Pre-Competition Travel Tips
Over the year I have travelled to many running competitions. When I look back on performances earlier in my career my road record wasn’t stellar. Looking at past training logs I would often remark; “hips were sore”, “legs were heavy” and the list goes on! As I became a more seasoned traveller I developed good habits.
Hydration. Most athletes realize it is important to maintain optimal hydration. Where I think they go wrong is by drastically increasing water intake a few days before competition, consequently lowering sodium levels. A more practical solution might be to add electrolytes to the water you already consume and avoid foods and drinks that may have a have a diuretic impact (coffee, tea, sodas).
Compression Wear. When I was training more seriously I instinctively started wearing compression clothing while travelling to competitions. Most research indicates compression garments are a beneficial recovery tool, so you would think many of these same benefits (Including improvements in muscle soreness, improved blood flow, and improved blood lactate clearance) would apply to pre-competition.
Stretching Routine. I know its difficult after a long day of travel not to want to head out for diner and the go to sleep. After sitting for many hours muscle become stiff and alignment is thrown off. I will focus most of my attention on the hip flexors. Active isolated stretching is a good bet.
Massage. Of course I’m going to advocate massage therapy! A few days before travelling to a competition I would have a general pre-race sports massage to promote blood flow and reduce inflammation. Upon arriving at the competition destination I would often receive a 30 minute ‘flush’. If I did not have access to a massage therapist I would spend 15 to 20 minutes doing self massage with a foam roller.
Here is a good video from Mike Warkentin on travel mobility.
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