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10 tips for the travelling athlete

Written by 
Published in Athletics
Sunday, 03 December 2023 23:56

If you are an athlete with any amount of talent, chances are you will want to enter into various competitions and sporting meets which means you could well be on the road (or plane) a lot more often than the average person.

No matter how fit and healthy you are, traveling often can take its toll on your body and mind, leaving you fatigued and less than fighting fit, which is exactly what you need to be if you want to win those competitions in the first place!

That is why we have put together some top tips for the traveling athlete, which will make your experience of always being on the move, much more manageable.

  1. Packing: The Art of Stashing Gear

When it comes to packing, youre not just throwing in flip-flops and a few tees. Youve got gear, and lots of it. Compression socks, hydration packs, maybe even a lucky sweatband. The key is to pack smart. Roll your clothes, compartmentalise with packing cubes, and remember you dont need to bring your entire gym. Choose versatile items that can serve multiple purposes. And for Petes sake, dont forget your shoes. Running in hotel slippers is not the look.

  1. Nutrition: Dont Let the Road Ruin Your Regime

Eating healthy on the road is like trying to solve a Rubiks Cube it requires patience and strategy. Research restaurants and grocery stores near your accommodation, and always keep healthy snacks on hand. Trust me, the airports fast-food court is a siren call you need to resist.

  1. Hydration: Your Liquid Lifeline

Staying hydrated while traveling is non-negotiable. Airplane cabins have less humidity than the Sahara Desert, and no, a mini bottle of cabernet does not count as hydration. Carry a refillable water bottle with you at all times. Its like having a personal oasis.

  1. Luggage Storage: Your Secret Weapon

Navigating a new city with your luggage in tow is a workout you dont need. Use luggage storage services to free yourself from the burden of carrying your life on your back. Its like shedding a metaphorical weight vest.

  1. Workouts: Be Adaptable

Finding time and space to train can be tricky. Hotel rooms can be as cramped as a clown car. Be adaptable with your workouts. Resistance bands, bodyweight exercises, or a good old-fashioned run your training doesnt need to pause just because youre away from your home gym. Plus, its an opportunity to explore ever tried hill sprints in San Francisco?

  1. Recovery: Listen to Your Body

Traveling can be as draining as a marathon. Prioritise recovery. Stretch, use foam rollers, or do a yoga session in your room. And sleep glorious sleep. Its the best recovery tool you have. If your hotel pillow feels like a bag of cement, dont hesitate to ask for another.

  1. Jet Lag: The Athletes Nemesis

Jet lag can sabotage your performance faster than you can say, What time zone am I in? To combat it, adjust your watch to your destinations time zone as soon as you board the plane. Try to sync your sleep on the flight and get as much daylight as you can upon arrival. Its like tricking your body into thinking its not in a different time zone, even though it totally is.

  1. Mindset: Stay Positive

Traveling, especially when it is for a big competition, can be pretty stressful, to say the least. That is why you need to do your best to keep a positive mindset come what may. Something that can help you with this is trying to remember why youre doing this for the love of the game, the thrill of competition, and the stories youll tell. When things go sideways (and they will), take a deep breath, maybe laugh a bit, and roll with it.

  1. Embrace the Experience

Youre not just an athlete; youre an athletic adventurer. Do what you can to embrace the unique experiences that you will only ever really get with traveling. Try new foods (within reason), meet new people, and soak in the sights and sounds of your destination, wherever it may be. Its not every day you get to run along the Seine in Paris or cycle the Golden Gate Bridge.

  1. Stay Connected

Traveling can be lonely, so stay connected with friends and family. Share your experiences, and maybe even make them a little jealous with your amazing travel stories. Social media is great, but dont forget the power of a good old-fashioned phone call.

As you can see, with a  little bit of planning, some adaptability, and that positive attitude that has made you the athlete you are today, travel need not bother you unduly, even if you are doing it a lot. That race is yours for the taking so dont let travel fatigue ruin it for you!

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