tri tip

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - Contents Volume 8 Issue 6 - By

Tack­ling Time Zones

Triathlon­cul­ture is grow­ing an­nu­ally and new races are pop­ping up all over the world. An in- depth travel plan is nec­es­sary so that you ar­rive at your race des­ti­na­tion in peak shape and ready to go. The fol­low­ing 10 tips will help you to achieve that.

Plan early.

1.Don’t leave any course-spe­cific train­ing un­til the last minute. You need to know the ter­rain and the cli­mate of your des­ti­na­tion race. This means you and your coach may have to in­cor­po­rate some heat or altitude train­ing in your plan weeks be­fore you leave. For ex­am­ple, if you live in a pre­dom­i­nantly flat area and are do­ing a hilly event, you will need to sim­u­late some hill train­ing by lower ca­dence work­outs or tread­mill runs. If pos­si­ble, in­cor­po­rate a train­ing camp into your sched­ule where there are lots of hills and/or the cli­mate/altitude is sim­i­lar to your des­ti­na­tion event.

Book­ing your flight.

2.A few things to con­sider when book­ing your f light: know your de­par­ture time from home but also the ar­rival time at your des­ti­na­tion in­clud­ing time changes. While the rel­a­tive spa­cious­ness of first- class seat­ing is out of most peo­ple’s price range, it is worth try­ing to get an emer­gency row seat as it has more leg room. You will also want to min­i­mize the trans­fers and lay­overs.

Time zones.

3.A gen­eral rule of thumb is that it will take one day of re­cov­ery or ad­just­ment for ev­ery time zone trav­elled. In other words, if you have trav­elled through six times zones you don’t want to ar­rive at your des­ti­na­tion four days be­fore the event. You will want to ar­rive at a min­i­mum six days early but op­ti­mally even more that that so you have a few days to get in some more qual­ity train­ing to re­ally feel primed and ready. If pos­si­ble, try to start ad­just­ing to the time zone be­fore you leave by go­ing to bed and get­ting up ei­ther ear­lier or later de­pend­ing on the di­rec­tion you are trav­el­ling. You may even want to eat closer to your new time zone meal times as well.

Choose your lodg­ing care­fully.

4.You need to con­sider whether be­ing close to the race site is the best place to be. If you ar­rive quite early to your des­ti­na­tion then per­haps an op­ti­mal train­ing lo­ca­tion is a bet­ter choice. You do not want to be in the cen­tre of a busy city with nowhere to run, ride or swim with days or weeks to spare be­fore your event. You will want to scout out a pool or open wa­ter swim lo­ca­tion close to you. Maybe there is no train­ing op­tion and you will have to con­sider find­ing a spin­ning studio.

Food and gro­ceries.

5.You may not be used to the lo­cal cui­sine at your des­ti­na­tion race. Avoid try­ing any­thing dif­fer­ent close to your event. Save this for af­ter. You should re­search where you can find a gro­cery store and if they pro­vide food that you are ac­cus­tomed to. Ide­ally, your lodg­ing has a kitchen of some sort. Con­sider bring­ing some spe­cialty food items with you from home that you might not be able to get on the road. If you do this you will need to find out the re­stric­tions on food for the air­line that you are trav­el­ling with.

Make a check­list.

6.Big races will usu­ally have a large expo but you will want to min­i­mize any run­ning around and added stress as much as pos­si­ble. Bring ev­ery­thing that you need and ex­tras with you if you can. Things such as an ex­tra pair of gog­gles, a wet­suit even if there is a chance that it will be a non-wet­suit swim, bike tools, long valve tubes, tubu­lars or your own sports drink and nu­tri­tion are just a few things to add to your check­list.

Find a bike store.

7.Re­search the area and find a lo­cal bike store that can pro­vide the ser­vice of putting your bike back to­gether for you and be sure to book an ap­point­ment be­fore you go. Bet­ter yet, learn how to put it back to­gether your­self (see Tara Norton’s ‘ Tips for Packing Your Bike for Travel’ on p.52). It is usu­ally just a mat­ter of learn­ing how to put on your han­dle­bars, ped­als, seat and wheels.

While you are in the air­port and on the plane.

8.Bring food with you if you can. Wear com­pres­sion socks to help with blood f low in your legs dur­ing the f light. Bring hand san­i­tizer and your own elec­trolyte drink. Change your watch to the des­ti­na­tion time zone as soon as you get on the plane. It might be worth tak­ing ex­tra im­mune boost­ers such as vi­ta­min C. Have a pre­dom­i­nantly car­bo­hy­drate- based meal early in the f light to help with sleep and a largely pro­tein­based meal close to ar­rival to perk you up. Avoid al­co­hol and try to stretch and walk around fre­quently if you are not sleep­ing.

First day of ar­rival.

9.Try not to nap on the day you ar­rive so that you ad­just to the time change faster. Go to a mu­seum or art gallery to do some easy walk­ing to loosen up and stay awake. An easy, short jog or ride is also a good idea to get the blood cir­cu­la­tion back into your legs. Lo­cate your gro­cery store, bike store, train­ing lo­ca­tions and race venue to min­i­mize foot travel closer to the race.

Lead­ing up to the race.

10.Dur­ing your train­ing ses­sions at the des­ti­na­tion, prac­tise on the race course at the same time of day that you will be rac­ing if pos­si­ble. Know­ing the course will both men­tally and phys­i­cally pre­pare you for the event. Things like know­ing where the sun will be in the swim, if there is a pre­dom­i­nant wind, bumps in the road and shade on the run will give you an ad­van­tage on race day. Stick to the plan you and your coach have laid out. Make sure to keep up the in­ten­sity so that you stay sharp for race day. Avoid as much dis­trac­tion as pos­si­ble.

Be­ing pre­pared is the key to a suc­cess­ful ex­e­cu­tion of your train­ing at a des­ti­na­tion race. Elim­i­nat­ing un­nec­es­sary stress is the goal. Fol­low­ing these 10 tips will help you to achieve that and set you up for op­ti­mal rac­ing. Go out there, race hard and have fun. Make sure to re­cover prop­erly es­pe­cially if it’s not the last race of the sea­son. Book some ex­tra time to re­lax and take ad­van­tage of the lo­ca­tion af­ter the event, you de­serve it. LifeS­port triathlon coach Jes­sica Adam loves to share her years of ex­pe­ri­ence with beginner and ex­pe­ri­enced triath­letes alike. Her email is Jess@LifeS­portCoach­ing.com.

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