Race Previews

Travel Advice From a Smart Guy...


By Matt Dixon (usatriathlon.org)


Long gone are the days when flying was fun!

Or so we’re told by those who remember the days of in-flight meals and sharp-dressed passengers. Today, flying is downright unpleasant. For athletes, getting from city to city can cause huge disruptions to workout schedules, recovery, sleeping and eating schedules not to mention suffering through flight delays and cramped conditions.

From choosing flight times to dealing with delays, reducing swelling and flight fatigue, Matt Dixon’s book "Fast-Track Triathlete" offers two dozen smart ways athletes can ensure that air travel impacts them less. Here are eight travel tips for athletes to make your next flight more “Meh” and less, “Argh!”

Maintaining Nutrition and Hydration

Make it your mission to be appropriately fed, hydrated, rested, and as limber as possible. However, you don’t want to consume too many calories. Going into a flight even a little bit hungry or semi-fasting is preferable to eating heavy foods like a burger and fries or fish and chips at the airport....



Interestingly, undereating prior to travel can help you acclimate to a new time zone more quickly, assuming you consume a meal at the appropriate local time you are adjusting to on arrival. If athletes have a long evening flight across several time zones, they could have a good-sized lunch and eat minimally before getting on the plane.


Then, they can focus on staying hydrated and eating small, nutritious snacks without having to eat the meal served on the plane. When the athletes reach their destination, they will eat a full meal in the corresponding time zone. For example, if they arrive at their destination at 7 a.m., you would eat a proper, protein-rich breakfast. The brain’s built-in starvation signal is synthetically reset or at least adjusted to the circadian rhythm, which helps diminish the time it takes to adjust to new time zones. The one caveat is that if they have to race within a day or two of reaching your destination, it’s not great to approach travel in a semi-fasted state.  READ MORE

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