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Beating long haul travel

Posted on: Friday 10th May 2013

As he prepares to fly from Australia to Europe for Challenge Barcelona and Challenge Rimini, Chris McCormack gives his tips on how to best handle long haul travel:

Travelling to events around the world usually involves some change in time zones. Over the years I’ve learned that getting your travel time right is as important as preparing for the race itself. I tend to follow five rules when it comes to travel to events.

1) You’ve trained very hard so don’t make the error of arriving at an event too close to race day. At minimum I’d arrive at a race 48 hours prior to the race start but I tend to adopt the rule that for every hour in time difference requires a day to get over that time change. So, a seven hour time difference will ideally see you arriving at the event seven days before race day.

2) Obviously, we don’t always have the luxury to arrive seven days out from an event due to work commitments. So, if your time is limited, you are best to arrive at the event as close to race start as possible – 36-48 hours out. Arriving this close means your body clock doesn’t have time to adjust before the race so you’re still on your home body clock when you’re racing.

3) When you get off a plane, regardless of how tired you are, it’s always good to do some form of exercise. If I’m at a hotel, I always use the treadmill or bikes in the gym to flush the travel out – 45 minutes is the magic number on arrival. Then the rest of the day is recovery from your journey.

4) In regards to your nutrition, hydration is critical. We all know that we have to drink a lot on airplanes. The changes in your blood volume when you fly is key so you should sip during your travel and then on arrival drink more to level out your blood volumes. You’ll find your body is out of whack and you want to try and drink to match the frame you’re in.

5) Adjust to the time zone you’re in immediately. If you arrive in the morning, you need to stay awake until six or seven at night. If you feel like you’re going to sleep, go for a walk. The quicker you adjust, the better, regardless of how fatigued you feel. This is the most difficult thing to do.


Posted in Athlete's Journey, Athlete's Journey » Macca Unplugged

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