance. Research the area you’ll be in and communicate with everyone traveling with you regarding what your needs are. Allow all the hard work you’ve done in training to come shining through with a well thought out plan right into race day.
Get to the start line relaxed and 100% ready!