Yes! It’s finally happening! The pandemic restrictions are lifting and races are being announced. This means that it’s time to remember how to correctly travel to optimize your performance.
If you’re getting on a plane, there are a few things to keep in mind. The most obvious is that it’s tough to move due to the tight quarters. A good rule of thumb is to stand up in the aisle, or head to the washroom every 90 minutes to allow yourself to stretch and activate your muscles. Emphasize stretching your calves and opening up your hip flexors. These little activations can help your first run post travel be less rigid:
- Hip flexors: hip circles- standing on both legs, move your hips in circular motions
- Calves: white standing up straight, bend your knees one at a time until you feel a stretch
- Hamstring and glute: stand with your back one-foot away from a wall and press the heel of one foot into the wall
- Lats and shoulders: stand facing a wall and with your arms straight above your head creating a Y-shape. Press the outside of your hands into the wall for a 15 second count
Help improve your circulation by wearing compression socks. Having your lower body compressed gently pushes blood flow up the leg and decreases swelling and potential blood clot. These socks should be worn for your entire travel and not taken off until you have reached your accommodation.
Liquids! Try to keep a water bottle with you at all times. You may have noticed after a travel day that your skin feels dry or your eyes feel itchy. This is because of the low humidity levels on a plane and your body’s reactions to the dry conditions. Maintaining your fluid intake will help you feel less achy and tired. For a gauge of what you should consume, try 1 cup of water per hour. Make note that you can also increase your fluid intake by consuming soup, fruits, or oatmeal. If you want to take it a step further, having a sports drink containing electrolytes keeps your body’s PH balanced and keeps you fully hydrated.
For a personal recommendation: my favourite travel drink is the Latte Rumble Supershake. It’s the easiest thing to pack and consume. You don’t have to mix the drink with anything; it’s ready to go as it comes. It doesn’t require refrigeration and it’s mess-free! The plant-based Rumble has 16g of protein and 12g of carbohydrates to give you substance and keep you going. It’s the best thing ever!
Chances are it’s your first race in over a year, so most importantly, enjoy the experience!
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